This week, the film world's eyes turn north to the Toronto International Film Festival, which I think used to be a much better fest back before it became the semi-official start of the Oscar race. But anyway, let's have a look at some of what we've got to look forward to in the last quarter of 2012.
Butter (opening October 5)
The Details: The high-stakes world of butter sculpture gets a bit of genial satire in this R-rated comedy. Laura (Jennifer Garner), the tightly wound and politically ambitious wife of a promiscuous butter-sculpting champion (Ty Burrell), finds her plans for domination in doubt due to a young orphan prodigy (Yara Shahidi) and her husband's stripper girlfriend (Olivia Wilde). Jim Field Smith directs Jason Micallef's script.
The Trailer: One of my sisters lives in Iowa, and I actually spent last week visiting family in Minneapolis, so it always tickles me to see movies that traffic in the old trope of the small-town upper Midwest being this exceedingly prim place full of repressed people. It's just not my picture of the area. Regardless, the trailer traffics in all the usual Iowa clichés, up to and including the stereotypical local accent. If this trailer is any indication, Rob Corddry, playing the orphan girl's adoptive father, has all the funniest lines.
The Buzz: This movie has sat on the shelf since last year's Toronto International Film Festival, and like dairy products, satire has a very specific sell-by date. The filmmakers have claimed that the story is inspired by the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, but in both political and pop-culture terms, that feels a million years ago.