Brendan Fraser needed a comeback. What he got was The Whale, which may have given him the role of a lifetime. Just over two decades ago, Fraser headlined films like The Mummy and George of the Jungle, as well as an assortment of wacky comedies. Fraser also made the occasional drama, including his standout performance in Gods and Monsters. But The Whale is something else entirely. It may even give Fraser his first nomination for Best Actor at next year’s Oscars.
As seen in the trailer above, Fraser plays Charlie, a guy who was once a family man with a wife and daughter. However, Charlie left them both behind because he fell in love with another man. And when Charlie’s lover died, he became grotesquely overweight and reached 600 pounds. His actions were born out of grief, but Charlie doesn’t have to simply give up and let himself die. He still has a chance to make things right with his daughter, Ellie.
Stranger Things standout Sadie Sink co-stars as Ellie, and she’s the emotional heart of the film. There’s a real question of whether this father and daughter pair can successfully reconnect because she has lingering feelings of betrayal. That’s the whole point of this drama, to see if the relationship can be saved.
Hong Chau co-stars in the film as Liz, Charlie’s nurse and his best friend, with Samantha Morton as his ex-wife and Ellie’s mother, Mary. Rounding out the cast are Ty Simpkins as Thomas and Sathya Sridharan as Dan.
Samuel D. Hunter wrote the script based on his original play of the same name. Darren Aronofsky directed The Whale, which will get a nationwide release on Friday, December 9.