The Beaver

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A family man (Mel Gibson) suffering from depression finds a beaver hand puppet that gives him an outlet for relating to other people again. The man speaks through the puppet and begins turning his life and business around. But there are indications that he’s not cured, as witnessed by his son (Anton Yelchin) who’s afraid he might be having the same problems as his dad.

ClearPlay In Action!

ClearPlay has an interesting task with The Beaver. There are some scenes of implied sexual activity between a husband and wife that are trimmed, in addition to about 35 instances of harsh or crude language, mostly spoken by the beaver. More problematic for families are the topics of mental illness, suicide, and self–abuse. The beaver spokesperson is an interesting device, but small children might find it amusing or, worse, funny, and there’s nothing humorous about the course the puppet follows. Even ClearPlayed, The Beaver is best suited for mature teens and above.

In The Beaver, is there enough for me to sink my teeth into?…

Director Jodie Foster, who also co–stars, has given a sensitive treatment to a potentially farcical story. The Beaver is sobering, serious, and disconcerting, but never boring. Perhaps the toughest task for the viewer is forgetting Mel Gibson’s real–life personal problems and focusing on the compelling and moving “reel” tale.

Marty Nabhan— ClearPlay Puppetmaster

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, some disturbing content, sexuality and language including a drug reference; 91 min; Directed By Jodie Foster
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