All posts tagged: celebrities

Review of ‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler’

This week I wrote a review of Lee Daniels’ The Butler for Critics Associated. Read it here, or check out the the original. Inspired by the life of Eugene Allen, a butler who served the White House for 34 years until retiring in 1986, Lee Daniels and co-writer Danny Strong present a powerful story about the complexities of the civil rights movement in the United States. Lee Daniels’ The Butler features an abundance of famous actors including Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines, a strong-willed butler who is proud to serve his country, and Oprah Winfrey as Gloria Gaines, his persistent and loyal wife. A plethora of other well-known actors grace the screen including Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lenny Kravitz, Robin Williams, John Cusack, James Marsden, Liev Schreiber, Alan Rickman, and Jane Fonda. In three tumultuous decades Cecil serves eight Presidents and experiences the civil rights movement from both a political and social perspective. Gaines has two sons, both of which have completely distinct visions of racial equality and the ways in which to achieve it. Charlie, played by …

Cultural Observation: The Kardashians and Wealth

In an interview with Amazon this past week President Barack Obama discussed the American dream and how our entertainment culture has changed what success means to many. “I don’t think people went around saying to themselves: ‘I need to have a 10,000 square foot house’. We weren’t exposed to things we didn’t have in the same way kids these days are. There was not that window into the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Kids weren’t monitoring every day what Kim Kardashian was wearing, or where Kanye West was going on vacation, and thinking that somehow that was the mark of success.” The President’s comments have since become the subject of scrutiny, supplying Kris Jenner with new material to fill her daytime talk show (which isn’t doing too well). Although I’m generally entertained by the Kardashians (though find them extremely problematic), I think Kris completely missed the mark in her response to the President’s statements. President Obama’s comments weren’t meant to question the success of Kim & Kanye – whether they work hard or not is irrelevant. It’s that the …