Magazine article Screen International


Magazine article Screen International


Article excerpt

Dir: Jim Field Smith. US. 2011. 91mins

Its press notes compare it to Best In Show and Election, but Butter, which had its world premiere at Toronto, is a very soft comedy of Americana in comparison. Funny and inane in equal measure, it is essentially a vehicle for the not inconsiderable comic talents of Jennifer Garner as a scheming right wing monster along Michelle Bachmann lines. For that timely parody alone it might have its 15 minutes in the box office sun in the domestic market.

Garner is clearly having fun in the role and she does a great job of embodying the at-all-costs ambition and brazen hypocrisy that characterises Bachmann, Palin et al.

Prospects in international territories where Bachmann is not yet a household concept are less rosy, but it's a sunny package with some nice names in smaller roles - Alicia Silverstone, Hugh Jackman - and will have a happy life down the line on TV and on-demand platforms.

The film opens as Garner's character Laura Pickler steps onto the stage in Iowa as a gubernatorial candidate, then cuts back a year to a butter-sculpture contest. For the last 15 years, Laura's husband Bob (Burrell) has won the state butter carving contest with his increasingly ambitious butter sculptures (The Last Supper etc) but, when he is pressured to retire and give other sculptors their shot at glory, Laura goes berserk and decides to enter herself in the race.

Meanwhile 10 year-old African American orphan Destiny (Shahidi) has discovered that she too is a gifted butter sculptor and she enters the contest against Laura, with the support of her foster parents (Corddry, Silverstone). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.