Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Beaver (2011)

It’s all about the Mel

Seriously Mel Gibson gives one of the best performances of the last decade as --- Black, a man deep in depression, and who may have found solace in a beaver puppet.

A darkly …darkly? That’s not right. Strike that. Make that black but hopeful film about the pain of life and finding a way to endure. It’s as unlikely a Hollywood release as you are likely to find. I am still in shock with the thought that anyone thought this had a chance at the box office where the darkest thing people want to see is the latest Harry Potter film (don’t get me wrong I like the film, but if they wanted to impress me Rowling should have killed off one of the central trio).

The plot as I said has to do with a deeply depressed man who starts to find a way out of the depression with a beaver puppet, however all does not run smoothly and Mel sinks deeper and deeper into madness. It’s not a pretty picture.

Think Gena Rowlands in Woman Under the Influence or some of the other great mad performances and go darker. Gibson goes to hell and then begins to climb out…It’s an amazing performance and in any other year, or if Gibson had any luck at all his performance would be the one to beat for this years Oscar. As I said, it’s easily one of the best performances of the last decade, maybe longer…and if you twist my arm I could say ever.

Sure Gibson’s role seems to have been ripped from the headlines, but it doesn’t matter its raw and real and painful…almost so painful that it’s unwatchable. Here is a man dismantling across the screen and leaving psychic wreckage everywhere.

Give much of the credit to screenwriter Kyle Killen and costar and director Jodie Foster for creating a masterpiece of a film. Sure it’s jagged and uneven, but its infinitely more real than anything Hollywood and most off Hollywood independent films have given us in the last few years.

I have no idea if I like this film. I have no idea if I want to see it again, this is a painful film at times, but at the same time there is no denying that this is one of the best films of the year. Give it points for what it is doing, bt give it several dozen more for being unique and refusing to bend to Hollywood convention.

A must see for anyone who can take the darkness.

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