'The Beaver' stars Mel Gibson as Walter Black/The Beaver. The film is directed by Jodie Foster who also plays Meredith, Walter's long suffering wife.
Walter, a once successful toy executive and family man suffers from major depression. No matter what he tries...(pills, therapy, exercise, flagellating himself) Walter cannot shake the feeling that life is meaningless and all is hopeless. This dude is really in the dumps.
Walter's business, JerryCo is going downhill fast. He spends most of his time in bed and his teenage son, Porter (the wonderful Anton Yelchin) is terrified that he is becoming just like him. Porter jots down on Post-its all the ways that he and his dad are similar. As the list grows, Porter becomes more and more freaked out.
Things are not good in the Black home. Meredith is losing patience with her husband...Porter doesn't speak to his father and their seven year old son, Henry (Riley Thomas Stewart) wonders why daddy doesn't come out of his bedroom.
Walter is a suicide waiting to happen...But then, out of the blue, Walter finds a Beaver Puppet...in a dumpster of all places. Walter slips The Beaver onto his hand and...The Puppet starts to talk...And talk and talk. Well Walter is doing all the talking but he's speaking in this loud musical Cockney accent. And nothing will ever be the same for Walter because...
The Beaver is here and he is taking over.
Walter's life begins to change rapidly. The Beaver/Walter introduces a new toy line called 'The Beaver Mr. Woodchopper Kits'. Sales at JerryCo take off worldwide and profits reach new heights.
Even things at home get better. Meredith is excited to have the man she fell in love with back...Even if Walter does make love to her as...The Beaver.
Unfortunately, the only one not buying into the 'new Walter' is Porter. Lucky for him he meets a girl, Norah (Jennifer Lawrence) who he falls for...big time.
'The Beaver' is a beautiful dark film...It's a study in depression but it's not depressing. Despite the controversy that surrounds Mel Gibson, he is one hell of an actor. He gives a very complex, compelling performance as both The Beaver and Walter Black. This is not, at times. An easy film to watch, but it is one that will grab you and not let go...well after you left the theater.
As usual, the 'Two Jews On Film' disagree. I really enjoyed it...My husband...Not so much. 'The Beaver' opens in theaters, Friday, May 6, 2011