At the start of ‘The Butler’, we meet Cecil Gaines (aka Eugene Allen) working on the cotton fields with his mother and father as a young boy.
When he is old enough, he leaves in search of a better life and after a chance encounter starts working as a waiter.
Now portrayed by Forest Whitaker, Cecil progresses through the ranks of various establishments until he achieves the position of butler in the White House.
So far, so simple, but Gaines’s home life is troubled.
The butler, pleased to have a good job, remains politically neutral. As a result he clashes with his son Louis (David Oyelowo), who is strongly involved in the fight for civil rights.
His wife (Oprah Winfrey) is falling apart, struggling with her husband’s devotion to work and resulting absence from the home, as well as Louis’s stints in and out of prison.
It transpires that Louis is a Freedom Rider, and later a Black Panther, who becomes embroiled in many of the landmark civil rights events.
With a strong ensemble cast ‘The Butler’ is undoubtedly one of the big hits of the year with rumours circulating of a few Oscar nods. This is definitely not one to miss.