FULL SPOILER-FREE REVIEW @ https://www.msbreviews.com/movie-reviews/the-whale-spoiler-free-review-lff-2022 "The Whale earns its place in the "most tearful films of the year" list as it moves slowly yet efficiently towards its overwhelmingly emotional ending, especially elevated by the most subtly powerful & irrefutably moving performance of Brendan Fraser's career. The rest of the cast contributes to the construction of a character with whom tremendous compassion is produced, but it isn't an easily digestible movie due to its disturbing, uncomfortable moments. Darren Aronofsky presents a depressing, passionate, and, above all, brutally honest story about trauma, acceptance, and positivity. The filmmaker's lack of restraint may be a trigger for some, but the impact of his messages couldn't be more memorable. Bring tissues." Rating: B+
The Whale is a heart breaking story of our main character, Charlie (Brendon Fraser), as he tries to make amends for abandoning his daughter. Charlie is obese, an ailment that has manifested itself as a coping mechanism for a life of regret. In every scene and interaction this regret is worn by Charlie as a cloak of his past that will stay with him until his dying breath. This character is an immense undertaking and Brendon Fraser plays him perfectly. The emotion he delivers is palpable, which lends itself so seamlessly to scenes of raw sadness and despair. Not only is Fraser a highlight, but the entire supporting cast does an excellent job. Hong Chau is superb, and despite her tough, no nonsense, science focused exterior hides a deep and genuine connection with Charlie. She is incredibly hurt by the way he is treating his body, but is defenseless to his desires, resulting in her to continually feed his addiction. It is a brutal back and forth that is tackled with immense care. Sadie Sink is great as well, she is delivers a brutal performance that leaves the character of Ellie easily hatable with very little redeemable qualities. I understand that this was the point of her character, and by no means is this a knock on Sink's performance, but it felt like a bit much. She was too cruel, to the point of unbelievability, which took a bit away from the message that was trying to be delivered. The pace was a bit slow for my liking. I felt as if the Thomas subplot was a bit pointless and could have been cut from the movie with no ill effects. But despite my minor complaints, the movie is carried by fantastic performances, amazing cinematography and intense emotions that will leave many viewers pleased with their experience, but will not be for everyone. Score: 82% Verdict: Great
Yikes, but this second gay-themed outing for Brendan Fraser could hardly be more different from his 1998 "Gods and Monsters" one. Here his is the critically obese "Charlie" who has grown to a size where his health is in tatters and he has virtually no mobility as he regularly consumes two large pizzas for dinner and two great meatball subs for lunch. We learn quite quickly a little of what initially drove this man to this level of despair and as things begin to look terminal, we share his aspirations to reconcile with his daughter whom he left eight years earlier to be with his gay lover "Allan". Now for all I thought Fraser was superb in this film, I found Sadie Sink's performance as the truly selfish, conniving and odious daughter "Ellie" (upon whom he rather dotes) stole this for me. At times I really did want to shoot her! Ty Simpkins also does well as the well meaning god-squadder who finds his association with this dysfunctional family helps open his eyes too. Hong Chau performs well as his long suffering friend/nurse/confidante "Liz", and as mortality looms the characters are drawn into an increasingly angry, hostile environment that is full of bitterness, rancour and regret certainly, but maybe - just maybe - the slightest hint of reconciliation. Fraser will never deliver another performance like this again. Sure, his size and generally slothful demeanour are so far from the hale-fellow-well-met series of characters we have seen thus far in his career that they are bound to have an effect. His acting, though, is honest and emotional. His character is torn and distraught and he conveys that potently, especially in the scenes with his obnoxious daughter. The plot has an inevitability to it, which doesn't usually work so well for me - but here, it helps focus on the few interlinked stories and characters allowing little room for distraction. It's not without it's humour now and again, either. I've deliberately avoided reading about how he got to that size - somehow, knowing might spoil what is undoubtedly a tour de force from both him and Miss Sink. Brave and uncompromising - well worth a watch.
I doubt I can add much more to what has already been said about 'The Whale', but in a word: Bravo! Brendan Fraser truly is sensational in this role. I heard about all the acclaim and seen a few of the standing ovations he has received and all I can say is that it is unequivocally deserved. Truly outstanding from the first scene (yes, even with that... ha) to the very last. It's great to see the dude that I first saw as a kid in 'George of the Jungle' well and truly back in the game. One thing about Fraser getting all the (undoubtedly merited) plaudits from this Darren Aronofsky flick is that I didn't know what to expect from the support cast, and man are there some absolutely stellar performances behind Fraser. Sadie Sink, Ty Simpkins and Samantha Morton are top notch, though Hong Chau is a cut above that trio - brilliant stuff from her! There are some powerful scenes in there. I'm not one to cry with fictional works (my brain automatically knows it's 'fake', I can't help it) but man even I got major goosebumps and gut punches (pardon the pun?) from what's portrayed onscreen. Fraser, and Chau, are naturally the major reasons for that, but everyone - on and off the screen - deserves big props for this 2022 film. The definition of a must-watch.
I like this one. It really made me feel something.
Tammy becomes a nurse's aide, works in a hospital, cares for an old rich woman, and causes romantic commotion in the life of Dr. Mark Cheswick.
Movie Star Rating : 5.2 Read More
Freddie, a volatile, heavy-drinking veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, finds some semblance of a family when he stumbles onto the ship of Lancaster Dodd, the charismatic leader of a new "religion" he forms after World War II.
