I’m of two minds about “The Whale.” I don’t like it; that’s one mind. Yet I love what it has done for its star, Brendan Fraser, a highly likely Oscar nominee come early 2023 and — as he has been since the early 1990s — a wonderful actor.
He’s best known, still, I suppose, for saving the “Mummy” franchise (alongside Rachel Weisz) from lousiness. That was a long time ago. Fraser, a big, graceful screen presence, did excellent work before the “Mummy” movies and after. Eventually, he fell out of favor and, forcibly, laid low for a lot of reasons. He’d gone public, without fanfare, with his account of being groped in 2003 by Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes) president Philip Berk; he dealt with health issues. He went longer between assignments.