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The Beaver (2011)

 -  Drama  -  19 May 2011 (Germany)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 32,584 users   Metascore: 60/100
Reviews: 144 user | 265 critic | 40 from Metacritic.com

A troubled husband and executive adopts a beaver hand-puppet as his sole means of communicating.

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Title: The Beaver (2011)

The Beaver (2011) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Vice President
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Volunteer Dad
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Skeptical Man
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Man
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Norah's Mom
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Hector
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Waiter
Elizabeth Kaledin ...
Reporter
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Storyline

Walter Black ('Mel Gibson') is depressed and sleeps most of the day. It's driving his family crazy, and his wife Meredith (Jodie Foster) kicks him out. Walter starts carrying a beaver puppet and tries to commit suicide (unsuccessfully). He uses the puppet to talk to himself, trying to bolster his spirits, and is trying to rebuild his life. Through the beaver, the family begins to learn about Walter's history and problems, and as he continues rebuilding, the beaver shows us all a way to cope. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He's here to save Walter's life.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, some disturbing content, sexuality and language including a drug reference | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Language:

Release Date:

19 May 2011 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Beaver  »

Box Office

Budget:

$21,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$107,577 (USA) (6 May 2011)

Gross:

$958,319 (USA) (24 June 2011)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jodie Foster approached originally Kristen Stewart for the role of Norah, remembering their experience at _Panic room (2002)_ as proof of Stewart's talent, but the actress was committed to the Twilight franchise. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Walter Black: This is a picture of Walter Black, a hopelessly depressed individual. Somewhere inside him is a man who fell in love. Who started a family. Who ran a successful company. That man has gone missing. No matter what he's tried, and he's tried everything, Walter can't seem to bring him back. It's as if he's died, but hasn't had the good sense to take his body with him. So mostly what he does is sleep.
See more »

Connections

Features The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Swim Until You Can't See Land
Written by Grant Hutchison (as Grant Hutchinson), Scott Hutchison (as Scott Hutchinson), David William Lawrence Kennedy (as David Kennedy), and Andy Monaghan
Performed by Frightened Rabbit
See more »

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User Reviews

Mel may be flawed in life but the movie is a keeper
6 May 2011 | by (Toronto, Ontario) – See all my reviews

I'd give this movie a full ten if not for confusion over the "weighted average" system in which IMDb supposedly disregards a lot of extreme highs or lows. And speaking of highs and lows, who better than a bi-polar actor to not only accept a stigmafied role of someone with a mental disorder but also to get past that and offer the meat and potatoes of entertainment as well? Full disclosure: I am on Team Mel when it comes to an ex girlfriend making headlines with her personal life with reckless disregard for the personal and professional toll; an overkill gesture followed-up ultimately by withdrawal of charges. . .

I won't get into debates over context and word choices in someone's private conversations or during a fit of rage. But others like to, and perhaps for that reason I was only one of about 21 people in the late showing of The Beaver opening night at the Varsity in Toronto, cinema 8. Apparently the VIP cinema there had a screening that started 20 minutes earlier, but I don't know how that or earlier screenings were attended. I'm hoping the movie does better. Even with a small crowd, the audience I was in responded with laughter where appropriate, and the atmosphere was often charged with anxious energy.

Jodie Foster is very dear in her own performance, and her directing choices don't falter. Mel gives glimpses of his goofy persona and one can speculate about which bits of whimsy might have been his contributions, but he also lets us dislike the character a bit or the condition he suffers and the film goes to some dark places. Nobody in the theatre dared laugh at the point that is most drastic and also anxiety inducing. In someone else' hands this film could easily be a TV Movie of the Week.

The woman who played the Sheriff in Signs is again Mel's confidant in The Beaver for the half of the story involving his business. Anton Yelchin (the new Scotty in Star Trek) is impressively grounded even as he suffers through some of his father's inherited symptoms and those typical of teens anyway.

If you are poisoned against Mel, I'm not going to say go see it but I'll go out on a limb and suggest that one of the opening sequences where he is at his lowest ebb might be especially entertaining for people who hate him and there is a certain gallows humour that might allow you to relax your guard. The daring premise and loving execution of the film from everyone involved is a nice mix and the film deserves a better fate than it is likely to get with gossips fanning the flame of scandal.

"Everyone loves a train wreck, especially one they're not in." - The Beaver

I know people are clogging the box office lines for Thor this weekend, and I haven't heard anything negative about that movie but I'm glad I saw The Beaver and that I can honestly say it is more than just weird; it is actually also out on a limb and inspiring without feeling like a cheat. That's my two cents anyway.


108 of 144 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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