Monday, September 5, 2011

The Beaver - DVD Review

ll 1/2

Starring Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Anton Yelchin, Jennifer Lawrence and Cherry Jones. Directed by Jodie Foster.

This film looks at the effects of deep depression, and it does so in a way that you'd think it would be a comedy. It takes its subject matter more seriously than that.

Mel Gibson is Walter Black, the CEO of a toy company. (Oh, great. Another rich-people-with-problems movie.) But Walter is suicidal. One day he sees a discarded beaver puppet in the trash, and he picks it up and puts it on his hand. He starts talking to himself through it.

His estranged wife (Jodie Foster) and angry son (Anton Yelchin) don't know what to make of it. I really liked the family dynamic and the tension. I also liked the subplot where the son develops a relationship with the popular girl who's secretly hurting. She's played by Jennifer Lawrence, pre Winter's Bone/X-Men: First Class/Hunger Games fame.

What made my thumb go from up to sidways was the third act where Walter becomes a national sensation, turning his toy company around and landing on the cover of every magazine in America one week. Really? Really?

The four main performers are good. I just wish it hadn't gone there.

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