The Beaver

Rated PG-13 91 minutes 2011

Walter Black has been a faulty husband and father, and so his self-prescribed penance is to go around with a pathetic little beaver puppet on his hand, communicating through the “voice” of the puppet. It’s kind of a sack-cloth-and-ashes ordeal for us, too. Mel Gibson (as depressed, suicidal Walter) and Jodie Foster (as his long-suffering wife) are nobody’s idea of a couple of social-problem solvers, so this dreary drama is doomed from the start. There’s a decent coming-of-age story there with Walter’s older son (Anton Yelchin), but Gibson gets in the way. It’s his movie. Like Jerry Lewis or Charlie Sheen, the figure of Gibson is immediately suspect and polarizing — ultimately too much of a distraction from this fragile TV-style family story by writer Kyle Killen (Lone Star). Jennifer Lawrence costars. Directed by Foster. (91 min.)

Film Credits

Official Site: www.thebeaver-movie.com

Director: Jodie Foster

Producer: Steve Golin, Keith Redmon, Ann Ruark, Jeff Skoll, Mohammed Al Mazrouel, Paul Green and Jonathan King

Cast: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Anton Yelchin, Jennifer Lawrence, Riley Stewart, Cherry Jones and Kelly Coffield Park

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The Beaver

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