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Who's who in 'Lee Daniels' The Butler'

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The sociopolitical drama brims with big names and new faces to watchBy Sheri QuirtMSN MoviesWith "Lee Daniels' The Butler," the titular director works on a much larger canvas than that of his intimate family drama, 2009's Oscar-nominated "Precious": The backdrop of his new film is our whole nation. Inspired by the story of Eugene Allen, who served as White House butler under eight U.S. presidents between 1952 and 1986, the film fictionalizes the man (rechristened Cecil Gaines) while depicting the historical context of dramatic social change, including the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War. With a script by Danny Strong, who won an Emmy for HBO's "Game Change," we're looking forward to some first-rate political theater.Daniels worked with a relatively small budget ($25 million) but corralled big names to fill both the historical roles and the fictional characters in his production. Take a closer look at who's who on his impressive roster.Bing: More on 'Lee Daniels' The Butler' | Watch the trailerHow do you feel about true stories that are embellished for the movies? Tell us at MSN Movies on Facebook and Twitter. "Lee Daniels' The Butler" is out in theaters Aug. 16.(The Weinstein Company)
© The Weinstein Company
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