Sunday, May 19, 2024

Exclusive: Secret Screening of “The Butler” Draws Oscar Talk


Exclusive: Are you getting ready for the Oscars? Lee Daniels is. The director of “Precious” screened “The Butler” two nights ago in New York for family and friends–this was the final cut he told them. Among those in the audience: cast members Forest Whitaker, who saw his film for the first time, singer-actor Lenny Kravitz, and Cuba Gooding Jr. I am told that the screening at Technicolor editing was a huge success. Whitaker was “thrilled.” Actually “he was crying,” said a source.

Audience members cited Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo (who plays their son), and Gooding. I was also told that Alan Rickman and Jane Fonda as Ronald and Nancy Reagan are “iconic” and make indelible impressions. “The Butler” is released on August 12th, same day as “The Help,” with an eye toward multiple Oscar nominations. From the descriptions I got, this won’t be an issue.

“The Butler” is one of two big big big movies from The Weinstein Company this summer and fall pitched for the Oscars– the other is “August: Osage County” starring Meryl Streep. They have others but these are the two biggies we can expect to see along with things like Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine,” Joel Coen’s “Inside Llewyn Davis,” Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska,” maybe Martin Scorsese’s “Wolf  of Wall Street” and so on.

Pictures from the screening, all COPYRIGHT C 2013



Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News