While he never really left, recently turning in a great supporting turn for Steven Soderbergh, The Whale marks a major critical resurgence for the talents of Brendan Fraser. The latest drama from Darren Aronofsky, once again helming a comeback vehicle following The Wrestler, will now arrive in theaters next month and A24 finally dropped the trailer.
Based on Samuel D. Hunter’s play, and also starring Sadie Sink, Hong Chau, Ty Simpkins, and Samantha Morton, the film follows a reclusive English teacher who attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter.
Rory O’Connor said in his review, “In theatre productions of Hunter’s text, Fraser’s character, Charlie, was often played by an actor in a fat suit—a choice that is becoming increasingly delicate, to say the least. In The Whale, Fraser’s generous figure is accentuated by the special effects department, leaving only his face and voice free from any sense of the uncanny. (The first image released earlier this summer was met with a flurry of think pieces; get ready for more.) Yet somehow, arising from the pixels, his performance is strangely beautiful, one of those rare roles that seems to draw on years, if not decades, of a performer’s personal misfortunes and harness them into something profound. In short: after a steep career drop-off from his peak years and a costly divorce (his reported yearly alimony payments were $900,000), Fraser hit a tragic low in 2018 in the aftermath of sexual-assault allegations he made against the then-HFPA president Philip Berk.”
See the trailer below.
The Whale opens on December 9.