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The Whale trailer unveils Brendan Fraser’s controversial comeback performance

The movie also stars Sadie Sink, Hong Chau, and Ty Simpkins

Petrana Radulovic is an entertainment reporter specializing in animation, fandom culture, theme parks, Disney, and young adult fantasy franchises.

1990s action heartthrob Brendan Fraser is making a comeback, though this time he’s traded those fast-paced flicks for more somber, dramatic fare. He stars in Darren Aronfsky’s latest film, The Whale, which is adapted from a play by Samuel D. Hunter.

In the movie, Fraser plays a reclusive teacher named Charlie who attempts to connect with his teenage daughter (played by Sadie Sink of Stranger Things and Taylor Swift’s All Too Well short film fame). Charlie also struggles with numerous health issues, chief among them the fact that he weighs 600 pounds.

The movie has garnered its share of controversy for playing into fatphobia, especially by putting Fraser in a fat suit. As our review says, Charlie ends up becoming “a Christ figure whose masochistic superpower is to absorb the cruelty of everyone around him and store it safely inside his massive frame.”

Fraser’s performance, however, is said to be superb, placing him as the frontrunner for the Best Actor Oscar and many other prestigious accolades. During the Venice International Film Festival, the film was met with a six-minute standing ovation — which prompted Fraser to burst into tears.

The Whale hits theaters on Dec. 9.

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