The first trailer for Jodie Foster’s “The Beaver” comes out


Finally, Jodie Foster does a whole movie about beaver. Oh, sorry, what? I misunderstood. It’s about the animal kind of beaver. No, wait, really? It’s about the stuffed-animal kind of beaver. OK, seriously, huh? It’s about a man who talks through a beaver puppet as a way to cope with his depression. And that man is Mel Gibson. Right, so that changes things.

The first trailer for The Beaver, Foster’s third directorial feature (after Little Man Tate and Home for the Holidays), has arrived. The result is equal parts weird and wannabe heartwarming.

Given Gibson’s recent ugly run-ins with the law and accusations of domestic violence, I would say this film is the very definition of a tough sell. Foster has steadfastly stood by Gibson’s side through his legal and personal problems. And in the marketing campaign they seem to be in full-blown redemption mode. As in, look at this sad sack with his hand up a puppet – don’t you feel sorry for him?

Well, that is the $64,000 question. Will people forgive Gibson for his past anti-Semitic, sexist, racist, homophobic comments? Will they be charmed by his blue eyes and hangdog wrinkles? Will they be charmed by Jodie Foster’s even bluer eyes?

For a movie with such a cockamamie premise, it is certainly deeply earnest in its the trailer. This is a serious movie about a man who talks through a puppet, so stop snickering people.

Like definitely don’t chuckle when out actress Cherry Jones pops up and says with surprise, “A beaver?”

And try not to be so immature as to guffaw when Foster, who pseudo-outed herself by thanking her then-partner Cydney in a 2007 acceptance speech and then split with her to see another woman in 2008, turns down beaver.

These are clearly not things to be joked about. Well, at least not in this movie. Very troubling personal issues of Mr. Gibson aside (and that’s an enormous aside), this is the kind of movie trailer that always drives me nuts. Essentially, it has given away the entire story in under 3 minutes.

Walter is depressed. Walter loses his family. Walter finds a beaver puppet. Walter uses the beaver puppet to get better. Walter develops a hit beaver toy that revives his business. Walter wins back his family. Everyone on the roller coaster, wheeee!

So what do you think? Can this movie redeem Mel Gibson? Will you see it or not see it because of Gibson? Will you see it or not see it because of Foster? Also, why does the beaver have a vaguely British accent? So many questions. Discuss.

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