I didn’t want to read a word about The Beaver before seeing it, and I’m glad I went in “cold.” It’s a purposefully odd little film about mental illness and a broken family, made with care and obvious passion by Jodie Foster from a screenplay by Kyle Killen. There entire cast is good, but the centerpiece is a potent performance by Mel Gibson.
Some people (myself included) were uncomfortable about Gibson’s screen return in 2010’s Edge of Darkness, following a series of misadventures and offensive outbursts. While he did a good job, this film offers something altogether different. Instead of having to forget the real Gibson and buy into the character he’s playing, The Beaver casts him as a depressed husband and father who goes a bit nuts and tries to redeem himself. What can one say to that? It seems like a perfect fit.
I know I shouldn’t allow my feelings about a performer in “real life” to affect my view of him or her on film, but that’s like a judge telling—
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