The Whale, directed by Darren Aronofsky, is one of the controversial and provocative works of the 21st century’s auteurs. Brendan Fraser is currently enjoying a career renaissance.
While the film’s star-studded cast was undoubtedly well-received at the 79th Venice Film Festival, lead actor Brendan Fraser received a six-minute standing ovation for his portrayal of a morbidly obese gay man.
However, reviews have done little to dispel the allegations of fatphobia that have surrounded the film.
The Whale is about a 272-kilogram father who tries to reconcile with his bitter adolescent daughter, and the film’s use of a computerized fat suit and prosthetics has been widely panned.
On Sunday night at the Venice Feature Festival, Fraser’s new film The Whale, directed by Darren Aronofsky, premiered to a six-minute standing ovation.
A Return that Stirs up Trouble
The Whale follows Fraser (an introverted English teacher) as he battles his weight and attempts to mend fences with his estranged daughter. Fraser’s portrayal of this persona is aided by a combination of prosthetics and computer-generated imagery.
The usage of prosthetics or so-called fat suits has been quite prevalent among famous Hollywood performers for a long time, and it has been increasingly attacked for being fat-phobic and offensive. “I believe that’s absolutely going to be a subject of dispute in the conversation,” Baer said.
Indeed, some people have taken to social media to complain that the movie’s premise is inherently cruel.
It’s Debatable Whether or Not It Should Have Been Produced.
Author and co-host of the Maintenance Phase, a podcast dedicated to busting health fads, Aubrey Gordon, turned to Twitter to criticize the movie’s intent.
Here’s Why Brendan Fraser’s Hollywood Homecoming Is Making Fans Happy and Critics Mad
Some of Brendan Fraser’s fellow actors and longstanding supporters turned to social media to express their delight at his recent success.
Some members of the audience and the actor himself appeared to get emotional as the applause for Fraser continued on Sunday.
Fraser’s prime years are passed by now, so this isn’t unexpected. Despite the fact that Fraser’s comeback to popularity in this picture has been met with celebration by many, its release has also been met with sadness by others.
For a while, Fraser was a household name thanks to films like George of the Jungle and the Mummy series. After a long career as a Hollywood starring man, though, Fraser has been less visible in both TV and movies as of late.
Film scholar Chris Yogerst thinks that the audience’s appreciation for Fraser stemmed from the fact that they finally got to see the “universally liked” actor get some recognition.
“It seems like the public has been waiting for this moment,” Yogerst added. “Seeing him again on the screen was like seeing an old friend.”
Yogerst conceded that a large part of the pleasure some feel at this time is due to nostalgic associations.