Had a lump in my throat at least five times. Benny Safdie pretending to be normal was also good value.
Brendan Fraser delivers a career-best performance as Charlie, imbuing the delicate role with a warmth and empathy that elevates The Whale above an exercise in gawking insincerity. Adapted from a stage play, the writerly-ness of its origin occasionally highlights the artificiality of its structure (characters coming in stage left before exiting stage right) but it's not enough to detract from the humanity, optimism and emotional weight of the story, while also making Fraser an awards frontrunner.
A swirling, mulifaceted, goofy ride of a film that hits as hard with its heart as it does with its Kung Fu. I read a review that concluded the film tells us that 'nothing really matters'. Quite the opposite: how we treat others, how we treat ourselves, how we treat each moment - all these things mean something, to someone. The most strikingly original and sensational cinematic experience I've had since The Matrix.