The Whale review: “Brendan Fraser on career-best form”

The nailed-on awards-bothering performance to beat has arrived in the shape of Brendan Fraser’s living-with-obesity shut-in, who’s seeking forgiveness from his daughter, and himself, in Darren Aronofsky’s button-pushing adaptation of Samuel D. Hunter’s hit play, The Whale. Buried in a 600lb body-adjustment suit with wispy hair, clammy skin, and the sadness of a condemned animal in his eyes, Fraser’s Charlie is a man whose addictive emotional eating has brought him to the edge of death in his cramped Idaho apartment. 

Imprisoned by his own shame and lack of mobility, he spends his days teaching online students literature (with the camera switched off), wanking miserably over gay porn and over-apologizing to everyone, from the missionary (Ty Simpkins) who arrives on his doorstep in the middle of a collapse to his chippy/caring nurse friend Liz (Hong Chau), estranged teen daughter Ellie (Sadie Sink) and his ex-wife Mary (Samantha Morton).

Leave a Comment