Lee Daniels' The Butler delivered a solid opening at the box office over the weekend, with Oscar buzz flowing liberally around its lead Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey's supporting performance. Now, ET is exclusively with the son of Eugene Allen, the man whose experiences inspired the epic film, to get his take on Hollywood's interpretation of his father's charmed life.
"He very closely captures my father's essence and personality," says Charles Allen of Whitaker's performance. "He did a magnificent job."
Lee Daniels' The Butler charts the life and observations of a butler (named Cecil Gaines in the film) serving under eight American Presidents over the course of three decades. Oprah plays Gloria Gaines, the wife of the title character.
"Capturing that relationship with my parents, I mean, it was almost 100 percent spot on," says Allen. "I have a first cousin named Millicent who is like a sister, and they almost had to carry her from the theater, she got so emotionally overwrought watching the thing."
The film features an all-star cast that includes Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan, Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan, John Cusack as Richard Nixon, Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, James Marsden as JFK, Minka Kelly as Jackie Kennedy, Liev Shreiber as Lyndon Johnson, plus Lenny Kravitz, Alex Pettyfer, Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Mariah Carey.
As far as talk of Academy Award love for the film, Allen beams, "The Oscar buzz, as far as Forest and Oprah and other people in the cast, it's going to be hard to keep that little gold statue out of their hands. I believe with a certainty that they're going to get nominated."