6.7/10
44,732
159 user 282 critic

The Beaver (2011)

PG-13 | | Drama | 19 May 2011 (Germany)
Trailer
2:26 | Trailer

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

Director:

Jodie Foster

Writer:

Kyle Killen
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mel Gibson ... Walter Black
Cherry Jones ... Vice President
Jodie Foster ... Meredith Black
Anton Yelchin ... Porter Black
Riley Thomas Stewart ... Henry Black
Zachary Booth ... Jared
Jennifer Lawrence ... Norah
Jeff Corbett ... Volunteer Dad
Baylen Thomas ... Skeptical Man
Sam Breslin Wright ... Man
Kelly Coffield Park ... Norah's Mom
Michael Rivera ... Hector
Kris Arnold ... Waiter
Elizabeth Kaledin Elizabeth Kaledin ... Reporter
Matt Lauer ... Matt Lauer
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 May 2011 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Le complexe du castor See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$21,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$107,577, 8 May 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$970,816
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jodie Foster's first film as director shot in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. 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 »

Crazy Credits

A letter or two from each cast/crew member remains and forms part of the next credit. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #19.146 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Cocktail Lullaby
Written and Performed by Stephen Edwards
Courtesy of 5 Alarm Music
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User Reviews

 
A surprisingly excellent film
31 December 2011 | by macktan894See all my reviews

I just rented the DVD last night and must admit was not all that enthusiastic about the choice. Who wants to see a film about a guy who takes up with a toy beaver? But, amazingly, the more I got into the film, the more engrossed I became. Mel Gibson does a brilliant job as Walter Black, a darkly depressed middle aged man whose despair over his lack of feeling leads to lethargy and destroys everything in his life, predictably resulting in thoughts of suicide. No one really wants to die--death is forever. So it's a perverted attempt at self rescue when Walter finds a beaver puppet in a trashcan and converts it into an alter ego--with an Australian accent!-- that restores him to life.

Anyone who's suffered from depression knows what a debilitating, painful mental illness it is. Many turn to alcohol, drugs, gambling, shopping-- anything to relieve them of their agony. It is a slow dark march toward death. That Walter bonds with a puppet to drag him back from that march is initially absurd but also laudable. That he succeeds in convincing others that his remedy is acceptable is ludicrously uplifting...at first.

But the puppet is perhaps the mania edge of Walter's bipolar malady. And eventually he finds himself in conflict again, in descent.

What's remarkable about this film is Mel Gibson's performance. He committed 1000% to this role and played Walter Black as a man wrangling with mental illness and trying to deal with it as best he could. I found him totally believable and empathized with him completely.

The major subplot dealing with Walter's son who is more like his father than he's willing to consciously accept is perhaps a bit neat, a bit heavy handed, but it is interesting and does work. Kudos to the screenwriter for whom this script was a first time effort and first sale.

Mel Gibson has had some personal problems also played out spectacularly in the media. I suspect he's not far from Walter Black himself. As a black person, I should be upset at him. But I'm not. I don't believe he's a racist for some reason. I believe he was, he is, a man under pressure and an unhappy man rooting around for a joy in living that once came so easily for all of us. I've always been a Mel Gibson fan and will continue to be.


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