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The Whale

  • 04-09-2022 9:39pm
    Registered Users Posts: 83,457 ✭✭✭✭

    Darren Aronofsky directs Brendan Fraser (in an Oscar bait role, a comeback), Hong Chau and Sadie Sink in a tale of grief, abandonment, loss, reunion etc.,



  • Registered Users Posts: 83,457 ✭✭✭✭JP Liz V1

    He is a lock for an Oscar nomination imho

    I did not understand what happened with Fraser, always seemed a likeable good actor

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 28,929 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate

    There's a more complex story than just this, although that is a part of it. He also had significant injuries that were very much intensified by working on physically demanding films like The Mummy, and he found himself battling with depression too.

    He did a very raw and honest interview with GQ a few years back about all of it:

    It's great to see him back and moving to see him being so warmly applauded for his role in The Whale. I've already heard a biiiggg range in responses about the film itself from the critics in Venice, but the one note of consensus seems to be praise for Fraser.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Going public on a groping incident by the head of the Hollywood Foreign Press (Golden Globes)

    Injuries from doing many of his own stunts (and wanting to prove himself)


    For some reason having a goofy clap, at a joke, was a negative.

    Being forced to do promotion junket interviews days after his mom died, and people making fun of him for being sad.

    Man seems like just a likeable chap and if the recent Cruise version of The Mummy shows, he has massive screen presence.

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Arnovsky is a master..

    This should be good..

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,035 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    Aside from anything else, Fraser's body was through the wringer in the aftermath of his Action Film days: he needed partial knee replacement, had a laminectomy, and vocal-cord surgery. Pretty crazy stuff. Looking back, he was a naturally charming lead of a type that doesn't exist anymore - at least, not without a heavy dose of self-awareness.

  • Registered Users Posts: 83,457 ✭✭✭✭JP Liz V1

  • Registered Users Posts: 83,457 ✭✭✭✭JP Liz V1


    Brendan Fraser won't attend 2023 Golden Globes if nominated: 'My mother didn't raise a hypocrite'

    The Whale star says he was never offered an apology from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association after his earlier allegations of being sexually assaulted by its former president.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,294 ✭✭✭santana75

    Saw this today and I thought it was awful. I'm really glad Brendan fraser is enjoying a comeback and his performance is very good, but I really did not like the movie as a whole. A more dislikeable group of characters I can't recall seeing in quite some time, special mention going to Charlie's (brendan fraser)nurse. She is obnoxious, I kept hoping the guy playing the missionary would drop kick her out a window. His daughter is also an obnoxious character (the actress playing her looks like a young Emily blunt). There is an anti God message undercutting the whole thing, the missionary is seen as some sort of half wit while everybody else is smarter and talks down to him. I think there was potential here to go in another direction and I thought that's what this movie would do, it's the only reason I went to see it. It could've been a story about overcoming and hope, where Charlie beats his obesity and regains his health. That would've been a great movie, but instead it's a negative misery fest where people just shout at each other and wallow in self pity. I went to see the new Gerard butler movie "Plane" last week and that was infinitely more enjoyable than this nonsense.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 31,597 ✭✭✭✭gmisk

    Saw this at the weekend, still...digesting it...(so to speak...ha).

    Brendan Fraser is terrific in it as is Hong Chau. Oh Sadie Sink as well. But it felt very stagey (only found out after it is based on a stage play).

    There isn't really that much to it really, metaphors and the likes are hammered home constantly. Aronofsky really loves an old biblical tale doesn't he?!

    It felt stretched at the runtime and I found it a bit of a worthy slog for the most part. But hopefully it boasts Fraser's career, it is deserved.

  • Registered Users Posts: 483 ✭✭Fred Astaire

    I actually thought this was pretty good. Some really great performances. Chau and Fraser in particular, Samantha Morton was also great in limited screen time. I don't include Sadie Sink in that, as I thought her character felt quite similar to her character from Stranger Things at times, just dialled up another notch or two. Fine, but not at the level of her more experienced colleagues.

