Roger Friedman, the Publicists' Pal and industry suckup, is saying that preview screenings were smasheroos:
[quote]The people I spoke to raved about Whitaker, Oprah, Fonda, everyone. These people are going to clog up the supporting actor categories, I was warned. Bookmark this column. Remember it in the fall. “The Butler” is about to serve us big time. Harvey Weinstein is going all the way with this one.
Please. The Tyler Perry fans may eat this up, but come on.
Alternate title: "There's a Depression On - Let's Do A Show, By God". Everyone in it watched Linoln and got jealous, hot to play dead presidents and First Ladies again. Well, except for Oprah. This is her Viola Davis gig.
DAMN! I should have done the Monique role in Precious!!
Gayle bring me the ax!!!
The Paperboy was a piece of trash...
Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan....
Such a great actor. Sad to see him ty[ecast as yet another wretched villain.
Oprah wants an Oscar. She'll slap you, wear a wig, and cry.
Is this a slapstick comedy?
[quote]Please. The Tyler Perry fans may eat this up, but come on.
Because they're such big Jane Fonda and Robin Williams fans???
Oh! You mean because a black guy directed. Then yes, it's exactly like a Tyler Perry movie. Idiot.
Forrest Whitaker is a credit to his race, to the Negro White House butlering industry, and to victims of ocular focal-local dysplasia EVERYWHERE.
I swear I could see the tape on some of the make-up jobs. Is Melissa Leo playing Mamie Eisenhower?
This looks like the ultimate 'Magic Negro' film.
Actually this could be quite good. Oprah is a good actress in my opinion. She should do it more often.
Jane Fonda would be perfect as Nancy-
Williams is also a good actor when he wants to be.
I guess it is the duty of DL to trash everything though. But I always hope for good flicks and the trailer to this one is promising (if trailers can be.)
The director of The Paper Boy deserves to be thrashed...
Actors just love this guy, and there's no real reason for it. Yes Monique won a an Oscar but that was more her talent than his. Stephen Dorff shot a hardon scene for him, though he ended up using a semi hard shot, Nicole Kidman literally spread her legs on camera for him. His directorial efforts, "Shadowboxer" and "The Paperboy" were barely released, "Precious" was headed to DVD before Tyler Perry got a hold of it.
[quote]Oprah wants an Oscar. She'll slap you, wear a wig, and cry.
Honey, it's being released by Harvey Weinstein. The only thing stopping her is he is also the producer of "August: Osage County". He's going to be awfully busy during award season.
I see no reason to doubt the movie just yet.
The commercial is a bit... cheesy but it's not a Spielburg movie so I'll give it a shot when I see more.
This movie might be what The Help tried to be.
Lee Daniels is generally an inept director who got lucky with PRECIOUS, primarily because it was a relatively straightforward story and the harshness of many scenes (and Mo'Nique's performance) was gripping.
SHADOWBOXER is terrible and THE PAPERBOY is a complete mess, particulary in the second half where it's practically incoherent. The narration by Macy Gray's character was added so that you'd at least have some idea of what was going on.
Daniels has cast people waaay against type in the past, and sometimes it works out: Mo'Nique is the best example, and he's used singers like Mariah Carey well given their limitations.
But John Cusack in THE PAPERBOY was borderline comical, and THE BUTLER looks like a lot of stunt casting that exists only to get people talking.
As for Weinstein, he will only get behind projects he thinks have a real chance for the Oscars. If THE BUTLER gets trashed critically and doesn't do well at the boxoffice, he won't give 2 minutes of his precious Oscar campaiging time to it.
I loved The Help. Besides this same subject has been done before in the 70s miniseries Backstairs at the White House with the great Lesley Uggams and Oliva Cole...
I love the cast, but honestly, that is not a great trailer. The Weinsteins will abandon it once Osage County starts getting all the Oscar buzz.
Time to bring back "The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer"!
[quote]I loved The Help...
The Help was crap. "white people solve racism" , steal the maid's story, leave her behind, and get rich. Good for them.
This movie, on the other hand, looks like it might actually allow the black person to reap the benefits of his own work and get the credit for it.
So it will probably fail.
