Brendan Fraser 'Sobs' Throughout 6-Minute Standing Ovation

Fraser's 'The Whale' goes over well at Venice Film Festival
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2022 2:01 AM CDT
Brendan Fraser 'Sobs' Throughout 6-Minute Standing Ovation for The Whale
Brendan Fraser, Hong Chau, director Darren Aronofsky, Sadie Sink and Samuel D. Hunter pose for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film 'The Whale' during the 79th edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022.   (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

Once nearly impossible to avoid at the theater, it's now been years since Brendan Fraser was in a Mummy or George of the Jungle film, a romantic comedy, a comedy-comedy, or a big-budget action flick or adaptation. But now it's comeback time, and so far, the comeback seems to be going pretty well. As Variety reports, Fraser "sobbed" throughout a six-minute standing ovation Sunday night when The Whale premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Fraser, 53, plays a morbidly obese, wheelchair-bound gay man trying to reconnect with his teen daughter in the film, directed by Darren Aronofsky and adapted from the play by Samuel D. Hunter. The New York Times and other outlets are speculating he could end up with his first Academy Award nomination for the role.

Fraser was emotional while discussing the film at a news conference, his voice trembling and his eyes often tearing up, and he said the movie left a "deep impression" on him. Many in the audience were crying as the film ended. Also getting a lot of press was the prosthetic suit Fraser wore in order to appear to be a man weighing, at times in the film, 600 pounds; depending on the scene, the suit weighed anywhere from 50 to 300 pounds. As for the reception the movie is getting beyond the Venice audience, reviews are mixed. Variety says "Fraser is a better actor—slyer, subtler, more haunting—than he has ever been" but that the film itself "turns out to be equal parts sincerity and hokum." And Collider is even harder on it, calling it "inorganic, gimmicky, manipulative." But there's positive feedback to be found as well; its current Rotten Tomatoes score is 67%. (More Brendan Fraser stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.