5-Word 365 #275 – The Beaver

Flu update: day 3. Still sick, thanks for the outpouring of sympathy. In other news, I watched a film today.

The Beaver

It sounds like Ray Winstone

Walter Black, a toy company CEO, has been suffering from depression of more than two years. He’s on the verge of committing suicide when he is saved by a part of himself talking through an old beaver hand puppet he found in the trash. Walter returns home and pretends that the beaver has been prescribed by his psychiatrist, and with the beaver doing all his talking for him life starts to improve. Soon enough though, Walter’s wife suspects that the beaver is trying to take over. Is Walter strong enough to overcome both his illness and the beaver’s influence?

Hey Netflix, stop listing The Beaver in the comedy section. Despite the rather jaunty looking poster, this is not a funny movie. That’s no slight on the script, you understand; it’s not meant to be funny. This is a serious-minded drama about family, mental illness and identity.

After the underperforming Edge of Darkness, this was Mel Gibson’s second shot at a comeback after the fallout from the indiscretions of his private life. Directed by and co-starring his old friend Jodie Foster, this is the type of committed performance you expect from him. The film is full of strong performances, in fact, from Foster and Anton Yelchin as Walter’s wife Meredith and eldest son Porter, and Jennifer Lawrence as Norah, Porter’s love interest. Unfortunately, the supporting characters are all just a little under-written, since most of the focus is on Walter.

This is a well-made film that deserved to be more successful than it was, although the concept is a bit of a stretch at times.


  1. Mark Walker · October 2, 2012

    I quite liked this one Ryan. It came in for a lot of crappy reviews but I thought people were being a little harsh. Gibson was great as well.

    • Ryan McNeely · October 2, 2012

      Yeah, Gibson was as good as he’s ever been. I think the movie could have had a bit more about the older son though. He got plenty of screen time and some good scenes with Jennifer Lawrence, but there wasn’t much substance to his character besides “I hate my dad” and “I write papers for other people”.

  2. mistylayne · October 2, 2012

    Interesting. I had of course heard only the bad (and mostly that had to do with Gibson’s personal affairs). Maybe I’ll give it a go.

    • Ryan McNeely · October 2, 2012

      Yeah, you could do worse. Just don’t be expecting a laugh riot.
      Also, congratulations! You are the proud owner of the site’s 1000th comment. You win a fabulous new car!*

      (*subject to availability.)**

      (**No car available at this time.)

      • mistylayne · October 2, 2012

        Sweet!! And also sad-making that there’s no actual car. I’ll accept cash in lieu of the car. 😉

      • Ryan McNeely · October 3, 2012

        No problem! Will you take a cheque? Just don’t cash it before Friday 🙂

Go ahead, punk. Make my day.

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