Not to mention all the neo-fascists are lining up to protest Jane Fonda as their precious queen Reagan. I wonder if they even noticed that their King is being played by a socialist Brit. No, probably not. That would require some independent research.
It does seem like a joke being played by Holllywood though. Fonda and Rickman as King and Queen Reagan. Fucking hilarious.
I wonder if it will include the anecdote told by a former Secret Service agent about Gerald Ford's constant habit of farting loudly then accusing anyone near him of doing it. True story.
It's odd to me that IMDB doesn't list actors/actresses for some Presidents/First Ladies:
Does the movie jump from Nixon to Reagan?
Listen I thought The Paperboy was terrible and this looks ridiculous but we should be thankful that there's a director out there who's willing to make camp still - everything else coming out of Hollywood is so deathly dull and self-serious.
There is good camp and bad camp. Without a doubt The Paper Boy was bad camp...
R33 I am curious about that because I wonder if he is making it terrible on purpose.
Oprah is a strong contender for Best Supporting Actress next year. This same shit was said about Precious and Monique about this time a few years back, but we know how that story ended.
I'd rather watch this than Osage County, which I am already predicting will be a steaming pile of shit based on that cast.
I liked this the first time they did this and it was called "Backstage at the White House," and we got to see Victor Buono and Julie Harris as the Tafts.
Sorry, I meant "BackSTAIRS at the White House."
Oh, Lord Jesus!
[quote]Oprah is a strong contender for Best Supporting Actress next year.
How do you know Oprah wants to be in the Supporting category? She's the butler's wife and through out the picture. I'm sure the decision will be Harvey's.
I just noticed an ingrown hair on my balls. I thought it was a zit.
"The Paperboy was a piece of trash..."
So was "Precious". Didn't Monique have a scene where she tells that gargantuan retarded daughter to come over and take care of her (sexually)? Daniels needs to retire.
Well hucka the bejeepers!
"Didn't Monique have a scene where she tells that gargantuan retarded daughter to come over and take care of her (sexually)?"
That's contained in the original novel called PUSH, and it was more explicit. For once Daniels showed a little restraint.
If this movie tanks, no amount of money will buy Oprah an Oscar nomination. Nicole Kidman could not get nominated for The Paperboy.
I'd love to see a mash-up of clips from this movie and DJANGO UNCHAINED, especially of Whitaker vs. Jackson in the two servant roles.
[quote]Nicole Kidman could not get nominated for The Paperboy.
Rightfully so, as well as it being a trainwreck she was greatly overshadowed by John Cusack who is one of the only reasons I'd be interested in this.
Oprah looks shit in this, hopefully she's better in the film proper. The difference with this is it's a Cuntstein film - was the Paperboy?
It's disgusting how it's all about the studio and campaign now and the best and smaller stuff like Ann Dowd in Compliance are ignored.
Everyone wants to do a Mo'Nique (hence ever hungry Kidman getting in on the action) but they don't understand that was a one off.
Harvey also has Nicole in Grace of Monaco to uphill push for Oscar - between this piece of shit and that one, he is going to be in menopause hell come Christmas.
Another movie by a gay director that uses no out actors.
How the HELL did Daniels get a Director nod? I loved Precious but other than Mo'Nique and Gabby it was a mess, like it was cut with a pair of scissors.
I don't want to bring up "ethnic quota" but Spike Lee he ain't. The Paperboy was unbelievably bad.
Unless Oprah is much better in the film itself than in the clips, she won't be nommed for anything.
The cast is so insane that I have to assume it's entirely on purpose, though Fonda as Nancy and Leo as Mamie both look like they could be really good at their parts. And if they're good while Cusack and Williams and others are playing for the camp factor, it's going to hurt the whole movie.
I was disappointed that The Paperboy lost the camp factor right around the time of the big BDSM reveal, and ended as an incoherent, unwatchable mess. I suspect The Butler is going to do the same, probably without the BDSM.
hmm. I think it looks good.
Nicole K was supposed to be in this movie. Wonder what happened...
It does have that heavy handed "dialogue as clunky exposition" feel of a Tyler Perry movie.
I actually think Roger Friedman has a good track record in his film reviews. Last year, I remembered him raving about Silver Linings Playbook and JLaw way before everybody else.
