Why hello, Mr. Oscar. I’ve been wondering when you were finally going to pop back up and grace us with your golden presence this year. Ever since you went home with the likes of Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence a couple of months ago I’ve barely even heard your name. But now that I’ve watched the first trailer for The Butler, I know you haven’t disappeared entirely.
When you, dear readers, watch this trailer, you will understand what I mean when I say this movie has Oscar written all over it. First, it’s a historical drama. Second, it’s based on a true story, that of Eugene Allen (Forest Whitaker), a butler who served multiple U.S. presidents over several decades. Take all those elements and add in an Oscar-nominated director (Lee Daniels of Precious fame) and a cast list that just doesn’t end, and you’ve got yourself an Academy Award hopeful. I actually think “hopeful” is too pessimistic a word to describe this film.
I can also put it this way. Lincoln provided the opportunity for Daniel Day-Lewis to embody one president. This movie involves several presidential performances, from the likes of Robin Williams (Eisenhower), Alan Rickman (Reagan) and James Marsden (Kennedy). And can we talk about how much Alan Rickman looks like Ronald Reagan in this trailer?
And the cast list doesn’t end with those names. At the end of the trailer, the big names just kept coming. Oh, you like Terrence Howard? Here you go. How about Jane Fonda? You’re in luck. Cuba Gooding, Jr.? Melissa Leo? Vanessa Redgrave? Check, check, check. Even Lenny Kravitz is in it. And Alex Pettyfer, for crying out loud!
Oh, and did I somehow forget to mention that Oprah Winfrey is in this movie? I mean, if the movie doesn’t get an Oscar nomination I’m sure she can have a phone call with God or something and get the Academy to fix their mistake. This movie can’t lose.
But putting my Oscar checklist aside, this movie does look pretty good. It promises the educational element of a true history with the drama and emotion of a simply great film. So even if the movie somehow doesn’t make it to the Oscars (and like I said, Oprah won’t let that happen), I’ll still go see it when it comes out October 18.