When Mel Gibson cracked open his id and let loose a free-verse ramble of hatred, like a misogynistic, racist, even-more-dick-obsessed Allen Ginsberg, many were quick to write off his acting career as over. But as with the people who believe Michael Vick is all better now because he still throws a good football, never underestimate the public thirst for a redemption story—nor a movie’s capability for exploiting that public thirst for a redemption story.
Thus we have The Beaver, the Jodie Foster-directed, Mel Gibson-redeeming film completed before Gibson added several new reasons to the list of why he needed redeeming. Foster’s movie now carries an even more palpable subtext, with Gibson playing a depressed, unstable man with a “broken brain” (described at one point, in Gibson’s own words, as “a dead end—he’s gone”) who manages to crawl his way back into the good graces of his family (and the public at large) by talking solely through a beaver puppet.
Which is just like how Gibson will regain his own life, maybe! Or, at least, that’s what this sentimental trailer seems to be implying, what with the wistful music and newly meaningful dialogue about Gibson’s character slowly getting better, one Australian-accented-beaver-dictated step at a time. Maybe the actual Gibson might want to borrow that beaver for the press junket.