Brendon Fraser is getting a lot of praise for his performance in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale, and it’s about time. Fraser is at the start of a “Brenaissance,” which is what fans are lovingly calling his return to Hollywood. His return to the silver screen seems to be welcomed with open arms, and he clearly is very happy to be back, given his reaction to the crowd at the world premiere of The Whale.

This weekend at the Venice Film Festival, The Whale was screened for an audience. The reception of the film was electric, and Fraser received a 6 minute standing ovation, a major achievement at a festival. He is seen sitting to applaud the director, but Aronofsky encourages him to stand up, and accept the warm praise from the crowd. When he does, the crowd roars louder. Fraser was overwhelmed by the reaction to his performance, clearly not expecting such a boisterous reception. He is incredibly moved, and shed a few tears in response. You can see a video of the emotional moment below.

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This reaction to his work is well deserved, and a triumph for the actor. Fraser’s career declined while dealing with personal tragedies, health problems, and industry response to opening up about being groped by the president of the Hollywood Forgein Press. After the incident, Fraser felt he was blacklisted from Hollywood and struggled to be cast in parts. 

Things are thankfully turning around for The Mummy actor. He will be starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, which will be available for AppleTV+ subscribers later this year. He has also recently starred in DC’s Doom Patrol series for HBO Max. In addition, he was set to play Firefly in the Batgirl film for HBO Max, before the film was pulled as a result of Warner Brother’s restructuring their streaming platform.

The Venice Film Festival is not the only audience showing praise for The Whale. The film will also be screened for an audience at the Toronto International Film Festival where Fraser will receive the prestigious TIFF Tribute Award. Critics who have viewed the film have also showered Fraser with praise for his transformative role, and the project is already receiving Oscar buzz for the actor

Fraser might be receiving praise because of how much this film showcases his range as an actor. This part is a far cry from George of the Jungle and The Mummy. In The Whale, Fraser is playing an obese English teacher with a binge eating disorder and depression. His character is trying to reconnect with his teenage daughter after he left the family years ago for his gay lover. It is an extremely nuanced and complex character that needed to be played earnestly. Fraser was aware of this, and felt it was the perfect way to reintroduce himself to Hollywood as a character actor. 

The Whale is produced by A24, and will be released theatrically in the United States on December 9, 2022. For more information on films releasing later this year, check out our 2022 movie release schedule. 

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