Mel Gibson in “The Beaver”


At the movies recently, Partner and I saw the preview for “The Beaver.” What, you haven’t heard of it? It’s the Mel Gibson movie that was shelved for a couple of years because Mel was too notorious to handle. Everyone in Hollywood referred to it as “that movie where Mel Gibson has a beaver-shaped hand puppet.”



The studio test-marketed it, very cautiously, a few months ago, and it got very high marks from its audiences. So now they’re releasing it.



I think the timing has a great deal to do with the whole Charlie Sheen thing. The PR masters are doing some very deep thinking about whether or not bad behavior is actually good for a career. Charlie may be off the air, but he’s doing a lucrative “comedy” tour, in which he just paces back and forth on stage and rants, while the audience cheers. And Lindsey Lohan just gets worse and worse, but somehow we don’t tire of her. I confess that I thought she was pretty good in “Machete,” and knowing about her personal life actually made her performance in that movie funnier and more pointed.



So what do we know of Mel? Anti-Semite. Drinker. Abusive. Creepily pious (he almost fooled the Church hierarchy into making him their Hollywood ambassador, back in the “Passion of the Christ” days).



But he’s obviously imaginative. And talented. And often funny. And he has flashes of good ideas. (“Apocalypto” was a brilliant concept, though only a half-baked movie.)



Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan may or may not be talented; the jury’s still out. But – and I hate to admit it – I think Mel Gibson is actually a gifted actor and director.



And Jodie Foster likes him, and I like Jodie Foster.



Now I have to ask myself: will I plunk down $7.50, some of which will go into Mel’s loathsome pocket, to see “The Beaver”?



Sigh. Probably.






About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

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