May 30, 2017

“Beaver” date switch makes SXSW world premiere a must-see

By Sean O’Connell Tickets for the SXSW world premiere of Jodie Foster’s “The Beaver” just got hotter (and to be honest, they was scorching to begin with).

Foster’s drama, which stars the controversial Mel Gibson as a crumbling family man forced to communicate using a beaver puppet, will have its world premiere at the South By Southwest film festival in March.

Initially, the premiere was going to happen a few days before the movie eventually went wide. But now SXSW audiences are getting a super-early sneak peek at Foster’s film, because Summit has shifted the film’s release date from March 23 to May 6 … putting it in the starting gate for the summer movie season.

To me, that’s a major vote of confidence in Foster’s film. Yes, it means “The Beaver” will be going up against the likes of “Thor” and Disney’s sure-to-be-massive “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.” But counterprogramming material for adult audiences is always smart in the summertime, and “Beaver,” if it’s really good, could benefit from this type of head-to-head competition.

Do you know another repercussion of the “Beaver” date switch? That SXSW world premiere just went from “high on the list” to “must see.” I feel like I should get in line outside the glorious Paramount this morning. Too soon?

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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