If you hated Whale, consider that real things happen to real people; not pretty actors, but real people. And consider that some folks are irrevocably broken, so does that mean their story is not worthy of being told?
I wrestled with where to put The Whale in my Top Ten. I had fun trying to figure out where to place it in the rankings. I asked myself, what is most important in a film, emotional beats? Story? Acting?
In terms of ensembles, The Whale could almost be higher than its current placement in my ranking, since every actor (male and female) was terrific. Brendan Fraser’s angst was real. The evangelist kid’s (Ty Simpkins) plight was genuine. The icy daughter (Sadie Sink) was believable, the angry ex-wife (Samantha Morton) concise and last but definitely NOT least Brendan’s nurse (Hong Chau from Driveways!); in fact if I had to rank the actors, she’d be neck and neck with Brendan.
The story in a nutshell is an over eater dealing with past trauma, going for a hail Mary attempt at a relationship with his daughter. Bless Aronofsky for bringing it to the big screen.
This is a far better film than Tar and certainly better by miles than Avatar. Please America, don’t shame your shallow selves by letting non-human stories win over human ones. Not to mention, the story is tight (as it should be since it’s based on a play by Samuel Hunter), not bloated like two hour plus ordeals like Tar, Avatar, and Decision to Leave.