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Posted at 1:11 PM ET, 12/ 6/2010

'The Beaver': Jodie Foster's bad bet on Mel Gibson

By Liz Kelly

From 2006, Mel Gibson's Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office booking photo. (Getty Images)

Why is Jodie Foster -- an actress/director who truly deserving of respect -- trying to trick us into liking Mel Gibson again?

Obviously, it won't work. I mean, duh. But why would Foster even think that "The Beaver" -- her latest directorial effort, starring Mel Gibson as a guy who (stop me if this sounds familiar) loses it all and finds redemption and happiness again courtesy of a hand puppet -- would lull us into forgetting that the guy is an unapologetic mysoginistic anti-Semite who repeatedly calls his ex to unleash a torrent of expletives and threats?

Foster has been one of Gibson's staunchest supporters since his image took a massive hit in 2006 when, upon arrest for drunk driving, he used the opportunity to make it pretty clear that he doesn't have any respect for women or Jews. As recently as October, Foster called Gibson the "most loved man in the film business" and has described his work in "The Beaver" as "one of his most powerful and moving performances."

But, umm, why?

More after the jump, including a re-cut "Beaver" trailer...

The only thing that can possibly explain Foster's confidence and continued support of Gibson is money. She must have been betting that Americans would turn out, maybe not en masse at first but after buzz slowly built, to see Gibson in his miracle movie. The movie that in approximately two hours would redeem him as both an actor and a person and maybe earn him an Oscar nomination to boot. Nothing else explains why an avowed feminist who cannot possibly be having an affair with him would do this.

Of course Foster had no way of knowing that in the interim between shooting "The Beaver" and its release that Gibson would again self-destruct. This time, courtesy of set of alleged phone calls recorded by his ex, Oksana Grigorieva, and released over the summer. Since their release, Gibson has been relegated to an even lower circle of Hollywood hell: one in which even actors who make utter [rhymes with gasses] of themselves on-screen don't want to act on the same set with you.

All of which may explain why "The Beaver" doesn't yet have a firm U.S. release date. Though you can see it in The Netherlands, Norway or the U.K. starting in January.

The best possible thing to come out of this movie? The "Funny or Die?" re-cut trailer below that adds in TOTALLY NSFW audio from Gibson's phone rants:

A prediction: I'm betting more people will view the re-cut trailer above than see "The Beaver" in U.S. theaters. We'll check back on this if and when it gets a U.S. release date. Sorry Jodie.

For comparison's sake, here's the original trailer:

Related:

Mel Gibson, past rehabilitation?

Audio of Mel Gibson's racist rant has leaked online

Mel Gibson audio: Yes, there is more

More Mel Gibson rage in tape No. 4

Mel Gibson dumped from "Hangover 2" cameo

By Liz Kelly  | December 6, 2010; 1:11 PM ET
Categories:  Mel Gibson  
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Comments

Saw part of Braveheart again over the w-e. Gibson comes across well as a half-wild blue-faced berzerker, running down the hill screaming like a crazy man. Why do you think that is?

Posted by: reddragon1 | December 6, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse


Could be she's supportive of Gibson because she's a loyal friend.


Posted by: Gidgmom | December 6, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

"Foster called Gibson the 'most loved man in the film business' and has described his work in "The Beaver" as 'one of his most powerful and moving performances.' But, umm, why?"

Maybe because she (Foster) is correct... and you (Kelly) are wrong?

Maybe because he (Gibson) is correct... and you (Mainstream American Media) are wrong?

Posted by: srb2 | December 6, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: chuangjian2010 | December 6, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

"Obviously, it won't work. I mean, duh." Isn't that what all Ms Kelly's Hollywood friends said about "The Passion?"

Posted by: orthotox | December 6, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe because she (Foster) is correct... and you (Kelly) are wrong?

Maybe because he (Gibson) is correct... and you (Mainstream American Media) are wrong?

Posted by: srb2 | December 6, 2010 1:46 PM"

Seriously?

This calls for a poll. Was he (Gibson) framed by the (Mainstream American[EVERYONE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD THAT LISTENED TO THE RECORDINGS OF HIS RACIST RANTINGS] Media) or is he (Gibson) truly a steaming pile (of dookie)?

I'm waiting for your (Kelly) answer.

Posted by: NotForYou1 | December 6, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of a half-wild blue-faced berzerkers...

Posted by: reddragon1 | December 6, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

maybe because Jodi has internalized self hate?
Isn't she a lesbian who won't come out

Posted by: newagent99 | December 6, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

The main point of your post is to question why anybody would stick their own well-respected neck out for somebody who is so deeply flawed.

I don't know if Ms. Foster is merely trying to save a film that she's put so much into, or if she is actually a friend of Mr. Gibson, but your own inability to entertain the latter as a realistic scenario is regrettable.

For those of us who have hit that down and out place, it's the people that are there with you in those moments, who refuse to indulge the very worst in you, and then patiently walk with you until you're back on your feet, who begin to teach us about love and grace.

Anybody can snipe from the sidelines, and certainly Mr. Gibson is an easy target, but I'm going to give Ms. Foster the benefit of the doubt and at least entertain the notion that she actually cares.

Posted by: Dangle_G | December 6, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"would lull us into forgetting that the guy is an unapologetic mysoginistic anti-Semite"...
Just a lot of poly-syllable words describing truth-telling, but I digress. Mr. Gibson is a fine actor with a Midas touch who produces and directs quality entertainment. Ms Foster will eventually recall fondly that she was able to costar with a giant of the silver screen. Looking forward to purchasing my ticket.