    The strict adherence to the stage-like set-up could have been to it's detriment, but I felt that it gave a real sense of limitation to Charlie's world, mirroring the self imposed prison his apartment was.

    One of the unsung strengths of the movie was the ability to cloud the actions of the characters in perspective - which gave me plenty of food for thought.

  • Registered Users Posts: 128 ✭✭Terrier2023

    I tried to watch it but it was too ugly all that flesh & fat couldnt stomach it pity i do like him as an actor.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,951 ✭✭✭steve_r

    I thought this was ok - it's an excellent central performance by Fraser and I'm glad he is getting recognition for it. The rest of the cast are strong as well - however I didn't feel like the writing didn't do them any favors. 

    It suffers from the same problem that other plays converted to film have had, where the dialogue can contain a lot of exposition, and emotion escalates way faster than you would expect it to. 

    It feels like they took the theatre script and filmed it, and didn't consider how telling the story on film could allow them to make different choices without the limitation imposed by staging a play. Aronofsky is usually such a distinctive director (for better or for worse) but I feel anyone could have directed this. 

    I'm not sure how I feel about the treatment of obesity, and how we are to look at Fraser's character. We are untimely supposed to have sympathy for him, but the way the film shows him eating gives the impression (at least in my opinion) that the condition is his own fault, brought upon by how he has reacted to a traumatic event in his life. Given that there can be medical reasons of people to develop obesity, I don't like something like this being used as a plot device.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,290 ✭✭✭BruteStock

    Isn't mental trauma , psychological issues medical reasons for obesity. If yes , wouldn't that be why the character of Charlie became morbidly obese.

  • Registered Users Posts: 616 ✭✭✭Space Dog

    But it does happen IRL. A close family member of mine became morbidly obese after a traumatic event. It's not like she wanted to eat herself to death and she's not as big as Charlie, but she definitely became an emotional eater and needed a lot of therapy before she stopped using food as some kind of psychological crutch.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,951 ✭✭✭steve_r

    To clarify - I do think the reason Charlie gained weight is a result of the emotional trauma.

    Its circumstances where someone gains weight (say as a result of medication), then I think there needs to be a bit of care taken in how weight gain is portrayed.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 28,929 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate

    An extraordinarily weak film IMO. As infuriating as I find Aronfsky a lot of the time, I do think he’s a talented craftsman who can make distinctive, stylish films. But this was a ‘filmed play’ in the most unimaginative way: there’s a confounding lack of cinematic verve to it all, and some of the stylistic flourishes there are are often baffling or misguided (like the horror movie esque eating sequences, or the profoundly silly ending). That mightn’t have mattered if it was a good play, but alas it is not: it is hokey, shallow and ultimately unconvincing drama.

    Fraser does it give it his best shot, although Hong Chau is the real standout IMO - her character feels lived-in and grounded in a way the rest of the characters simply do not.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Unusually harsh for you 😁

    I agree mostly, this was a play made into a film. What was weird to me is people and Fraser calling for us all to be nicer to fat/obese people and stop bullying them. (I suppose bullying them now is telling them eating too much is bad for your health) But this was a depiction of a man extremely disgusting who had done a terribly selfish and unforgivable thing to his daughter. And we are to have sympathy for him because he is nice and kind to his daughter who is absolutely horrible to him and telling him to die.

    It's a movie full of unlikeable people, about a truly disgusting man with no character or integrity. There is no message here. The only decent thing about the film is Fraser who plays the guy pretty well.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,290 ✭✭✭BruteStock

    All he did was have an affair with another man because he was gay. I dont see how that constitutes doing something terrible and unforgiving to his daughter

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    He walked out on his daughter dude and hadn't seen her in ten years or something. Not even spoke to her so he could go with his lover instead. This was the reason the daughter was so angry and screwed up. I mean if you can do that to your own kids you are about as big of a selfish sh**bird as it gets.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,290 ✭✭✭BruteStock

    But he didn't walk out on her. The marriage fell apart because he was gay so the mother raised the daughter as a single parent. This is something that happens all the time , a mother raising a child on her own.

