Before it was even seen by critics, The Whale was already generating Oscar buzz. The drama from A24 starring Brendan Fraser is the adaptation of a play about a 600-pound man trying to reconnect with his daughter. Along with Fraser, who has delighted fans by making a career comeback, the film stars Sadie Sink (Stranger Things), Hong Chau and Samantha Morton. Critics were impressed by the first looks at The Whale, but after the movie premiered at the Venice International Film Festival, they’ve definitely got a lot more to say.
Darren Aronofsky’s latest venture has already taken a step in the right direction, if it is, in fact, going to be recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The movie reportedly received a 6-minute standing ovation at its premiere, and Brendan Fraser is set to accept the Toronto International Film Festival's TIFF Tribute Award — an honor that is often followed by an Academy Award nomination. So let’s get to the reviews, starting with Games Radar+’s Jane Crowther. This critic rates the movie 4 stars out of 5, saying Fraser delivers a career-best performance, and the cast around him is equally as impressive:
Leila Latif of IndieWire grades the movie a B-, saying Brendan Fraser is the reason this movie works so well, as he’s able to deliver a performance both funny and devastating. The critic says:
While some critics aren’t super comfortable with the movie’s use of a fat suit, BBC Culture critic Nicholas Barber is impressed at the range of expression Brendan Fraser conveys. He rates The Whale 3 out of 5 stars, saying:
Damon Wise of Deadline also notes that Brendan Fraser’s performance and Darren Aronofsky’s direction transcend the makeup. From the review:
Owen Gleiberman of Variety says the movie as a whole isn’t as strong as its leading actor’s performance, but for Brendan Fraser, The Whale deserves to be seen. The critic says:
The critics seem to be in agreement about Brendan Fraser and his reintroduction to Hollywood via this movie, so it will definitely be interesting to see what recognition comes from it. Audiences still have a while to wait before being able to catch this movie in theaters. The Whale is set for theatrical release on Friday, December 9. In the meantime, check out our 2022 Movie Release Schedule to see what else is coming soon!
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Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.