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There’s a chance that this little film about butter carving just might be some sort of deeper allegory.
Doubling down on her buttoned-up-housewife-with-a-jerk-husband character from Juno, Jennifer Garner plays Laura Pickler, an Iowa woman who aspires to butter carving greatness. And it’s not just a niche passion: There is an entire arena at the State Fair dedicated to the sport.
Now, here’s where hints of a potential metaphor come into play: Pickler eyes what she sees as long-deserved glory, but suddenly, a young and wildly talented black upstart from a white family is in her way. Making it even harder is the emergence of a younger woman (Olivia Wilde) she sees as a heathen, who wants to help the black challenger with an upset victory.
If it sounds like the 2008 presidential election, that’s no mistake: The film, though originally targeted as a take on the Democratic primary race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, is now viewed through the lens of a Sarah Palin–Michele Bachmann character prism, thanks to Garner’s uptight and conservative shtick.
In fact, last year, Harvey Weinstein invited then-presidential candidate Bachmann to the Iowa debut of the film, and poked fun at the Tea Party during a prescreening speech at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The film was pushed back to this October to take advantage of this coming presidential election, which looks just as heated as the last.
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