Brendan Fraser's Oscar: the whale in the room

Brendan Fraser's Oscar: the whale in the room

Brendan Fraser's Oscar

We are at the Oscar ceremony , it is time to nominate the best leading actor for 2023 . Silence falls, a jagged, thunderous silence. Like the sound of the waves. And it is from the waves that the whale emerges: Brendan Fraser brings home the coveted statuette for the first time in his life, with a film (together with his personal excursus) too heavy for it to pass lightly unnoticed.

On more than one occasion, critics and the public have portrayed the Academy itself as a large voracious animal, gluttonous more for sensations than for merits and this year too, once again, many have wondered: "but the Oscar to Brendan Fraser did he really go for his interpretation or is it a sort of moral sop?”

--> The Whale

Brendan Fraser's Oscar: an Academy strategy?

Brendan Fraser and the night of the Oscars: “(I'm) sorry” The Moby Dick of the Oscars 2023

Brendan Fraser and the night of the Oscars: “(I'm not) sorry”

Brendan Fraser's nomination comes in a year in which he has to contend for the title of best actor with other great mythological and legendary beasts, such as Austin Butler for Elvis , Colin Farrell for The Spirits of the Island (here our review), Bill Nighy with Living and Paul Mescal for Aftersun. It must be said that it did not present itself as a simple choice, as we have already had the opportunity to deal with in our special dedicated to the great disappointments of the Oscars: the Spirits of the Island itself, the film with a soul, title and protagonists rooted in green Irish valley, would have equally deserved more space in the glittering night between 12 and 13 March, as well as Butler, who managed to (re) give prestige to the largest and most regal male voice in music, or like Nighy, the great British actor behind the face of Davy Jones from the Pirates of the Caribbean saga, who would not have shocked anyone if, after more than forty years of honorable career, he had finally won. Yet the Oscar  ended up between the fingers of Fraser , who in his speech after the nomination was literally out of breath like someone breathing again after a long scuba dive.

--> There has been much discussion of Brendan Fraser's past: the Academy would have been motivated to "give up" one of his coveted statuettes precisely because of some unpleasant events that the actor has experienced during the thirty years of his career. A ransom for a wrong done, a few ounces of gold for a few pounds of flesh. In the 1990s, Fraser represented a whole precise imagery of the cinematographic icons of the period: the smiling face of a man between Demons and Gods, the gentle gaze of a former sergeant who in The Mummy scans the horizon amid myths, beetles and sand, the physicality of a king of the jungle.

Everyone in those years wanted Fraser as a body, a mannequin to exhibit, pulp for a show. But all this has a cost and as the actor himself was able to tell, to keep pace with his own build, increasingly made available to wild action scenes, he had to undergo various operations over the years, following the numerous incidents that followed. Furthermore, his body has also become the object (and subject) of sexual harassment .

The Whale

The Moby Dick of the Oscars

--> Only in 2018 did the events related to Philip Berk, former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, manage to emerge from the black ocean in which Fraser has been navigating since 2003, after the actor divorced his wife, his only confidante in those years. After playing the role of "Robotman" in Titans and later Doom Patrol , Fraser happens to be able to show his flesh (and soul), making it out of that tin man. The opportunity offered by Darren Aronofsky in 2022 with The Whale represents that lifesaver, as stated by the actor himself, that he has been waiting for. On the other hand, the New York director is famous for bringing to light the most murky human feelings, starting from the beaten psychology of a Wrestler up to the true candid color of a Black Swan in the spotlight.

The Whale is a film heavy which, like the animal whose name it bears, swims in the hearts of the spectators, sinks slowly, very, very slowly, down to the wounds of the flesh and instead in an instant gets stuck inside the brain. Let them say that the Academy was moved by this gentle giant, let them demean the past of a man who for twenty years felt lost and abandoned. Anyone who has seen the film doesn't need to get to the bottom of this article to know the answer to the dilemma with which we began, they almost certainly don't have the urgent need to keep a camera on, to listen to someone during a webinar. Those who have seen the film will now feel their chest tightening again, they will only see the blinding white light under these words and will feel a lump in their throat, as happens to someone who has swallowed numerous mouthfuls to appease an insatiable sense of guilt.

The Whale And it's really up to you, you who saw the film, you who understood that meat rots, stinks and nothing will ever be left of it in the end, not even when weighs more than two hundred kilos, it is you that we ask for an effort: if you should hear someone ask why Fraser deserved to win the Oscar, you tell him to watch the film, perhaps with a pizza, tell him that despite everything his father had to however having hidden something of his, somewhere, and that it is not that gigantic Academy that has reminded the world of the greatness of humanity. But it was a whale who did it.

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