The Beaver. So good, I wish I'd written the screenplay.
It was an absolute privilege to watch The Beaver this weekend. Completely sparse yet overwhelmingly rich, the script sang and the characters practically walked off the screen into our lounge room. Directed by Jodie Foster and starring both her and Mel Gibson, this is one of my favourite films of the year.
Regardless of what you think of Mel Gibson offscreen, you can't deny he is a talented actor. His performance was Oscar-deserving - although I'm sure he won't get one. He made that little hand puppet into a real character on its own and the scenes where it was just him talking to the beaver were inspired.
It's a film about depression, family and finding support. While I don't know how some of my friends currently battling with depression might react to it, I found it moving and inspiring.
One of the most beautiful scenes came at the end when the side character, a 'perfect' cheerleader and the valedictorian of her school finally admits her vulnerability and grief about her brother's death to the whole community in her graduation speech. I had to rewind it and write it down and share part of it!
"I'm not ok - not at all. The truth is, I'm missing something, the thing I love the most, the face I wish were in the front row right now, the brother I can't get back.
So what do I do with that? What do any of us do - besides lie?
Right now, there's someone who is with you, willing to pick you up, dust you off, kiss, forgive you, put up with you, wait for you, bury you, love you.
So while everything may not always be ok, one thing I know is true. You do not have to be alone."
I feel like I carry around a heavy rock on my shoulder. It's my private grief about my boy and even though I might be able to put it down for a little while, I still have to pick it up and move on when the short break I take is over.
Sometimes the weight of the rock is not so bad - other times it's deadeningly and muscle-crampingly heavy. All the time, I feel like the girl in the film. The truth is, I'm missing something, the thing I love the most...
But I do love the truth in the speech. There is someone who is with you. I am supported and loved by many friends and family. So is my son. And then there are the ever-loving, strong hands of God which carry us together into the future.
You do not have to be alone.