“A reclusive English teacher attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter.”

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writers: Samuel D. Hunter
Staring: Brendan Fraser, Sadie Sink, Ty Simpkins, Hong Chau, Samantha Morton, Sathya Sridharan
Rated: R
Release Date: December 9, 2022

I wish there was more to this trailer. I wish I got to see more of The Whale. I understand why this trailer is quiet, calm and serene…but damn I wish I could see more. This specific preview to the Darren Aronofsky’s first movie since 2017 is more of a tease of one man rather than The Whale as a movie as a whole.

Brendan Fraser is back. The Canadian born actor has no bigger fanbase that Barstool’s Lights Camera Barstool podcast and my coworkers are going to be celebrating the return of their champion with immense fervor. Everyone who has seen The Whale comes away with the same reaction; Brendan Fraser is outstanding and he is the reason that this movie works.

The comeback for Fraser began with the surprise hit show Doom Patrol. He appeared in 34 episodes of that show, and now he has The Whale coming out this year. He is also part of a project called Brothers that includes Josh Brolin, Peter Dinklage and Glen Close. In 2023, Fraser is going to be part of Martin Scorsese’s Killers Of The Flower Moon (2023); Fraser is going be sharing the screen with Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Jesse Plemons. You have this ages best actor, a previous generations best actor, and arguable the best actor coming up. Fraser gets to be the glue for that.

Fraser is the middle of a renascence, and he is taking a shot with this project by director Darren Aronofsky.

Aronofsky makes weird movies. He has big ideas. The Whale is a emotional story about a big man, and it is Aronofsky’s first movie in five years. His first movie since Mother!, which was a divisive film (to say the least). You know the other films he has made as well: Black Swan (2010) was a hit and gave Natalia Portman the setting for an Oscar winning performance. Before that he had The Wrestler (2009) which had Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei getting Oscar nomination. Back in 2001, Ellen Burstyn got nominated for Actress in a Leading Role in Requiem For A Dream.

So why is Fraser taking a chance with Aronofsky? Do you remember the movie Noah (2014)? Nobody does. I know nothing about The Fountain (2006) either. And unless you are a movie fan, I doubt Mother! left an impact on you. Aronofsky is hit or miss in terms of public perception.

Perhaps I should get back to The Whale.

The movie also stars Sadie Sink. Buy stock in her now. She rose to prominence in Stanger Things as Max Mayfield. She was part of the fantastic Fear Street trilogy and will be part of the Oscar nominated All Too Well: The Short Film (2021) (PLEASE GOD MAKE IT HAPPEN). She has a movie coming up called Berlin Nobody which sounds fascinating: “American social psychologist Ben Monroe investigates a local cult connected to a disturbing event, while his daughter becomes embroiled with a mysterious local boy.”

The Whale appears like it is going to be a tear jerker. It is going to pull at emotions, and Fraser is pulling on that rope which will empty the tear ducts. At the Venice film festival, the actor most known for The Mummy (1999) got a six minute standing ovation for his performance in The Whale.

The movie is based off a play written by Samuel D. Hunter, and he is taking part in adapting the screenplay as well. Hunter doesn’t have a ton of experience for on-screen projects, but he has a director who is ready and willing to take control.

The Whale comes out on December 9, 2022. Will it make a big splash in the box office? Probably not. Will it have ripple effects into awards season. That may be a safe bet.

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