Forest Whitaker has been nominated once for Best Actor and won. If he is nominated for The Butler it will only be the second nomination in his career. He was not nominated, shockingly, for Bird. When Last King of Scotland came around, Whitaker’s work could not be ignored.
Now, he plays the titular character in Lee Daniels’ The Butler. A man caught between worlds as the world around him changes — a hard worker who must face down tradition just to get a raise. It’s a masterful, brilliant, heartbreaking performance. The only possible drawback is that Whitaker has won already and thus, there might not be the same urgency nominating him. The Butler itself has much going for it in terms of Screen Actors Guild support, to say nothing of Oprah support. I count him in until I see something significant that changes.