I honestly do not know where to begin.
The acting by Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, and David Banner were exceptional performances. I also felt that Vanessa Redgrave, John Cusack, Jane Fonda and James Marsden turned in fantastic performances. Forest Whitaker, who’s become a strong actor through the years, could very well walk away with an Academy Award. Oprah was quite good, but I often had difficulty falling in love with her character. Nonetheless, I was very pleased with her performance.
- This is the 21st century where incredible advancements have been made in the movies. Why, oh why could the scenic design of the White House not be more accurate? This, alone, could take up another blog of significant length.
- I could not buy Robin Williams as Pres. Eisenhower.
- The other presidents were okay, despite being portrayed by very capable actors. However, James Marsden turned in a spot-on John F. Kennedy. I could easily see why that generation of Americans were so in love with this president. What an incredible spirit, and I believe Mr. Marston captured it.
- There was one moment when Forest Whitaker, as a butler, was reading to Caroline Kennedy. Caroline informed him that her Uncle Bobby had been talking to her father about a freedom riders bus being burned. I am all for artistic license when the story needs to be enhanced, especially when it is not a documentary. However, I simply could not believe in this particular moment.
- I do not understand why the names of butlers and other White House personnel were changed.
- I cannot see a White House butler taking a tray of silver Items back to the staff locker room.
- I also question whether or not a family member of a White House staff could’ve easily walked into the White House with such ease.
- In all my White House reading, and research, I do not recall ever reading that Jacqueline Kennedy, while still wearing the blood splattered pink wool suit that she wore in Dallas Texas, ever sat in the Red Room of the White House during daylight. From everything I’ve read, the President’s coffin was returned to the White House and placed in the East room during the wee hours of the morning. After an interval, Mrs. Kennedy reportedly went upstairs to the presidential suite where she was finally encouraged to remove her clothing.
- While there were glaring defects in a majority of the White House interior, there seemed to be attempts to do a better job when it came to the Kennedy administration bedroom, and even the bedroom wallpaper during the Reagan administration.
- Why did director Lee Daniels feel it was necessary to tag his name to the front of the movie’s title? I understand that this was due to a disagreement with an older black and white movie with the same title; however: find another title. Why not, THE WHITE HOUSE BUTLER?
Don’t get me wrong, I really loved this movie. There were too many significant items that stood out with tremendous question marks and exclamation points.
The storyline, focusing on this White House butler’s personal transition through the years, involving the Civil Rights movement, was exceptionally powerful. Forest Whitaker’s character grows, and changes, before our eyes. This was an incredible transition, and quite moving.
Despite my dissatisfaction with the scenic design and research department, it is still a great movie with a solid storyline.