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August 17, 2013 AT 2:05 PM
Set against the backdrop of the Civil Rights movement, Lee Daniels' The Butler, which has just opened, stars Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines, who escapes the cotton fields of the South to work as a White House butler during seven presidential administrations, from 1957 to 1986. The job allows Cecil to create a comfortable, middle-class life for his wife, Gloria, played by Oprah Winfrey, and their two sons, Louis and Charlie. But Cecil's commitment to the first family leads to tensions at home. Gloria turns to booze and the affections of a neighbor, while Louis defies his dad and becomes a radical activist, protesting for racial equality