Consider for a moment just how unbelievably strange everything about “The Beaver” is. Its lead character can only communicate through a furry puppet he finds in a Dumpster. When the puppet speaks for him, it does so with a bad Cockney accent.
But perhaps the most head-scratching thing about “The Beaver,” opening Friday, is the Oscar-winning talent behind it. Mel Gibson stars alongside Jodie Foster, who also directed. So you have a girl-power icon, famous for films about women taking revenge on the men who’ve wronged them, teamed with a notorious lout who once called a female cop “sugar t – - s.”
If it weren’t reality, it’d make one helluva terrible sitcom.
The long-delayed movie — which backers reportedly ponied up $20 million to make — was mostly complete in 2009. By last summer, principal photography had wrapped and Foster was moving on to reshoots when secretly recorded phone calls of Gibson berating Oksana Grigorieva leaked. In them, Gibson screamed until he was gasping for breath, dropped some choice racist nuggets, called Grigorieva a phonebook-long catalog of names and — well, you’ve heard the tapes.
Anyone who heard those calls imagined Gibson’s career grinding to a halt as every last member of Hollywood society abandoned him. And most did. Except for Foster.
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