The Whale

Darren Aronofsky, USA 2022, 117’
Polish premiere
The Son Till

Brendan Fraser stars as a morbidly obese creative writing teacher. The life of a man limited to a single room is suddenly upturned by the appearance of a daughter he abandoned years ago. Aronofsky takes on yet another completely ordinary but fascinating character with total tendernes.

“The Whale” is based on a stageplay by Samuel D. Hunter, who also wrote the script, and the entire film takes place in Charlie’s apartment, most of it unfolding in that seedy bookish living room. Aronofsky doesn’t necessarily “open up” the play, but working with the great cinematographer Matthew Libatique he doesn’t need to. Shot without flourishes, the movie has a plainspoken visual flow to it. And given what a sympathetic and fascinating character Fraser makes Charlie, we’re eager to settle in with him in that depressive lair, and to get to the bottom of the film’s inevitable two dramatic questions: How did Charlie get this way? And can he be saved?

‘The Whale’ Review: Brendan Fraser Is Sly and Moving as a Morbidly Obese Man, But Darren Aronofsky’s Film Is Hampered by Its Contrivances (

Magdalena Maksimiuk


Venice IFF 2022 – Interfilm Award, Leoncino d’Oro Agiscuola Award, Premio CinemaSara, Sorriso Diverso Venezia Award (Best Film in Foreign Language)

Darren Aronofsky

Darren Aronofsky was born in Brooklyn in 1969; he is a director, screenwriter and producer. He studied anthropology at Harvard to then learn the secrets of directing at the American Film Institute. His full-length debut Pi received an award at the Sundance and Independent Spirit festival for his screenplay. The Wrestler brought him a Golden Lion in Venice while the Black Swan garnered an Oscar nomination. With each subsequent work, Aronofsky proves his exceptional sensitivity to cinematic language and form, creating films that escape the traditional genres while often polarizing audiences and critics.

Selected filmography

1998 Pi / π

2000 Requiem dla snu / Requiem for a Dream

2006 Źródło / The Fountain

2008 Zapaśnik / The Wrestler

2010 Czarny łabędź / Black Swan

2017 Mother!

2022 Wieloryb / The Whale

Cast & Crew

director Darren Aronofsky
screenplay Samuel D. Hunter
cinematography Matthew Libatique
editing Andrew Weisblum
music Rob Simonsen
cast Brendan Fraser, Sadie Sink, Hong Chau, Ty Simpkins, Samantha Morton
producer Darren Aronofsky, Jeremy Dawson, Ari Handel
production A24, Protozoa Pictures
sales Monolith Films
language English
coloration colour
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