Jodie Foster‘s “The Beaver.” starring Mel Gibson, opened at the South by Southwest Festival this week. Variety and IndieWire panned it, though praising Gibson’s performance. The sad Hollywood Reporter–which lifts stories as if it were the Artful Dodger–loved it. Of course, they sent in a second string reviewer than let their stars Kirk Honeycutt and Todd McCarthy get near it.
Now it turns out that Deadline.com is reporting the Reporter “horse traded” with “Beaver” distributor Summit Entertainment. The report claims that THR suppressed negative financial news about Summit in one story in order to get a big exclusive with Foster on the cover of its tepid weekly magazine. And so THR is full of glad tidings about Foster and “The Beaver” this week, which is completely embarrassing.
But no more embarrassing than the once plucky trade magazine’s constant repurposing of stories already on the internet, added to with the now meaningless word: Exclusive! Now, of course, I haven’t seen “The Beaver.” But it does sound like a pale recast of a very good movie, “Lars and the Real Girl.” Only now the blow up sex doll has been replaced by a hand puppet.
Foster is not a great director. Her one shot at the big time, called “Flora Plum,” with Russell Crowe, was cancelled before it began shooting. “Little Man Tate,” now 20 years old, was sweet but unimportant. “Home for the Holidays” (1995) was a good TV movie. That’s her directing resume. Her allegiance to Gibson is perplexing. He’s now pleaded no contest to a charge of domestic abuse, following his DUI, his anti-Semitic rants, etc.
What’s more, Foster is in for a shock if she thinks Gibson can promote this movie. There’s plenty of evidence on YouTube demonstrating his short temper during his “Edge of Darkness” publicity tour. Just ask Sam Rubin, the beloved Los Angeles TV entertainment reporter. Here’s a clip from that mess.
And let’s not forget the end of his famous Dean Richards interview: