By Mr. Will Wong
Darren Aronofsky‘s THE WHALE is as hefty in heart as its tragic hero, Charlie, played to masterful perfection in a performance of a lifetime by comeback kid Brendan Fraser.
Charlie is an online professor whom after losing his partner, has spiraled into obsessive eating and severe obesity. With just days left to live, he is out to reconcile his relationship with estranged daughter Ellie (Sadie Sink). Ellie harbours deep anger and resentment towards her dad and agrees only to meet him on the condition of a financial incentive and help with her failing grades.
Through the arrival of a stranger at his door in Thomas (Ty Simpkins) and best friend/caretaker Liz (Hong Chau), we get glimpses into Charlie‘s heartbreaking grief, answering questions for us how he has gotten to his present state and why he left behind his wife and daughter. As Charlie’s health continues to deteriorate quickly, he needs to know that he’s done one thing right and that he lived authentically, which seems improbable with everything around and within him crumbling.
Aronofsky once again delivers a compelling, visceral story that tapes right into the core and essence of what our hero truly is. THE WHALE tore us apart and left us in tears. Not enough can be said about Fraser‘s precise performance. Every wheeze, arduous plop on the couch and attempt to get up off the couch, or struggle to reach things, feel all so real. Beneath all that, we feel the race against time and his urgency to make sense of his tortured life. Simply put, Fraser is unforgettable and he helps us reach a deep level of connection with Charlie that helps us see past the “disgusting”.
The Film assembles a sublime Ensemble and we were floored by Sink‘s commanding presence, serving two dashes of cruelty per every bit of pain in Ellie. Academy Award nominee Chau is every bit as important a part of the story, defeated in her attempts to save Charlie but still unconditionally loving of him and protective of him.
THE WHALE changed us and maybe ruined us for any other Films we still have to see at the Festival or the rest of the year. It screens at TIFF ’22 as follows:
Sun, Sep 11 IN-PERSON Royal Alexandra Theatre 5:30pm
Mon, Sep 12 IN-PERSON Scotiabank Theatre Toronto 11:30am
The plus side of being in isolation is lots of great films coming straight to us at home! TIFF ’19 selection AMERICAN WOMAN is coming this June on-demand and digitally!
Inspired by the headline-dominating kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst in 1974, this atmospheric drama is a fictionalized re-imagining of her time in hiding, from the perspective of Jenny, a political activist assigned to take care of her.
Director: Semi Chellas
Cast: Sarah Gadon, Hong Chau, Ellen Burstyn, David Cubitt, John Gallagher Jr.
See the Trailer:
Elevation Pictures release AMERICAN WOMAN Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
(Photo/video credit: Elevation Pictures)
Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
In this fictionalized reimagining of the Patty Hearst affair, a political activist (Hong Chau) helps take care of a group of wanted fugitives including a well-known heiress (Sarah Gadon).
At the core of American Woman is a captivating story about political activism and the extremes some go to with their beliefs. These enthralling themes are all here, however, there’s no mystery about the fate of the characters because the opening scene reveals where they end up. What does keep the audience engaged is the cast, particularly the mysterious Jenny played by Chau and the shifty Pauline played by Gadon.
American Woman screens at TIFF on Thu, Sep 12 at Roy Thompson Hall at 6:30 PM, Thu, Sep 12 at Elgin Theatre at 8 PM, and Sat, Sep 14 at Scotiabank Theatre at 7 PM.
It’s officially been a week since TIFF ’19 began and we honestly don’t know where the time went! It all felt like one long day with power naps. We’re doing just fine, although we worry with the switch from hot to umm… freezing, we are a prime candidate for a cold!
Some names still in town we spotted. Hover cursor right to navigate albums.
Zazie Beetz (Lucy in the Sky, Joker + Seberg)
George McKay (True History of the Kelly Gang)
WESTERN STARS – Premiere
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
Paramount Pictures Canada x Mr. Will want to give Readers a chance to see DOWNSIZING! Up for grabs are Run-of-Engagement Passes and Advance Passes in Montreal on Wednesday, December 20, 2017.
Downsizing imagines what might happen if, as a solution to over-population, Norwegian scientists discover how to shrink humans to five inches tall and propose a 200-year global transition from big to small. People soon realize how much further money goes in a miniaturized world, and with the promise of a better life, everyman Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in Omaha in order to get small and move to a new downsized community — a choice that triggers life-changing adventures.
To enter to win, click “like” on this Post at MR. WILL ON FACEBOOK and indicate Montreal or ROE as your preference in the comments there.
DOWNSIZING is in theatres Friday, December 22, 2017.
Official Hashtag: #DOWNSIZING
(Photo/video credit: Paramount Pictures Canada)
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