Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Tip#688: What Are You Grateful For? – Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Whenever life gets a bit overwhelming and isolating I have made it a practice to focus on what I am grateful for. I focus on the great friends I have and feel the gratitude I have for their love and support. I recently saw the film The Butler and watched scenes that depicted the horrible treatment of blacks in the 50’s and 60’s. These emotional scenes made me deeply grateful for living in Toronto in today's age where there is more racial harmony amongst a huge multicultural community.

Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013)

The historical drama, The Butler, is loosely based on the real-life story of Eugene Allen through the character Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker). Gaines is an African-American rising from a cotton farm life to serve 34 years as a White House butler. The film is a powerful and emotional trip through American history showing the fight for civil rights as well as Gaines’s life with his wife Gloria (Oprah Winfrey) and sons Louis (David Oyelowo) and Charlie (Elijah Kelley). See: movie trailer

This is also an amazing journey of Gaines serving a number of presidents that includes a star studded cast:

• Dwight D. Eisenhower (Robin Williams)
• John F. Kennedy (James Marsden)
• Lyndon B. Johnson (Liev Schreiber)
• Richard Nixon (John Cusack)
• Ronald Reagan (Alan Rickman)

More stars with engaging performances include Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Mariah Carey, Calence Williams III, Vanessa Redgrave, Lenny Kravitz and Jane Fonda. They all helped to paint a picture of the dramatic changes in American society that led to the film’s inspiring scenes of the inauguration of the first black President of the United States, Barack Obama.

What are you grateful for in your life? What films inspire you to feel gratitude with what you have in your life? Please let me know!

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Anonymous said...

Thanks Emmanuel for this post! I was just thinking whether I should see the movie

Thank you for reminding all of us about the greatness and magic of movies!


Anonymous said...

I just watched The Butler and I was moved – not only by the story but by the humanness of each character and the struggle within the family (the political world) and how it took a son's father a lifetime to come around and understand goodness is inbred.