The Beaver

"Very Good"

The Beaver Review


While there are too many carefully constructed moments in this film, it's a remarkably effective mixture of dark drama and absurd comedy. This is surprising because the premise is more than a little ridiculous.

After a nervous breakdown, Walter (Gibson) is struggling to get back into his role as CEO of a toy company, husband to Meredith (Foster) and father to two boys, smart 17-year-old Porter (Yelchin) and curious young Henry (Stewart).

When Walter finds a beaver puppet, he has an epiphany, letting the beaver say what he's afraid to say. While this helps reinvigorate his business and adds a lively twist to his family life, it's not exactly a permanent solution.

Especially when the beaver starts taking over.

Making a movie about mental illness is tricky, and writer Killen bravely stirs in cinematic genres from broad slapstick to freak-out horror. So it's fascinating that the film not only holds our interest, but draws us into the situation. We're both sceptical and engaged, which means we have the same reaction as everyone does to Walter: bemusement, nervous apprehension, fear.

Gibson is superb in a difficult role, letting us see glimpses of the frightened-boy inside even as the beaver has another foul-mouthed rant in his odd Michael Caine accent. And his interaction with the always-excellent Foster and the wide-eyed Stewart is terrific. Meanwhile, Yelchin gets a major subplot as Porter agrees to write the valedictory speech for a popular girl (Lawrence), then finds himself embarking on an unexpected relationship even as he tries to eliminate all traces of his father's mannerisms in himself. Which of course he can't do.

As the film progresses, this father-son aspect emerges as the primary theme. As a director, Foster continually highlights their similarities through rather obvious direction and editing. But she also draws out a bleaker element through this family's suicidal history, and what that might mean to Walter, Porter and even possibly Henry. So by the end, the film has shifted from wacky comedy to lively romance to creepy thriller to heavy drama. And the ultimate message is simple and potent: all of us are crazy when we pretend that everything is fine.



The Beaver

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 91 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 19th May 2011

Box Office USA: $1.0M

Box Office Worldwide: $970.8 thousand

Budget: $21M

Distributed by: Summit Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 60%
Fresh: 104 Rotten: 68

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Keith Redmon,

Starring: as Meredith Black, as Walter Black, as Norah, as Porter Black

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.