Things Ain’t That Bad, Mel
I got asked about how I felt about all this stuff going on with Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva. To tell you the truth, I don’t have much more than a run-of-the-mill opinion on it which goes along the lines of “he shouldn’t beat up his woman no matter how annoying she gets”. The rest of it is just speculating on the nature of a tabloid feud so it’s unseemly to even talk.
The most interesting rumour to come out of all this was that he might come back to Australia. This notion was immediately shot down by his publicist which means at least his publicist still works for him, and that not even all this furor would or could persuade Mel Gibson to contemplate returning to this fatal shore. That’s not surprising, given that in the past his production company hasn’t exactly answered calls from Australian producers.
As with all movie stars, we like him for all the wrong reasons, mostly we like him for the characters he has portrayed in the past and lent his face and grace. As the general audience we’re allowed to mistake the glamour for the substance in as much we’re not engaged in a critique. His stock is down right now, but it’s still plenty blue chip. You can easily imagine a late-career peak like Jack Nicholson. All it would take is for some enterprising casting person. This ‘Hollywood Pariah’ business will go. Everybody believes in second chances in America.
Still, if we must necessarily scrutinise the man, then I will put forward this: that maybe with all his success behind him and even with a broken marriage after many a year; and even if he never made another film anywhere, or appeared in one ever again; he’s still Mel fucking Gibson and nobody can take that away from him. I just don’t see all this as being too tragic. It’s just regular bad relationship stuff that happens to a guy with money. We should all be so lucky to be having the travails of Mel Gibson.