Home Uncategorized 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 Showbiz411.com



Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is 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.

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