Hot Sheet: The Happy, Sad Dog Days of Summer
BY Advocate.com Editors
August 16 2013 11:01 AM ET
1. FILM: Lee Daniels's The Butler
Lee Daniels, the gay director of Precious and The Paper Boy, has created what is sure to be his most commercially successful project to date: Lee Daniels's The Butler. This historical drama centers around the tale of Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker), who escapes his fate as a repressed worker on a cotton plantation to become a butler in the White House. Through his eyes, and from the perspectives of his wife (Oprah Winfrey) and his rebellious son (David Oyelowo), the viewer observes a succession of presidents as they grapple with the African-American civil rights movement. Inspired by a Washington Post article profiling the real-life Eugene Allen, who served as a White House butler through eight presidential administrations, the film is a breathtaking ride through 20th-century American history, and it sparkles with star power from a cast that reads like a who's who of Hollywood: Jane Fonda, Mariah Carey, Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Redgrave, Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., Robin Williams, John Cusack, James Marsden, Liev Schreiber, Alan Rickman, and more. However, Whitaker and Winfrey, in their quiet quest to raise a family in the nation's capital, steal the show, proving that even major revolutions can begin with the setting of the dinner table.