Friedman shilled for Gatsby and now it's getting really bad reviews. Everyone in this cast is old and fading career-wise. That is Nicole's problem ... Her career is not coming back.
[quote]Nicole K was supposed to be in this movie.
As who? Lady Bird?
No, R58, surely Nicole "Frozen Forehead" Kidman was supposed to play "Plastic Pat" Nixon.
I was hoping this would be good, but the trailer looks terrible.
The celebrity cameos are way too distracting, the dialogue is cheesy and I have a feeling that it will gloss over some complicated race relation issues.
But I hope I'm wrong.
Oprah does seem to be doing a good performance in it, though.
Whitaker will be good obviously. There was a publicity photo that came out last year of Oprah with Terence Howard in a Mo'Nique-like pose, so maybe there's more to come.
I think the casting is good: James Marsden as JFK and who can resist Queen Jane, her as Nancy is perfect.
When Hanoi Jane apologizes for her treacherous and treasonous acts during the Vietnam War, then I'll give shit about this film. But probably not.
I wish the trailer included Barbra Streisand as Golda Mier.
While we are on the subject, the cast of "Backstairs at the White House" was uniformly excellent with several familiar actors giving convincing performances of presidential couples. Harry Morgan and Estelle Parsons were perfectly cast as Harry and Bess Truman. Ed Flanders and Lee Grant were surprisingly good as the Coolidges, whose happiness was shattered by the death of their younger son. Academy-award-winning actress Celeste Holm was macabrely amusing as the determined but hapless Florence Harding.
All it's missing is Markie Post as Hillary Clinton and Chris Isaak as Bill.
The Paperboy was too bad to be camp.
Whoopi would have been good in this.
Poor thing always gets left out of movies these days.
I think it looks tremendous!
Oprah slaps a bitch franchise.
[quote]Whoopi would have been good in this.
As who? Pat Nixon?
[quote]When Hanoi Jane apologizes for her treacherous and treasonous acts during the Vietnam War, then I'll give shit about this film.
She did years and years ago. have you been living under a rock?
I'm sure their hearts were in the right place and these big stars agreed to work for scale, but... when John Cusack gets asked to play Richard Nixon, doesn't it go through his head at least once that, "Hey, I'm a bad choice for this role! I don't bear a passing resemblance to this person!"
I was most curious to see Jane's impression of Nancy but they gave her no lines in the trailer. It's the most inspired and twisted of this random casting. Robin Williams is an immediate red flag, along with John Cusack.
I liked the Paperboy.
well.... liked is a bit over the top. I found it entertaining as an ITune download on a Wednesday night viewing. Didn't know Zac had any edge in him; and, Macy was her usual slurring, sloppy sensual, with her big ass self.
The movie had its moments.
Oprah isn't an actress. That much remains clear in the trailer.
I agree ... She was a talk show host! It's like putting Kathie Lee Gifford in Amour.
I think it looks interesting and can't wait to see it.
The actors who played presidents and First Ladies in "Backstairs at the White House" were no great shakes, but we enjoyed that mini-series anyway. I still have the DVD set.
"I'll Kiiilll him dead fo' I let him beat me!
Yes the casting is very bizarre. But I'll wait to see. Who knows?
Release date moved up! Did Harvey see the cut and is now getting it out of Serious and Important season?
Robin Williams as Eisnhower?! Is this a remake of the Three Stooges?
August means that they are hoping it means money, but are not expecting any kinds of major-year end critics awards to help push it into Oscar contention. It may be worse that the trailer even suggests.
Sorry, they are hoping it makes money
The academy HATES Oprah - they would never reward her. Don't forget "Beloved" was touted for months for its supposed Oscar prowess - and Jonathan Demme is a much better director than Lee Daniels.
I think this is going to be a massive flop - they might be able to rope enough school groups and black churches into group sales, but once word of mouth hits the fan - I predict Oprah goes on a very LONG vacation and we don't see much of her again 'til he holiday special on OWN.
While she's away she'll once again hit the mac and cheese due to the humiliation of not being recognized by the movie-going public and the Academy. Don't worry, she'll tell us all about the saga in excruciating detail in a few years - Oprah's good with sharing like that!