    He couldn't take credit if she grew up to be a nobel peace prize winner nor is he responsible if she grew up to be evil. He wasn't part of her life. Not even the mother in the film blames him for the daughters behaviour. In your mind a girl will grow up to be dysfunctional if she doesn't have a father to guide her. You have a complete misunderstanding of the film and real life.

  • Registered Users Posts: 29,923 ✭✭✭✭~Rebel~

    He wasn’t a part of her life - but he could have been. Plenty of marriages break up with both parents still having at least some role in their kids life. He also admits it himself, that he should have been there for her, but got caught up first in his new romance and then in his partners death.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I would hazard a guess you have done something similar in your life, otherwise you wouldn't be trying to justify it. But then again I have no understanding of real life so what would I know.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,290 ✭✭✭BruteStock

    There's nothing to justify. Women are fully capable of raising successful children on their own. You seem to disagree.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    How you gathered that from my posts is beyond me.

    A father discarding his child like that for selfish reasons, is a low as it gets. Her anger at him and her hatred of the world was portrayed as being specifically for that reason - the feeling of abandonment by a parent - which I might add is likely hurtful in the extreme and would have a massive impact on a childs life.

    His single only redeeming feature was his empathy for that and is persistent good nature throughout the tirade of insults. They almost had to have him like that or he would just be a fat lazy selfish piece of **** with no possible redemption whatsoever.

    That has nothing to do with women or single mothers.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,290 ✭✭✭BruteStock

    He didn't discard her. You are stating a non-truth and building your negative beliefs about single mothers off it. Her angry and psychotic behavior is never directly attributed to his absence, not once. This is all in your head as you believe its an organic reaction for a child to fly off the rails without a father figure in their life.

    The show clearly presents the breakup as amicable. Charlie sent money to the mother which was given to the daughter. The mother held no grudges against him. He obsconded from hospital treatment so as to hoard all his money for the girl. A weak willed sap he may be but a pos towards his daughter he is not. There's no ambiguity about it. This is exactly how the show presents the characters

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    My negative beliefs about single mothers…f’ing hell. We are in full fruit loop territory now.

    And you are 1000% incorrect in your analysis of the film. I suggest you rewatch it.

    From the Script:


    I thought we could spend some time

    with each other.


    I’m not spending time with you.

    You’re disgusting.


    I know I... I’m a lot bigger since

    the last time you saw me--


    I’m not talking about what you look





    You’d be disgusting even if you

    weren’t this fat, you’d still be that piece of **** dad who walked out on me when I was eight. All because he wanted to **** one of his students. 

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on

  • Registered Users Posts: 29,923 ✭✭✭✭~Rebel~

    The whole central theme of the movie is his character trying to do right by his daughter in death, where he had failed her in life. The conflicting question it asks is if his choice is a cop out - choosing to continue his personal collapse into death and pass on his money, rather than use that money to get healthy and be active in his daughter's life in person.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,278 ✭✭✭Homelander

    Honestly thought it was a spectacular film, and Brendan Fraser gives a hell of a performance, performance of a lifetime I would say personally. Would have to commend the cast in general, but Fraser and Hong Chau the absolute stand-outs.

    No pun intended, but truly food for thought when it comes to the often complex nature of obesity and how it can reduce and dehumanize people in the eyes of others. Unrelentingly bleak and haunting. Grief, loss, sorrow, despair, shame, guilt, regret, self-loathing, disgust, pity, anger and all the rest, all rolled up into basically a super intense stage play with no escape or respite.

    Someone else said it could've been directed by anyone and lacked Aronofsky's usual panache and with that I do kinda agree....but honestly in this case I didn't really care, I was riveted from start to finish.

    I'd say it's a 9/10 for me. I would almost need to watch it again. I will be thinking about it for quite some time.