Rating: 4 stars
I can now see why Lee Daniels was bold enough to place his name in the full title of his newest film Lee Daniels’ The Butler. It’s a movie people are touched to watch, let alone direct. It depicts the history of America through a rather different and eye opening perspective of a White House butler, over three decades and eight presidents. The main theme of life surrounds the film, from the brutality of slavery, into The Civil Rights Movement, and the Vietnam War. But more so than the actual topic of living v. dying, the film focused on how a life is lived. It indirectly depicts just how much a person can see and experience in their lifespan, and through the many different paths of how that time could be spent. Personally, the film made me step back and reflect on my own life, to what milestones of our country’s history I have lived through that will make the history books of the future. The softness and genuine kindness of the character (and actor) of Cecil Gaines makes you fall in love. The chemistry between him and his on screen wife was heartwarming. They instantly became one of my favorite because of how downplayed and therefore validated their love was. And to my surprise, I didn’t hate Oprah as an actress. In fact, I adored her. The film only fell short, in my opinion, to the casting of the presidents. I thought they were all too well known, like Robin Williams and Alan Richman, that it brought me back to remember I was watching a movie instead of feeling like I was in it, which the film often did. I can say with certainty that I am even more excited to see the man, Lee Daniels himself, speak soon here on campus. In my mind, I picture him as a Cecil Gaines; wholeheartedly passionate, quiet, and kind, but a deep thinker with a life full of experiences worth sharing.
Director Lee Daniels will speak at OSU on 2/20 at 7:30PM in the West Ballroom of the Ohio Union. No tickets necessary.
Visual & Fine Arts Committee