The Beaver ★

Reviewed by Cameron Williams

WALTER (Mel Gibson) is depressed. His wife Meredith (Jodie Foster) tries to connect with him, while his teenage son Porter (Anton Yelchin) wants nothing to do with him.

One day Walter discovers a beaver hand-puppet that becomes his sole way of communicating with the world.

“The Beaver” is a strange film that tries hard to be different but fails. The film is flawed by the concept, and director Jodie Foster tries to make this family drama as twisted as possible, but nothing works.

Gibson tries to put personality into the character of the beaver, but he’s just annoying. The beaver is meant to act as a voice for a deeply troubled man, but nothing it says contains anything useful or insightful. It’s not a case of Gibson’s personal life damaging the film, it’s just poorly written. The problem is the script, no actor could have pulled it off – not even the love-child of Meryl Streep and Marlon Brando.

“The Beaver” tries to be quirky but it’s a weak attempt at replicating the success of “American Beauty”, which handled the same issues better. The film fails to acknowledge the true nature of depression and the joy of rediscovering happiness.

Reviewer Cameron Williams has a movie website at
Regular film reviewer Dougal Macdonald is on leave

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