“The Beaver” is directed by Jodie Foster, who has directed a few films in her career of which I have not seen, but she has starred in multiple movies that I really like such as “Carnage” and “Inside Man.” She stars in this film as well, along with Academy Award Winner Mel Gibson (Braveheart), Anton Yelchin (Star Trek), and Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games).
Now the film’s plot, on paper, may sound rather silly. A man, Walter, is going through a deep stage of depresison after his wife kicks him out of the house. While driving around, he comes across a dumpster and finds a stuffed hand puppet that resembles a beaver. He then puts the beaver on his arm, and decides to never talk to anyone again, but through the beaver. This obviously causes concern from his co-workers and family, as he attempts to get back into their life, using the beaver.
First off, I want to make this clear: I think it is wrong to judge an actor because of his/her personal beliefs or situations. My example here is Mel Gibson. One of the main reasons this film wasn’t anticipated was because of Mel Gibson’s personal situation at the time. I will not get into it, because I believe when in a movie, an actor represents art, and that should not be judged; especially when he gives a performance like this one. I haven’t watched a lot of Mel Gibson films, but I have seen enough to know that he is a really good actor, and one of the few who can actually make me tear up because of his facial expressions. He certainly does that here, offering a heartfelt and realistic portrayal of a man in deep despair. Jodie Foster is strong as well, shining as the strong wife who is struggling to make things work within her family. But my personal favorite part of the film is the relationship between Anton Yechlin and Jennifer Lawrence. That storyline is so simple, yet the performances made me appreciate it so much more than I should have.
The writing in this film is also strong, and Jodie Foster’s direction is very good, and I cannot wait to check out some of her other films. In the end, I say “The Beaver” is a very well done achievement for Foster, and this is one of the most emotionally wrenching films I have seen in a while.
Run Time: 91 mins
Rated: PG-13 for mature thematic material, some disturbing content, sexuality, and language including a drug reference