LFF: The Whale

BBFC RatingLFF: The Whale

Showing: 11 October 2022

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Tue 11 Oct 2022

CertificateNot Rated
DirectorDarren Aronofsky
WritersSamuel D. Hunter
Running Time1HR 57MINS
SeasonBFI London Film Festival at QFT

Brendan Fraser shines in Darren Aronofsky’s resplendent film about a man trying to reconnect with his teenage daughter before it’s too late.

A bereft Charlie (Fraser) has become a recluse. With his best friend (Hong Chau) his only contact with the outside world, Charlie is eating himself into an early grave. His health failing, he reaches out to the daughter (Stranger Things’ Sadie Sink) he abandoned when he fell in love with a man and left his wife.

The Whale is adapted by Samuel D. Hunter from his own stage play, and Aronofsky directs with consummate economy. Unfolding in a single room, the film has a rich sense of place – the dusty American mid-west, with its church-dictated hetero-norms of family love and a booming medical sector as a primary employer. But its themes are universal: our fundamental need for human connection, a sense that time is unforgiving, and the (occasionally awful) power and responsibility of parenting and being someone’s whole world. With exquisite writing and pitch-perfect performances – Fraser and Sink are particular knockouts – The Whale is destined to be one of the talking-point films of the year.

Presented as part of the 66th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express.