90s action hero Brendan Fraser’s comeback performance in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale movie already has critics blowing the Oscar buzz trumpet. The A24 film recently bagged the TIFF tribute award and at the Venice Film Festival screening – the 53-year-old star was welcomed with a six-minute standing ovation for his acting. After seeing the actor’s teary-eyed response to the cheers, the internet is showering more praise.
The Whale from Requiem for a Dream helmer is based on a play by Samuel D. Hunter, first performed in 2012. Aronofsky worked on the project amid pandemic times and even in the face of the odds, the movie came to fruition after a one-month filming schedule in one setting. The film is a story about an English teacher, Charlie suffering from compulsive overeating disorder. Also, starring is Stranger Things actor Sadie Sink playing his alienated daughter, Ellie along with Hong Chau, Samantha Morton and Ty Simpkins. The movie centers on exploring sensitive elements like past trauma, parental relationship, suicide, etc.
A video of Fraser sobbing during his standing ovation for The Whale has gone viral on social media. The applause is initially directed at Aronofsky but the director throws the spotlight on Fraser with audiences cheering louder. Readers can check it out below.
Brendan Fraser has received a six minute standing ovation at the #Venezia79 for his highly anticipated performance in Darren Aronofsky’s upcoming film THE WHALE.
I’m crying. He deserves this so much. pic.twitter.com/Bkir63TOaq
— Jesabel (@JesabelRaay) September 4, 2022
crying watching brendan fraser arrive to the premiere of the whale 😭 pic.twitter.com/R095sjOlBS
— Kenzie Vanunu ⚡️🦴 (@kenzvanunu) September 4, 2022
I worked with Brendan Fraser for a day on a documentary back in 2011. He was kind, respectful, funny, charming, and gentle. I am THRILLED that The Whale is being considered Oscar material. He deserves it. A wonderful human being.
— Dr. Sarah Parcak ON HIATUS (@indyfromspace) September 4, 2022
Our boy Brendan Fraser after the world Premiere of The Whale. Let’s make more nice people famous. pic.twitter.com/BDJUyxkS1R
— Jim Cummings (@jimmycthatsme) September 5, 2022
The praise for The Whale, the fat suit, the "revolutionary" fat suit enhancing CGI,terms like "morbidly obese;"is disgusting &dehumanizing. It's not lost on me that the praise for his performance is in making a fat person seem human
— @PiaGlenn (@PiaGlenn) September 5, 2022
Darren Aronofskys's The Whale had me blubbering. It's a deeply moving chamber piece with a career-best outing from Brandan Fraser. This is his Leaving Las Vegas – a total go-for-broke performance of self-destruction & sorrow that's GUARANTEED to land him an Oscar Nom. #Venezia79 pic.twitter.com/ituABC3tfX
— Luke Hearfield 🔜 Venice & TIFF 🇮🇹🎥🇨🇦 (@LukeHearfield) September 4, 2022
Don’t know what you’re all talking about with a Brendan Fraser “comeback”. We’ve all been watching The Mummy twice a year since 99. The king never left.
— kevin krout (@kmkrout) September 4, 2022
— Ramin Setoodeh (@RaminSetoodeh) September 4, 2022
The two films that have really had an impact on me at #Venezia79 so far, making me rethink my life and the way I live & interact, are TÁR and The Whale. One is about hubris and power and ego, the other is about heart and soul and love and honesty. Can't stop thinking about them. pic.twitter.com/zUkbjwewi2
— Alex @ #Venezia79 (@firstshowing) September 4, 2022
When you talk about The Whale, you're also talking about very fat people. And very fat people are listening. They're hearing the way you celebrate media that posits their lives as small and inevitably tragic. I certainly hear it.
— Aubrey Gordon (she/her/hers) (@yrfatfriend) September 5, 2022
If you know anything about Brendan Fraser’s personal life and what happened to his career, then you should be cheering for this man. What a beautiful moment that’s is well deserved. The beginning of something special. https://t.co/obfjKeXNjG
— Giovanni Lago (@TheGiovanniLago) September 4, 2022
The Brendan Fraser Oscar Campaign has begun.
— Films to Films 📽🎬 (@FilmstoFilms_) September 4, 2022
Brendan Fraser got blacklisted from Hollywood for being brave enough to come forward about his sexual assault, he is now getting his moment to look back at the industry that spat him out and roar in its face with #TheWhale – we fucking LOVE to see it.
— Rebecca (@rebeccalucia94) September 4, 2022
— Ramin Setoodeh (@RaminSetoodeh) September 4, 2022
I believe I mean it more than I’ve ever meant anything else I’ve ever said:
Brendan Fraser deserves every good thing that comes his way. https://t.co/pTvmUR2a7T
— MaceAhWindu (@MaceAhWindu) September 4, 2022
If you aren’t here for the Brenaissance you can kindly see your way out. Brendan Fraser is one of the easiest people to root for, mostly because he never asked us to – he just stayed kind & hoped it would happen. Fuckin finally, right!? #Venezia79 #TheWhale https://t.co/Uoq3u4WoYK
— Josh Sena (@JoshyDoes_It) September 4, 2022
This is so wholesome. Brendan Fraser deserves the world.🙏😭 pic.twitter.com/sH0nrwpHlP
— Matt Ramos (@therealsupes) September 4, 2022
Fraser made his mark in Hollywood initially playing muscle-headed hero roles like 1997’s George of the Jungle. But his appearance in The Mummy franchise cemented his fame in the 90s. However, the actor quit showbiz, recently stating he was blacklisted by the industry. Fast-forward to the present, Brendan’s acting career made news after his casting to voice Cliff Steele/Robotman in Doom Patrol and Titans. In addition, his recent role as Firefly in the canceled Batgirl movie catapulted his online presence.
Fraser’s role in The Whale has many creatives from Hollywood applauding his work ethic and acting skills. Moreover, many are in support of his Oscar push. The star plays a morbid fat person weighing 600 pound and had to wear a prosthetic suit to bring the character to life. Some have already critiqued the feature as fatphobic, as described by many in reactions below but the masses are largely praising Brendan’s role as Charlie.
Fraser recently spoke to THR about his experience wearing the “vertigo” inducing fat suit. It also made him appreciate people dealing with morbid obesity.
“I think it’s poetic that the trauma he carries is manifest in the physical weight of his body,” Fraser said. “I needed to learn to absolutely move in a new way. I developed muscles I did not know that I had. I even felt a sense of vertigo, when at the end of the day all the appliances were removed, just as you would feel stepping off the boat onto the dock here in Venice — that undulating feeling.”
The 53-year-old star further added, “And I say this because he gave me an appreciation for those whose bodies are similar because I learned that you need to be an incredibly strong person physically and mentally to inhabit that physical being. And I think that is Charlie, also.”
The Whale does not have a theatrical release secured yet.
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