Follow TV Tropes


Film / The Beaver

Go To

The Beaver is a 2011 film directed by Jodie Foster about Walter Black (Mel Gibson), a depressed father and CEO of a toy company who has been kicked out of the house, and finds a beaver hand puppet in the dumpster. After a failed suicide attempt, he puts the puppet on his hand and it speaks in a Cockney accent, and convinces him to try an experimental form of self-prescribed therapy (although the Beaver claims that it is prescribed by his doctor, Dr. Masey) in which he will only speak through the puppet and people will only address the puppet, to create distance between Walter and the negative aspects in his life.

Meanwhile, his teenage son Porter (Anton Yelchin) has a secretly documented obsession with documenting similarities between his father and himself (he has listed forty-nine similarities, including seemingly benign physical behaviors such as "bites lip" and "massages eyebrow") in an attempt to become more aware of them and avoid being similar to his father. He also is saving up money by getting paid to do other students' homework for them.

He gets a surprise when the valedictorian and cheerleader, Norah (Jennifer Lawrence), asks him to write her graduation speech.

While Walter's wife (Foster) and older son are initially skeptical and disturbed by the Beaver, respectively, his younger son Henry enjoys the quality time that it provides. After noticing how the Beaver does woodworking, Walter appoints the Beaver as the new CEO and begins getting new ideas for a toy line.


  • An Arm and a Leg: Walter cuts off his arm to rid himself of The Beaver.
  • Broken Pedestal: Porter looked up to Walter as a child, but after Walter's descent into depression he grows to resent him.
  • Bungled Suicide: Walter's initial attempt to hang himself in a bathroom with his own tie only results in him breaking a shower curtain rod.
  • Creepy Doll: The Beaver's lifeless eyes certainly pushes it into this category.
  • Driven to Suicide: At the beginning of the film Walter tries to hang himself in a hotel shower with his own tie. When that fails he considers jumping off the hotel balcony until The Beaver stops him.
  • The Eeyore: Walter definitely fits the role whenever he's not speaking through The Beaver. When out on a dinner date with his wife she begs him to not use the beaver, and he immediately reverts to his depressed self.
  • Evil Hand: Walter gets into a fistfight with the beaver puppet in a scene that wouldn't look out of place in an Evil Dead film.
  • Shower of Love: Gibson, Foster, and the beaver puppet. Really.
  • Split Personality: Of a sort. Walter typically disassociates from himself by talking through the beaver puppet which is essentially a separate personality from his own. At one point he even says that The Beaver is "real."
  • "Well Done, Dad!" Guy: Porter is actively afraid of becoming like his father, to the point where he keeps a checklist of all their similarities.