Film & Television

Film review: The Whale flounders in its muddled journey from stage to the screen

Darren Aronofsky’s maudlin reworking of Samuel Hunter’s play fails to live up to Brendan Fraser’s Oscar-nominated performance in this intensely claustrophobic space

Brendan Fraser in The Whale: the actor gives a sincere performance as Charlie, a 40-stone college professor of English literature, but the film remains muddled and mawkish

Sometimes, an actor is far too good for the film in which they appear. Take Brendan Fraser, Oscar-nominated for his humane and vulnerable title performance in Darren Aronofsky’s muddled and mawkish adaptation of Samuel D Hunter’s stage play, The Whale.

Fraser plays Charlie, a 40-stone college professor of English literature. Devastated by the recent loss of his partner, he lives in a mouldering apartment in a rural American town and delivers his lectures by video ...