Thrown out of his home by wife Meredith (Foster), Walter discovers a beaver hand puppet in a dumpster and, one failed suicide attempt later, his personality has been reset to speak permanently through his new furry friend. The voice is reminiscent of Ray Winstone (who worked with Gibson on Edge of Darkness), a confident cockney who's lucid, articulate and able to reconnect with Meredith and his youngest son Henry (Riley Thomas Stewart). However, his eldest Porter (Anton Yelchin) still pulls away from him. With beaver in hand, Walter turns around his failing company and becomes a minor celebrity after word spreads about his eccentric nature.
The Beaver's quirky premise only takes it so far, as writer Kyle Killen and Foster struggle to grasp hold of a consistent tone. The film's as schizophrenic as its lead character, presenting a soppy family melodrama and a tortured psychological portrait. Neither hit the target, and when the action veers off in a grisly direction towards the end, it's another abrupt turn in a 90 minutes full of them. There are laughs to be had at Gibson's puppeteering, but the flat direction and pointless sub-plots - chiefly Porter's romance with cheerleader Norah (a wasted Jennifer Lawrence) - make this a fairly uninvolving one-trick pony.
> The Beaver trailer
> Mel Gibson's The Beaver UK poster unveiled
> Cannes Film Festival complete coverage