Opera House Cinema Series to Screen Lee Daniels’ ‘The Butler’

FREDONIA – Lee Daniels’ “The Butler,” starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, is the next featured film in the Fredonia Opera House Cinema Series. It will be screened on Saturday and Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Inspired by a true story, “The Butler” tells the story of a White House butler who served seven American presidents over three decades. The film traces the dramatic changes that swept American society during this time, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected this man’s life and family. Forest Whitaker stars as the butler with Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, James Marsden as John F. Kennedy, Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson, John Cusack as Richard Nixon and Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan. The film also stars Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lenny Kravitz and Mariah Carey.

A.O. Scott, in the New York Times, calls the film “a brilliantly truthful film on a subject that is usually shrouded in wishful thinking, myth-mongering and outright denial.” Claudia Puig, in USA Today, calls it “deeply affecting.” Steven Rea, in the Philadelphia Inquirer, calls it “an inspiring and important summation of the black struggle.” Tom Long, in the Detroit News, says the film “mixes big issues and big people and real human life with surprising grace.” Rated PG-13 for some violence and disturbing images, language, sexual material, thematic elements and smoking, “The Butler” runs 132 minutes.

The Opera House Cinema Series is sponsored by Lake Shore Savings Bank. Tickets are available at the door for $7 (adults), $6.50 (seniors & Opera House members) and $5 (students) the night of each screening. A book of 10 movie passes is available for $60 at the door or online at www.fredopera.org. For more information, call the Opera House Box Office at 679-1891. The series continues with “Rush,” the biopic on 1970s Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda, on Nov. 2 and Nov. 5; Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut “Don Jon” on Nov. 9 and Nov. 12; and James Gandolfini’s final film, “Enough Said,” on Nov. 23 and Nov. 26.

Chautauqua County’s only performing arts center presenting its own programming year-round, the 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit organization located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.fredopera.org.