Harvey Weinstein Turns Toronto ‘Butter’ Premiere into a Political Statement


Jennifer Garner in Butter
Photo: The Weinstein Co.

Yesterday morning the press screening of Butter was cancelled and moved to today and after some mixed reactions it would seem the reason was Harvey Weinstein wanted to buck the news cycle and make sure word surrounding the film had nothing to do with reviews.

The film follows a young orphan who, after being adopted by a Midwestern family, discovers she has an uncanny talent for butter-carving. Scripted by Jason Micallef, the films was apparently developed as a metaphor for 2008’s Hilary versus Obama Iowa caucus showdown and now Weinstein is using the current political climate to create buzz for the film that still doesn’t have an official release date.

Last night the film had its Toronto International Film Festival premiere and Harvey Weinstein released a statement, which was read by one of the film’s co-stars, Olivia Wilde. Here’s the statement:

“Thank you everyone for coming out tonight. I want to start by thanking Jason Micallef who wrote the great script to Butter, I want to thank Jim Field Smith who did a wonderful job of directing, and I want to thank Mike DeLuca, Jennifer Garner, Alissa Phillips and Juliana Janes for producing a movie I’m so proud of. I must thank my own spectacular team, especially Kelly Carmichael and Matt Garner. But I also want to thank Jason Reitman. Jason was an inspiration and guiding light for this film. I love his movies and I love his dad’s movies. Jason is a great cinema lover and one of the smartest people I’ve met in this industry.

In 20 years of coming to the Toronto Film Festival, I’ve never released a statement for a film. But I would like to take this moment to formally invite Republican Congresswoman from Minnesota and Republican presidential candidate, Michele Bachmann, to co-host with me the big premiere of Butter in Iowa in a few months from now. I know Michele will already be in Iowa for the caucus, so we can save some money on airfare and travel. I would of course be more than happy to fly in the other leading members of the Tea Party movement to make an entire day of it. We could take some math classes in the morning to help balance the budget, brush up on the Constitution in the afternoon, play some ping-pong and then maybe some verbal ping-pong on gay rights and women’s rights (especially the right to choose). But at night we can all go hand-in-hand to the premiere of Butter, a fun and important film where we’ll share some popcorn and laughs. These are the kind of bipartisan effort that makes America great.

I look forward to hearing from Michele and I’m particularly looking forward to those classes on the Constitution.”

So no matter the reviews, Weinstein has taken the opportunity to determine just what exactly people will be talking about when it comes to this movie over the next 24 hours. Unfortunately I won’t be able to see the film now that the screening time has been moved as I’ll be seeing The Deep Blue Sea in that time slot.

Butter is directed by Jim Field Smith and stars Jennifer Garner, Kate Hudson, Rob Corddry, Ashley Greene, Ty Burrell, Alicia Silverstone, Hugh Jackman and Olivia Wilde.

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