The night of the Oscars ( here all the winners) gave Brendan Fraser a well-deserved statuette for Best Actor, crowning his personal and professional rebirth.
His interpretation of Charlie in The Whale has been acclaimed since the last Venice Film Festival,
but the victory was not so obvious: on the one hand due to the strong competition from the excellent Colin Farrell (who, moreover, still in Venice, had conquered the Coppa Volpi), on the other hand because the film was at the center of some controversy. Nonetheless, the purity of his performance shattered any accusations of pietism, and it is clear that Fraser internalized the struggles ofCharlie on a very intimate, visceral level.
In his acceptance speech there was no shortage of nautical metaphors, to thank the director Darren Aronofsky , the screenwriter Samuel D. Hunter and his colleague Hong Chau , who plays the nurse Liz in the film.
I’m grateful to Darren Aronofsky for throwing me a creative lifeline and pulling me aboard the good ship of The Whale . It was written by Samuel D. Hunter, who is our beacon. Gentlemen, you have bared your whale-sized hearts so that we could see into your souls as no one else could, and it is an honor to be nominated in this category with you. I also want to tell you that only whales can swim to the depths of Hong Chau’s talent.
Fraser also thanked the rest of the cast, his children and his manager, among others.
Brendan Fraser accepts the #Oscar for Best Actor for #TheWhale. https://t.co/ndiKiHfmID pic.twitter.com/kNuDy85dpH
— Variety (@Variety) March 13, 2023
The rebirth of Brendan Fraser
As we know, Fraser has returned from difficult years: his body has been affected by the numerous stunts he practiced in action films, forcing him to undergo various surgeries; while the allegations of sexual harassment against Philip Berk, former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, have had serious repercussions on his career. Marginalized by the film industry, the actor suffered from depression following his divorce and the death of his mother. The last two or three years, however, have sanctioned his return to the scene, brought to fruition by the success of The Whale .