Corn Exchange Cinema Review

The Whale

Friday, March 17th, 2023    Reviewed by:Nicola Webb

65% Rotten Tomatoes

4/5 The Independent

3/5 Empire Online

In a town in Idaho, Charlie, a reclusive and unhealthy English teacher, hides out in his flat and eats his way to death. He is desperate to reconnect with his teenage daughter for a last chance at redemption.

The film won its lead, Brendan Fraser, the Best Actor award in the 2023 Oscars.

The Guardian’s Wendy Ide says: “Aronofsky challenges us to see beyond our biases and pre-programmed ideas of attractiveness to find beauty in Charlie, in the warm, enveloping melody of his speaking voice, in his poetic, passionate soul. But at the same time he shoots Charlie in a way that accentuates the indignity of his mostly sofa-based existence.”

The Independent’s Geoffrey Mcnab adds, “Watching it you feel grossly manipulated, but the approach is undeniably effective… The pathos is laid on very thick… Beneath all its blubber, though, this turns out to be a film with a very big heart.”

The Guardian’s Wendy Ide sums up, calling it a “clammy, uncomfortable but ultimately redeeming movie”.