DVD: The Beaver (12)

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The Independent Culture

"I don't want to celebrate 20 years of marriage with a puppet," Jodie Foster's Meredith, quite reasonably, points out to her unhinged husband, Walter (Mel Gibson).

A depressed, near-catatonic Walter has taken to allowing a beaver to speak for him, and his glove puppet, which sounds suspiciously like Ray Winstone, is prone to seduction lines such as "rest up you delicious little tart." At first Meredith tolerates the beaver, before learning that the cocky puppet is doing all the talking. Gibson, who's always good at manic, tries his darndest here, but Foster's peculiar film, with its jaunty Gallic soundtrack, is not quite funny nor sad enough.