I’m watching the movie “The Whale” with a mixture of fascination and trepidation (although, if I’m being really honest, trepidation is what I feel right now). On the one hand, it serves as a showcase for Brendan Fraser, a cherished actor who rose to popularity in the 1990s before experiencing a number of difficulties, both personal and professional, that led to his downfall. After receiving praise for his performance in TV shows like “The Affair” and “Trust,” as well as his appearance in Steven Soderbergh’s crime drama “No Sudden Move” and his ongoing role as the voice of the robotic superhero Cliff Steele in the series “Doom Patrol,” Fraser is currently in the midst of a well-deserved comeback.
In contrast, Fraser dons a fat costume to play a 600-pound gay man in the movie “The Whale.” It’s true that it is based on Samuel D. Hunter’s 2012 play of the same name, which earned a 2013 GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Media Award. It was directed by Darren Aronofsky, who is well known for the films “Requiem for a Dream,” “The Wrestler,” and “Black Swan.” Even said, the movie’s concept obviously generates a lot of concerns for those in the obese and LGBTQIA+ communities about how it portrays them. Let’s put it that way: It surely has a lot to prove.
When and where The Whale will be released
On Sunday, September 4, “The Whale” will make its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival. Three months later, on December 9, 2022, the movie will be released in theatres. The movie is supported by A24, which is obviously pitching “The Whale” to be its main candidate in the next autumn and winter film awards season. It appears the company isn’t depending on “Everything Everywhere All at Once” receiving the attention it merits in the awards race.
The Whale, the first film Aronofsky has directed since his divisive horror picture “mother!” debuted in 2017, was bought up by A24 in January 2021. After starting two months later and wrapping everything by April 2021, post-production was started immediately away. A24 chose to postpone the drama’s premiere until 2022 owing to the backlog it had acquired as a result of the pandemic postponing practically all of its anticipated 2020 releases (including “The Green Knight” and “Zola”).
What is The Whale about?
The movie “The Whale” centers on Charlie, a lonely middle-aged online English instructor who lives in a dilapidated rural apartment and uses compulsive eating to cope with his regret and anguish about leaving his family to live with his LGBT lover years ago (who has since passed away). Charlie tries to make apologies and reconnect with his troubled 17-year-old daughter Ellie as his health declines in the hopes of doing so before it’s too late.
The single-location tale, which spans Charlie’s life over five days, was influenced by Samuel D. Hunter’s real life. The author told Vanity Fair, “I arrived at it from my own personal battles with it, as I used to be a lot heavier.” According to Hunter, “The Whale” is just intended to be a pure representation of his own individual experience:
“There are many people who are huge, happy, healthy, and perfectly great and deserving of respect; this is simply my narrative. But I was using food as a form of self-medication, and it was difficult for me to function in society as that person. I had never heard the tale presented so clearly.”
The Whale’s cast and crew
As previously noted, Darren Aronofsky is helming “The Whale” from a script that Hunter has adapted. In an interview with Vanity Fair, the director discussed how the movie shares many elements with his earlier works, including its single setting (which it shares with “mother!”) and the casting of an actor who is preparing for a comeback to play a character trying to mend their relationship with their estranged daughter (just like “The Wrestler”).
Along with her compelling performance as Max in “Stranger Things” season 4 earlier this year, Sadie Sink is co-starring opposite Fraser as Charlie in “The Whale” as Charlie’s daughter, Ellie. As Liz, Charlie’s carer, Hong Chau of “Downsizing” and “Watchmen” fame, and Samantha Morton of “Minority Report” and “The Walking Dead,” who plays Mary, Charlie’s ex-wife and Ellie’s mother, respectively, round out the group. Matthew Libatique, who has been Aronofsky’s director of photography since his 1998 feature debut “Pi,” joins him in front of the camera.
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