SXSW Day 5: Awards Winners and Mel Gibson's Latest Premieres

The 2011 SXSW Film Festival is winding down, but not before what is perhaps the fest’s biggest premiere last night, Jodie Foster’s The Beaver. In any given year this may not have been such a big film, but with Mel Gibson’s career in turmoil amid some scandalous allegations (and very public audio tapes), all eyes have been on Foster’s third feature as a director to see if Gibson can potentially use the film to inch his way back into movies.

Early word says that while Gibson turns in one of the best performances of his career, the film as a whole is a little uneven tonally. Writing for Cinematical, William Goss says, “Jodie Foster's third feature as a director won't garner the same validation that a Pulitzer Prize would bring, despite a well-regarded screenplay by newcomer Kyle Killen that famously topped Hollywood's Black List of the best unproduced scripts. It's an occasionally ham-fisted story tenderly helmed by Foster and performed by her cast, and its merits will undoubtedly be overshadowed by the considerable parallels to its star's recently troublesome reputation.”
A few more tweets from friends of ours:
@Slashfilm: Predictable, ridiculous, melodramatic. Gibson & Foster have good performances but it's just a mess. Didnt connect with any of the characters

@PeterAMartin: THE BEAVER: Heart on its sleeve, pumping a steady supply of sincere sentimentality. Genuine, touching, if a bit on the nose. #sxsw

@EricVespe: It really is a shame that Mel Gibson is being hidden from the press. His performance in The Beaver is a fantastic and introspective.

@rejects: THE BEAVER has comedy in the situation, sorrow in it's story. Incredible performances. Very touching, well crafted. #sxsw

Meanwhile, the festival has handed out is main awards for 2011, with Natural Selection taking Best Narrative Feature, and Dragonslayer taking Best Documentary Feature. Meanwhile the Audience Awards went to Kumare (documentary feature), Natural Selection (narrative feature), Becoming Santa (spotlight premieres) and Weekend (emerging visions).
You can scope out all of the 2011 awards winners right here.
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