Star-studded movie about butter premieres at TIFF

It's a movie centered around butter, and Julia Child has nothing to do with it.

At the Toronto International Film Festival this week, actress Jennifer Garner premiered her latest movie Butter, an offbeat story about the ambitious wife of a champion butter carver whose dairy repertoire includes renderings of Newt Gingrich, a T. Rex devouring a girl, The Last Supper and scenes from Schindler's List - all in full-fat form.

Upon learning that her 15-time champion husband has decided to withdraw from the contest to be a judge, Laura Pickler (Garner) enters herself into the Iowa State Fair and embarks on a ruthless, cold mission to trounce her rivals, including a little orphaned girl with an uncanny knack for butter carvery.

While it may be considered a peculiar, idiosyncratic pastime, inside the ‘subculture' that exists in middle America butter carving is a major annual attraction at the Iowa State Fair with sculptors who train for years to master the craft. The 2011 edition wrapped up last month.

After sculpting for 46 years, the late Norma "Duffy" Lyon passed the chisel to protege Sarah Pratt who apprenticed with the butter carving legend for 15 years.

While a real dairy cow weighs more than a thousand pounds (454 kg), a 600-lb (272 kg) butter cow - the iconic symbol of the state fair - would butter 19,200 slices of toast, and take an average person two lifetimes to consume.

Much of the butter is recycled and reused for up to 10 years.

Some of the real sculptures created at the Iowa State Fair over the years include butter statues of Elvis Presley, Tiger Woods, a re-enactment of The Last Supper, and Harry Potter.

The movie also stars Hugh Jackman and Olivia Wilde and is set to release in the US Oct. 21.

Watch Garner and her fellow co-stars talk about the film on Entertainment Tonight at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HgJN-pJ_6s.

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