Good news for people who don’t like to cry in public (and perhaps) Screen Actors Guild Awards voters who haven’t been able to get to the theater): “The Whale,” director Darren Aronofsky’s Oscar-nominated drama film, is now available to watch on-demand, which means you can sob at Brendan Fraser’s heartbreaking performance in the comfort of your own home. Distributor A24 announced that the film is available to buy via Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, YouTube, Vudu, and other platforms.
“The Whale” is about Charlie (Fraser), a reclusive, morbidly obese man who teaches writing classes over Zoom with his camera off. He’s trying to repair his relationship with his teenage daughter, Ellie (Sadie Sink), who resents him for leaving her and her mother years prior. He’s also trying to come to terms with his grief over the death by suicide of his lover, Alan. In addition to Fraser and Sink, the cast includes Hong Chau, Ty Simpkins, Samantha Morton, and Satya Sridharan. The screenplay was written by Samuel D. Hunter, who adapted his stage play of the same name.
The film is up for three Academy Awards. Fraser is nominated for Best Actor for his performance. Gold Derby’s odds currently have him in a dead heat with Austin Butler (“Elvis”) as the top contender. Hong Chau is nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Liz, Charlie’s nurse and friend. And Adrien Morot, Judy Chin, and Anne Marie Bradley are nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Fraser is also a nominee at the SAG Awards, which take place on Sunday night. Voting for the SAG Awards closes on Friday.
In an interview with Gold Derby, Fraser described how the prosthetics he wore to play Charlie were integral to creating the “authenticity and integrity” of the film. “The mandate on that was that it always observed gravity and physics, unlike so many weight-gain costumes we’ve seen in films in previous years, which are normally in service of a one-note, mean joke, or they just are inauthentic,” he said.
“The Whale” has performed fairly well at the box office – particularly for a specialty release – earning $23 million against a production budget of $3 million.
In addition to its release on-demand, “The Whale” will come out on Blu-Ray on March 14, and is still playing in theaters nationwide.
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