The Whale (2022) Film Review B


As Charlie, a gay English teacher severely overweight and approaching death, Brendan Fraser gives a lovely and appealing performance in director Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale.” His presence is reason enough to see the movie. Charlie’s favorite book is Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” – which gives the film its title. His students are all online, and Charlie keeps the camera off so they don’t see his humungous body.

Unfortunately, Aronofsky is not in top form here, and the material, based on a play by Samuel D. Hunter, is substandard and, yes, stage! The film has four other characters who move in and out of Charlie’s life. However, only his scenes with his nurse/friend Liz (Hong Chau, having a fantastic year with her work here and “The Menu”) work in a cinematic sense. They have a lovely rapport, their dialogue flowing naturally, and Liz is familiar with Charlie’s descent into depression and morbid obesity that followed the death of his boyfriend.

The other central character is Charlie’s daughter, Ellie, who is well-played by Sadie Sink. However, she is a cliche, a bundle of teenage angst, and eventually, she becomes a bit irritating. Ditto for Ty Simpkins’ Thomas, a New Life Church missionary who, for some difficult-to-fathom reason, makes it his mission to convert Charlie before he meets his maker. Samantha Morton (also having a good year with “The Serpent Queen” and “She Said”) plays Charlie’s wife. However, her part is too underwritten to make any lasting impression.

65 Queer Films Made Under the Hays Code (1934-1967) Part One. – TheBrownees

65 Queer Films Made Under the Hays Code (1934-1967). Part Two. – TheBrownees

65 Queer Films Made Under the Hays Code (Table) – TheBrownees

45 Queer Films from 1967-1976: Queer Cinema Comes Out – TheBrownees


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