The Beaver [Blu-Ray] Jodie Foster

The Beaver [Blu-Ray] Jodie Foster
Having been pushed back on the release schedule multiple times and essentially dumped into theatres with little promotion, The Beaver has fallen victim to the vicious circle of liberal media and the endless parroting of an easily influenced, assimilative public that fancies itself discerning just because it regurgitates whatever insipid trend is most popular on Twitter. It's frustrating that some arbitrary story about Mel Gibson's disturbing, but unrelated, shenanigans have loomed over the release and existence of a genuinely touching film about the many masks we wear to appease people and society. There's some irony in the depiction of Walter Black (Gibson), a suicidal man that reforms his personality into something more affable for a B.S. status quo by speaking through a beaver hand puppet. His struggle is one that many suffer – albeit with less exaggeration – such as wife Meredith (Jodie Foster), who lives through her work, and son Porter (Anton Yelchin), who spends his time getting into the heads of his peers in order to write their term papers or, in the case of the despondent Norah (Jennifer Lawrence), their valedictorian's speech. All of these people vacillate between their desires and social expectations, making ironic the fact that the actors are portraying characters that indirectly share a similar, implicit crisis of identity. Similarly, the fact that Gibson is acting in a manner that would normally earn him accolades speaks to the collective desire to force a moral ideal onto our public figures that limits them and threatens their performed identity should they step outside of an antiquated box. There is a lesson for us to learn from The Beaver beyond the thoughtful thematic texture about our tendencies to hop on bandwagons and march with pitchforks without asking ourselves why. Jodie Foster's third feature film is a smart and deeply touching work of sincerity; it's just unfortunate that the greatest part of it is the tender love story between Porter and Norah, which is given less screen time than Walter's obvious central struggle. Included with the Blu-Ray is an extremely detailed and astute commentary track from Foster, along with a "Making of" that elaborates on the ambiguity of a script that could have been comedic with a different director. (eOne)