This weekend Mel Gibson is making his return to the big screen in The Beaver, a family drama directed by extremely loyal friend Jodie Foster. Gibson stars as Walter Black, a depressed toy company CEO who attempts to reconnect with his wife Meredith (Foster), and two sons Porter (Anton Yelchin, Terminator Salvation) and Henry (child actor Riley Thomas Stewart) through the use of a beaver hand puppet.

The story seems bizarre but the trailer seems tender and realistic. I am personally looking forward to this movie, particularly because I like the cast, which features Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone).

Yes, I like the cast. The whole cast. Mel Gibson included.

I know it’s a little unpopular to say you like Mel Gibson. But if Jodie Foster can do it, so can I.

Mel Gibson the Person may be an anti-Semite and a racist misogynist. Well, okay, “may be” is a huge understatement because of his reported actions. But Mel Gibson the Actor is a cinematic treasure.

I try not to let his rather questionable personal choices affect my appreciation of his talents as an actor and a director. Gibson’s performances in Braveheart, What Women Want and Lethal Weapon (among many others) are extraordinary. He is a brilliant actor—there is no denying that. No news articles or voicemail tapes or whatever can change that.

I mean, I think it’s a given that all actors are crazy. Whether they’re full-blown crazy like Gibson or funny-crazy like Jenna Maroney, anyone who has to go in front of an audience and assume a different identity, has to be some sort of nuts.

My question is: does their talent excuse their behavior?

The answer is a tough one to figure out because as normal human beings, we find it difficult supporting someone with such an ugly side. But, at the same time, actors are people, too. They get caught up in the heat of the moment and their anger takes over their rationale (like in the case of Christian Bale’s infamous Terminator Salvation incident). You wouldn’t up and quit your job because your boss made more than a few shocking statements. If so, then Lloyd, profane/homophobic/racist Ari Gold’s assistant on Entourage, would have quit on the first day.

Anyone who goes to see The Beaver isn’t going to walk out with Gibson as their new role model. I think most people will be able to separate Mel Gibson the Person with Mel Gibson the Actor. Judging by the reviews, Gibson is just as good in this movie as he ever was.

While I can’t/won’t defend Gibson’s actions in the past, I do hope that The Beaver will turn over a new leaf for Gibson. The role seems almost too perfect; Walter trying to reconnect with his family could be a metaphor for Gibson trying to reconnect with movie audiences. That’s probably why Foster was so adamant to cast him. I hope that this movie can help Gibson back onto the public’s good side so he can begin his road to recovery.

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