Posted by: slim21 | December 6, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"Mr. Gibson is a fine actor with a Midas touch who produces and directs quality entertainment. Ms Foster will eventually recall fondly that she was able to costar with a giant of the silver screen. Looking forward to purchasing my ticket."

Posted by: slim21 | December 6, 2010 2:18 PM

So glad you could join us, Mel. How's the family?

Posted by: Wikijen | December 6, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Man, I so wish my office didn't have a ban on microwave popcorn.

Posted by: northgs | December 6, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Nicotine is a tough monkey.

Posted by: blasmaic | December 6, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Yep, perhaps Jodie Foster is one who has found some love or friendship in the demonized-by-the-rest-of-us Mel Gibson. Perhaps she is a more giving/forgiving friend than I can ever be. Perhaps she is a fool. I still give her credit for staying power in a world where folks desert at the drop of a hat.

Posted by: mac4700 | December 6, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Did I miss the column on Alec Baldwin?

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | December 6, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Ms.Kelly forgets that Mel Gibson is a very talented actor/director and he still has legions of loyal fans. I for one, will make it my business to go see The Beaver. I think Jodie Foster understands this man's star power and how the public will rally to his side. Good job Jodie! The Mel Gibson drama has escalated into a global media crucifixion. Once all the facts are presented in court and it's discovered that Mel may actually be the victim in this debacle, the tide will turn for him. The man has issues that he needs to address but I think there's still some box office gold left in him.

Posted by: flashgordon965 | December 6, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

What's with all the weird Ms. and Mr. business from these Mad Mel defenders?

On that note, I'd like to submit that Mr. chuangjian2010 provides far more substance in his post than does Ms. srb2.

Posted by: MStreet1 | December 6, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

No tricks necessary from Jodie--I still like Gibson as an actor and as a human-being. He is flawed, so am I, and so are you, Ms. Kelly, so let's stop crapping on other people and just enjoy a good movie. I hope it opens soon--I will be there.

Posted by: writeronline | December 6, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

So, what you're saying is that Mel Gibson is in Jodie Foster's Beaver?

Posted by: DorkusMaximus1 | December 6, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

So , , , the moral of this "story" is that if you are a depressed man approaching 60, your best bet is to pretend to talk like a beaver and try to look intense and spacey enough that people think you might be acting.

Clearly the makes of antidepressants the world over have it wrong. Thank goodness we have the "Maverick" team to show everyone the error of our pill-taking ways. Depressed people everywhere should unite against this POS.

Just imagine Jodie's ideas for movies that she decided weren't good enough! The Funny or Die trailer makes it better . . . but not too much, frankly. Wow, what a stinker. I think I'd rather watch "The Love Guru."

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | December 6, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to know if Ms. Kelly is as equally critical of movies by Woody Allen or Roman Polanski or is child molestation considered a far lesser crime today than just acting acting like a jerk and mouthing off?

Posted by: ccg1957 | December 7, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse

I do smell some jewish towards the goyim hate in here... I wonder why?...

Posted by: JewiJ | December 7, 2010 2:36 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if Ms. Kelly or Ms. Chaney would consider writing another post outlining Mr. Gibson's descent into looniness (even beyond Cruisiness!), obvious anti-Semitism and (alleged) abuse of women. I think a few people could use a refresher.

There's no way I'm going to see the Beaver - the concept sounds ridiculous even without Mel Gibson's involvement. In the unlikely event that Mel ever again makes a film worth watching, I probably won't see that either - now that he's shown his true character, I can't suspend disbelief enough to take him seriously.

Posted by: themegnapkin | December 7, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Wow, so many people trying to sound so intelligent by saying this movie looks stupid... td_in_baltimore! First of all, the screenplay was on a black list for the number one great unproduced scripts in Hollywood! Maybe that's why Jodie liked the screenplay? Why not judge the movie after it comes out??? Also, newagent99, she doesn't come out because she is extremely private. She doesn't have to justify anything. It's none of our business! She stated that the reason she is guarded is because of the whole Reagan incident! Why do so many people judge these people they don't even know personally? People are so mean. :(

Posted by: spiek78 | December 7, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

The man has not been found guilty in anything, but yet you talk as if he has.
Maybe we should wait to hear the whole story.
People are always passing judgment on people. Seems to me that this woman has a history of using men for their money and perhaps Mel fell prey to this woman. I am a woman and no one understands a woman better then a woman. She used him up and he couldn't take it anymore and lashed out in anger and said a lot of things he shouldn't have. I am sure all of us have done that at one time or another but no one was recording us and making it public.
Sit back and wait, your going to be shocked at what you are going to find out.
A woman's point of view

Posted by: splittingcells | December 7, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Your article is a diatrabe, a witch burning, rather than a proper review or op-ed piece. I guess that Mr. Gibson, who has lived a meteoric film career and is respected by his peers due to his undeniable professionalism on the set, is not worthy to be judged by what he does on the screen anymore, rather by the sad recent events of his private life. Of course, other stars cheat on their spouses, or insult their children on voice messages, and no judgement will be passed on them, oh no.

It is truly sickening to continue reading articles written by so called journalists blinded by bias triggered by alcohol abuse, a sicknerss which plagues this actor, or even worse - religion and politics - which is what may really be at the heart of the matter concerning Gibson.

Posted by: marcoamedrano | December 8, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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