'The Butler' Trailer: Forest Whitaker Takes a Tour of the Twentieth Century

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The Weinstein Co.

From the opening frames of the trailer for 'The Butler,' it's as if you can hear everyone involved saying one word. That word? Oscar. Academy award-nominated director Lee Daniels leads Oscar winning actor Forest Whitaker in this tour of race relations in America as told through the perspective of a White House butler.

And Whitaker leads an all star ensemble that includes Oprah Winfrey, Robin Williams and Melissa Leo (as Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower), James Marsden and Minka Kelly (as John F. and Jackie Kennedy), John Cusack (as Richard Nixon), Alan Rickman and Jane Fonda (as Ronald and Nancy Reagan) David Oyelowo, Mariah Carey, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard,  Lenny Kravitz, Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Redgrave, and Liev Schreiber.

Between the cameos and the portentous music (and The Weinstein company producing it), the trailer practically shouts "Hey academy, check me out!" It will be interesting to see if the academy responds as Daniels's last film 'The Paperboy' is now viewed as either garbage or a camp classic.

Here's the film's synopsis:

THE BUTLER, based on the screenplay by Danny Strong & Lee Daniels, is inspired by Wil Haygood’s Washington Post article about an African-American man who served as a butler (Whitaker) to eight Presidents in the White House for over thirty years. From this unique vantage point, THE BUTLER traces the dramatic changes that swept American society, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected this man’s life and family."

And here's the film's trailer. 'The Butler' is scheduled to hit screen October 18.

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