Brendan Fraser’s highly-acclaimed comeback is front and center in the first trailer for “The Whale,” the latest film from director Darren Aronofsky (“Requiem for a Dream,” “Black Swan”) and A24.
“The Whale” follows Charlie (Fraser), an English teacher living with obesity who has decided to eat himself to death. His pain and misery stems from the abandonment and death of his gay lover, leading to chronic binge-eating. Meanwhile, Charlie struggles to reconnect with his 17-year-old daughter, played by “Stranger Things” favorite Sadie Sink. Now, the 600-pound man has one last shot at redemption with his child.
Joining Fraser and Sink in the film are Hong Chau, Samantha Morton and Ty Simpkins. The screenplay is adapted from playwright Samuel D. Hunter’s play of the same name.
“The Whale” emerged from the fall festival circuit with rave reviews for Fraser’s performance, which earned a six-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival that reduced the actor to tears. Screenings at the Toronto International Film Festival and the London Film Festival earned similar standing ovations for Fraser. For many Oscar pundits, Fraser is the frontrunner for best actor.
“It felt so affirming,” Fraser told Variety in October regarding enthusiasm surrounding his appearances through the fall festivals. “I was emotional because it was acknowledgment that what we did is making an impact. And that kind of response feels completely new in my professional life.”
Aronofsky is once again joined by his longtime cinematographer Matthew Libatique. Libatique has shot every Aronofsky movie to date, except for “The Wrestler.”
“The Whale” is Aronofsky’s first directorial effort since 2017’s “Mother!,” which divided critics and moviegoers alike. The director behind “Black Swan” and “Pi” is now looking to make his way back into the awards race with his new film.
Watch the full trailer below.