Friday, October 7, 2011

The Beaver

Jodie Foster, 2011 (8.2*)
I liked this bizarre psychological study, that starts out funny but soon turns serious. Mel Gibson is at his best here, if you can get over his personal issues, and there is some gallows humor in the beginning for those who hate him, they will be smiling. He is also allowed to use his real Aussie accent, or maybe what he thought Americans would like to hear as a smart-ass Aussie, in this case speaking as a character called simply The Beaver.

He plays a chronic depressive, married to an exasperated Jodie Foster. Somewhere along the way he manages to get a beaver toy on his hand and it starts talking back to him but in Mel's Aussie voice, rather than his character Walter's real American accent - and he actually makes sense, so this intelligence is within Walter somewhere. Jodie even asks "and what's with the accent?", which alone was pretty funny. The two worked well onscreen together, likely due to both her professionalism and her direction here.

This story is hard to describe without giving too much away, but there is a sidebar story with Walt's unhappy and distant son (Anton Yelchin), who's becoming friends with local high school beauty and class valedictorean Norah, played by Jennifer Lawrence, who was Oscar®-nominated for lead actress in last year's crime mystery Winter's Bone (2010). They become friends in an unexpected way that I won't reveal, only that this part of the film was perhaps a little disjointed from the rest of the story, it seemed to have very little to do with Walter and the Beaver, while the rest of the film revolved around little else.

Still, this film didn't make me angry at times like Forrest Gump did, which I felt was taking advantage of someone's mental state. The difference is that in this film Walter is the CEO of a toy company with a sharp business mind, who seems down for little reason, or at least reasons we aren't privy to know - it's something from his past and his parents that we can only guess at. Foster's delicate direction (this is her best at the helm) kept this from going overboard in any direction.

Even if you're a Mel hater, you may be surprised by his acting here, it's far better than all the revenge films, where he's out for vengance on some criminal that kidnapped his kid or wife or killed one or more - that seems to have been at least half his storylines from Mad Max to Braveheart to Payback to Ransom to Edge of Darkness, maybe even The Patriot. At least this is a psycho CEO with a beaver puppet on his hand doing all his intelligent talking. Were this a little funnier, it would be a cult classic like Heathers (1989) or Repo Man (1984).


About Me

My photo
Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist

About This Blog

This is our new template: ProBlogger.

These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

Author at EZines

  © Blogger templates ProBlogger Template by 2008

Back to TOP