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Genius, madness often share stage

August 24, 2011 - Lee Smith
From what has emerged publicly from his private life, Mel Gibson is a troubled soul. He has struggled with alcoholism. His career and reputation are tarnished by allegations of racism and violence. He has said he is a manic depressive.

He is also a great actor and accomplished director.

Call it genius and madness.

Another Hollywood genius, the actress and director Jodie Foster, is a longtime friend of Gibson’s. She has stood by him even in the worst of times. I admire her for that.

Foster and Gibson were well paired in the 1994 film “Maverick,” which was lighthearted fun for audiences. They are together again in a film now out on DVD and directed by her. It’s odd title is “The Beaver.” It is more than one might expect. It is deep, dark and comedic. An odd combination that was not rewarded at the box office.

But it might be Gibson’s greatest feat as an actor. And the director (Foster) says it may offer some insight into who Gibson really is. And it helps people know what it means to struggle and suffer with mental illness.

The movie makes you think and reflect. If you don’t like doing that, don’t watch. Otherwise, take a look.


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