The Beaver | Chicago Reader

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Rated PG-13 · 91 minutes · 2011

A suicidally depressed executive (Mel Gibson) reinvigorates his life with an alter-ego that takes the form of a beaver hand puppet. Jodie Foster, directing a screenplay by Kyle Killen, emphasizes the melancholy implications of this ridiculous premise, staging much of the story as somber drama. Aside from this tonal gambit she isn't especially ambitious; most of the observations about suburban malaise (down to the Ayn Rand-style, self-empowering "solutions") suggest American Beauty. Yet this is often quite affecting for its portrait of midlife crisis and Gibson's personal investment in the role: supplying the voice of the puppet, he uses his Australian accent for the first time in decades, and a climactic act of self-mutilation recalls the torturous violence so central to his own directorial efforts. With Foster, Jennifer Garner, and Anton Yelchin.
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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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