By Melissa Silverstein | Women and Hollywood May 6, 2011 at 3:45AM
It would have been so much easier if The Beaver stunk and then I could write again about how I can't stand Mel Gibson (and not just for what he did to his girlfriend) and how I don't understand how Jodie Foster could still continue to stand up for him. Mel Gibson should actually be sending Jodie flowers every day because her passionate defense of him (which I saw for myself earlier this week) and in turn his performance in her film could potentially be a starting point for his rehabilitation.
There are many people who won't pay to go and see Mel Gibson in a movie ever again for many different reasons. I totally respect that. I don't know if I would pay to see Mel Gibson in a film. But I would pay to see is a bold leap for a female director which is what Jodie Foster accomplishes in this film.
In case you don't know or have been living under a rock, Mel Gibson plays Walter Black a severely depressed toy executive who is ready to kill himself to be free from his pain. But before he can off himself he finds this beaver puppet and it gives him an outlet to come back to life and back to his family. But Walter is still very sick and the beaver is just a patch and things might get better for a while but Walter is still very sick and he suffers a psychotic break that leads to tragic consequences.
This is not a light movie and no matter what people say or what's in the trailer it is not a comedy. There are some lighter moments when the beaver is manic but this is by no means a comedy. It's a movie about a severely depressed man and how it effects his family. There is some karmic justice to watching Mel Gibson on screen as a man in deep pain. Jodie Foster is able to take a dark movie and not make it hard to watch which takes great skill. This could have been an incredible downer of a movie but surprisingly, it's not, even with the tough topic. All the performances are great. Anton Yelchin plays Jodie (she's Mel's wife a rollercoaster engineer) and Mel's son who keeps post-it notes about all the traits he has in common with his father that he will spend his life trying to free himself from. Jennifer Lawrence plays the perfect cheerleader who lives with a pain that she is afraid to let out.
But it is Mel's movie and he's good at depression. Just thinking about him makes me depressed. It all comes full circle.