Forest Whitaker suitably delivers the goods without fuss in this fictionalised portrait of a real White House butler, whose employment under seven US presidents allows director Lee Daniels to take a Forrest Gump-style snapshot of 20th-Century African-American history.
Taking in JFK, ’Nam, Watergate and Obama, the result is an unwieldy blend of the portentously political and bland domesticity, with Whitaker getting grief from boozy wife Oprah Winfrey and Black Panther son David Oyelowo whenever he heads home.
But Whitaker and the starry cameos keep you watching, the pick of the bunch being John Cusack’s sweat-stained Tricky Dicky and Alan Rickman’s Ronnie Reagan.
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