Wednesday, September 25, 2013

1912 - The Beaver

I first heard about this project when the script was on The Blacklist, and at the same time knew it was going into production so I decided to avoid reading it.  I recall the production having it's ups and downs, and that there was some controversy over Gibson's personal life around the time of it's release - so it didn't move out as wide as it was initially intended to.
It's an interesting film, that's for sure.  My only real solid complaint is that we're never really given a picture of who Walter is before the story really kicks in - we're meeting him at absolute rock bottom, and I get that, but I think there were some beats missing that could have eased us into it somewhat.  He's depressed... about what?  I'm not sure we ever really get a sense of that, or who Walter really is outside of a stereotype.  That said, Gibson is in fine form here.  He's charming at The Beaver, and troubled as Walter - and he melds the two together pretty damn beautifully.
The world felt a bit over-the-top.  I have a hard time buying that their company would be getting as much exposure as they do, etc... but I'll let it go for the sake of story.
With the premise being that a toy company exec, on the verge of a mid-life crisis, enlists the aid of a puppet Beaver to speak on his behalf and help him get through his day-to-day.
Jodie Foster, and the script, decides not to make fun of this man - which would be easy to do with a simple casting change.  That's not to say it isn't funny, or amusing, it's all of those things - but I think that the tone of this film is tricky, and Jodie managed it pitch perfectly.  It's kind of a mid-life-coming-of-age-crisis kind of film, been there - done that - but never without it being it's own thing.  It's on Netflix if you're interested - if you're just not quite sure about this one - give it a 10 minute try... better yet 20...

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