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THE BUTLER

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Posted: Friday, August 16, 2013 5:00 am | Updated: 5:02 pm, Thu Sep 5, 2013.

At times overblown and unwieldy, an occupational hazard for a picture that covers 80 years of the civil rights movement in America, this film is still a major accomplishment. We see everything through the eyes of Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker), a man who rises from the worst of beginnings in the cotton fields of Georgia to a tenure as White House butler that extends from Eisenhower through Reagan and sees him into retirement through Obama’s election. Whitaker does fine work, though he does play old a little too hard at the end. A fine cast includes Oprah Winfrey as his wife and a lot of star cameos as the presidents. Director Lee Daniels does heroic work in wrangling it all together. Rated PG-13. 132 minutes. Regal Stadium 14, Santa Fe; DreamCatcher, Española.

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