For months now, The Whale has been gathering plaudits at film festivals around the world – and beyond director Darren Aronofsky, there’s been one name on everybody’s lips: Brendan Fraser. After a considerable absence from movie roles (you can read up online about the awful circumstances that led to his move away from the big screen), he’s started making a long-awaited comeback in recent years, now culminating in a leading role in Aronosky’s A24 drama. Here, he plays Charlie – a man whose trauma has led to a binge-eating disorder and subsequent obesity that isolates him from the world – as he attempts to reconnect with his estranged daughter Ellie, played by Stranger Things’ Sadie Sink. Check out the first teaser here.
Even in the space of just a minute, The Whale teaser offers a sense of what’s in store – tonally, a dose of classic Aronofskian gloom (hey, the man behind Requiem For A Dream, The Wrestler, Mother! and more is not exactly known for cheeriness) with notes of wounded optimism in Fraser’s deeply vulnerable performance, a claustrophobic aspect ratio, and an unsettling soundscape to amp up the emotional dread. And if the world is waiting to see Fraser triumph once more on the big screen (early word on his performance is that it’s phenomenal), it also promises a major step forward for Sink – who, between her season-stealing Stranger Things 4 role, her excellent performance in the Fear Street trilogy, and her anchoring of Taylor Swift’s All Too Well: The Short Film, is clearly gearing up to be a major talent.
While The Whale is around a month away from release in the US, audiences in the UK will have to wait until next year to see Fraser’s performance – it’s currently slated for a 3 February 2023 arrival on these shores. Let the Brenaissance begin.