Movie Star Rating : 7.2 Read More
Warwick Wilson is the consummate host. He carefully prepares for a dinner party, the table impeccably set and the duck perfectly timed for 8:30 p.m. John Taylor is a career criminal. He’s just robbed a bank and needs to get off the streets. He finds himself on Warwick’s doorstep posing as a friend of a friend, new to Los Angeles, who’s been mugged and lost his luggage.
Movie Star Rating : 6.3 Read More
A vivid, dynamic Southern coming-of-age drama, takes place in the transitional space between high school and college, when life seems to be all questions and no answers, and the future is scarily wide open. Set in and around a Charleston, SC Baptist church, weaving through this ensemble piece are three main characters - Brea, an introspective pastor's daughter experiencing debilitating doubt, the hyperactive Laura, Brea's best friend and a devout believer, and Tim, the open-hearted son of a single father, confronting his homosexuality for the first time. Tensions and buried feelings abound, as colleges are chosen and adults behave badly, as Brea, Laura and Tim attempt to hang onto what they have, all the while yearning to break free.
Movie Star Rating : 6.1 Read More
When a banker is found shot dead with a gun in his hand, his daughter refuses to believe it is a suicide. With the help of a detective, she hopes to get to the bottom of the case.
Movie Star Rating : 5.6 Read More
Tricia's husband Daniel has been missing for seven years. Her younger sister Callie comes to live with her as the pressure mounts to finally declare him 'dead in absentia.' As Tricia sifts through the wreckage and tries to move on with her life, Callie finds herself drawn to an ominous tunnel near the house. As she begins to link it to other mysterious disappearances, it becomes clear that Daniel's presumed death might be anything but 'natural.' The ancient force at work in the tunnel might have set its sights on Callie and Tricia—and Daniel might be suffering a fate far worse than death in its grasp.
Movie Star Rating : 5.8 Read More
An autocratic Director (Harold Pinter) and his Assistant (Rebecca Pidgeon) put the final touches to the last scene of some kind of dramatic presentation, which consists entirely of a man (John Gielgud) standing still onstage.
Movie Star Rating : 6.2 Read More
In Krapp's Last Tape, which was written in English in 1958, an old man reviews his life and assesses his predicament. We learn about him not from the 69-year-old man on stage, but from his 39-year-old self on the tape he chooses to listen to. On the 'awful occasion' of his birthday, Krapp was then and is now in the habit of reviewing the past year and 'separating the grain from the husks'. He isolates memories of value, fertility and nourishment to set against creeping death 'when all my dust has settled'.
Movie Star Rating : 7.4 Read More
A teenage girl disappears and later turns up drowned, with a log across her back. Three years later, a former friend comes forward with some answers.
Movie Star Rating : 6.8 Read More
The story of Joseph, a man plagued by violence and a rage that is driving him to self-destruction. As Joseph's life spirals into turmoil a chance of redemption appears in the form of Hannah, a Christian charity shop worker. Their relationship develops to reveal that Hannah is hiding a secret of her own with devastating results on both of their lives.
Movie Star Rating : 7.2 Read More
Avatar The Way of Water 2022 - Movies (Mar 25th)
Big Lies In a Small Town 2022 - Movies (Mar 25th)
Super Greed The Fight for Football 2022 - Movies (Mar 24th)
Star-Crossed Romance 2022 - Movies (Mar 24th)
Sisters on the Run 2023 - Movies (Mar 24th)
Perfect Addiction 2023 - Movies (Mar 24th)
Knowing the Score 2023 - Movies (Mar 24th)
John Wick Chapter 4 2023 - Movies (Mar 24th)
Reggie 2023 - Movies (Mar 24th)
Unseen 2023 - Movies (Mar 23rd)
Batman The Doom That Came to Gotham 2023 - Movies (Mar 23rd)
Lullaby 2022 - Movies (Mar 22nd)
The Son 2022 - Movies (Mar 22nd)
Plane 2023 - Movies (Mar 22nd)
Missing 2023 - Movies (Mar 22nd)
The Cosmos Sisters 2022 - Movies (Mar 22nd)
Motorvation 2022 - Movies (Mar 22nd)
One Year Off 2023 - Movies (Mar 22nd)
Gods Time 2022 - Movies (Mar 22nd)
The Fourth Musketeer 2022 - Movies (Mar 22nd)
Mindcage 2022 - Movies (Mar 21st)
Cornwall Air 999 - (Mar 25th)
Cheap European Homes - (Mar 25th)
Deadline- White House - (Mar 25th)
The Last Word with Lawrence ODonnell - (Mar 25th)
Alex Wagner Tonight - (Mar 25th)
The Real Murders of Atlanta - (Mar 25th)
All In with Chris Hayes - (Mar 25th)
The First 48 - (Mar 25th)
The Rise of Phoenixes - (Mar 25th)
Amazing Railway Adventures with Nick Knowles - (Mar 25th)
On Patrol- Live - (Mar 25th)
Dispatches - (Mar 25th)
GRAND SUMO Highlights - (Mar 25th)
Motorway- Hell On The Highway - (Mar 25th)
Marketplace - (Mar 25th)
American Masters - (Mar 25th)
The Nature of Things - (Mar 25th)
Game Theory with Bomani Jones - (Mar 25th)
WWE SmackDown - (Mar 25th)
Gardeners World - (Mar 25th)