Lee Daniels' 'The Butler' Is The Quiet Success Story of the Year

Remember when we first heard about The Butler? Lee Daniels' big-budget drama - starring Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines, an African-American who served 34 years at the White House - was tipped for Oscars before a single scene was shot.

The ButlerForest Whitaker As 'The Butler'

And then the reviews started coming in. They weren't great. They weren't particularly scathing, but we weren't looking at 90% scores on Rotten Tomatoes, ala Argo.

"Lee Daniels' The Butler" might have been titled "Lee Daniels' Forrest Gump" - its hero challenged morally rather than mentally, but watching history in Gumpian fashion, as a series of cameos viewed through a slightly clueless daze," said John Anderson of the Washington Post.

"The Butler" is a nice idea for a movie, but has a mostly silly script and some of the craziest and most laughable casting imaginable," said Mike LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Not the reviews of an Oscar winner of Best Picture.

Oprah WinfreyOprah Winfrey - Was She One Of The Bizarre Casting That Mike LaSalle Wrote About?

Still, astonishingly, the movie enters its second week at the box-office with a chance of retaining its place at No.1. The Weinstein Company's movie took $24 million last week and could take around $18 million this weekend, according to Variety.

Comedy movie 'We're the Millers' is tracking ahead of new entries 'You're Next' and 'The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones' though The Butler is one to watch.

Last weekend, the movie earned 48% of its opening from Caucasians, with African-Americans contributing 39%. 

Watch The Butler trailer:


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