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Caryn James

Oprah and Forest Whitaker in 'Lee Daniels' The Butler'

  • By Caryn James
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  • August 26, 2013 10:27 PM
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Lee Daniels' The Butler is some serious, probably effective Oscar bait. It is also -- these things so often go together -- audience-pandering History Lite. Forest Whitaker, as a butler who serves at the White House through eight Presidents, from Eisenhower to Reagan, gives a dazzling performance; he is by far the film's greatest strength. But even he can't make up for a movie calculated to spoon feed viewers a civil rights lesson that lets us feel good about the country's progress, without adding much substance or nuance to the conversation.

Watch The New Oscar Trailer: The Search For Billy Crystal

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 5, 2012 9:10 PM
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The Academy has released its first promo for the reconstituted Oscar show, a spot in which Josh Duhamel and Megan Fox, with some help from Robin Williams, trek halfway across the world to find once-and-future host Billly Crystal.

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