Wise and true, r99.
I don't love to see Oprah keep failing, but it is pretty hard to feel sorry for her.
Truth is a slippery word. She used it too often.
She has terrible taste and instincts now, and her integrity is gone. Her ego is massive and she trips over it.
Didn't the Academy already give Oprah an honorary Oscar? She may score a supporting nomination, but that did not work out for Nicole Kidman. My guess is that this is being moved to August because it's BAD.
The Forrest Gump of racism!
Is August: Osage County being released in August? May as well go with the title and try to make more.
Sometimes earlier films get through for Oscar of course, August isn't THAT late compared to some. But it's usually after Toronto, yes. And recently there hasn't been many early releases that got through sadly.
August: Osage County is slated for a November release, which is similar to the release pattern for Silver Linings Playbook.
August looks like a giant pile of shit. I would love if the film came out and completely bombed. Pretentious and horribly acted. Butler at least looks like it will be fun.
I am not judging August on the trailer. The Butler, however ...
You can most certainly judge August on that shitty trailer.
Oprah's Honorary Oscar was bought and paid for to promote her cable channel and stroke her ego, R101. She has made no significant contribution to cinema and the Humanitarian Award is normally given to well known "film people." It's not supposed to be like a Nobel that can be given to people from any walk of life.
Unfortunately, you cannon buy an acting Oscar straight out, try as Harvey might to influence the voting. Oprah will NEVER get an acting Oscar for the same reason Spielberg gets snubbed - they're too rich and successful and people don't like them.
People want to see Jennifer Lawrence win an acting award or some dowdy British journey woman who's been toiling away for years in BBC bit parts - not Oprah the Billionaire.
The Iron Bitch trailer looked like an AWFUL film but Meryl looked really good, so you could judge that.
August is too ensembley to tell. But who cares if it's good performances in a shit film (unless they're one of those rare tour de forces). Rachel Getting Married with Queen Anne springs to mind.
[quote]Release date moved up! Did Harvey see the cut and is now getting it out of Serious and Important season?
Did you not read the article YOU linked? Harvey is releasing it on the same date as "Julie & Julia" and "The Help" were released and went on to Academy attention.
[quote]The academy HATES Oprah - they would never reward her.
You're a bit of an idiot, aren't you? R101 is correct, in 2011 The Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts & Science awarded Oprah Winfrey The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in the form of an Oscar statue. If that's HATE, can you imagined if they only liked her a little?
Bought and paid for, R110. You don't really think the Academy said, "Gee, who in the movie industry has a lifetime of great humanitarian works that we should give an award to?" and came up with Oprah, do you?
You're a naive fanboy. Don't cry when the nominations come out 'cause your girl ain't gonna be on the list!
August looks like 100 movies I have seen before. Judging by the directors track record ( with Precious being a fluke) I have no reason to think Butler will be good...
I think it is delicious karma that Cusack in now crawling for parts from a black director-twice in a row!!! Oh the irony is too much!! If you guys knew what I know about this phony liberal...
Just like the Paperboy,the rest of the cast will be brought down weight of bad karma. They might as well be working for free, because that is what Cusack believes-that HE should be paid for the hard works of others. God don't like ugly,folks....
I had read things about Cusack being nasty, r113. Interesting. His fug of a sister obviously has no manners after what she said to Gabby Sidibe.
John Cusack seemed remarkably calm after some interviewer made a major gaffe at some junket, forget what it was.
R110, Oprah probably has friends on the Academy board, and her deep ties to ABC (which broadcasts the Oscars) helped her get her honorary award. That doesn't necessarily mean that she's well-liked within the actor's branch, whose members will determine whether she's nominated.
I don't see the rank-and-file members voting for Oprah unless her performance is undeniable. People not known primarily for acting rarely get nominated, and when they do (singer Jennifer Hudson, comedian Mo'Nique), it's usually for a performance so completely in line with Academy tastes that they can ignore the person's lack of a reputation as a serious actor.
I don't think they hate her, but I seriously doubt the actors in the Academy will go for Oprah if they can choose someone who isn't seen as an acting dilettante.
The same year Oprah got an Oscar so did James Earl Jones. For the life of me I can't think of a reason he did...