Brendan Fraser in The Whale
Brendan Fraser in The Whale by Darren Aronofsky (A24)

Brendan Fraser will receive the Spotlight Award, Actor for his performance in The Whale at the Palm Springs International Film Awards. The Film Awards will take place in-person on January 5, 2023, with the festival running through January 16, 2023.

“Brendan Fraser demonstrates his impressive talent in Darren Aronofsky’s powerful adaptation of The Whale. Fraser gives an extraordinary and haunting performance that paints a vivid portrait of our inability to escape our own sadness,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “For this award caliber performance, it is our honor to present the Spotlight Award, Actor to Brendan Fraser.”

In Darren Aronofsky’s adaptation of The Whale, Brendan Fraser gives a virtuosic performance as Charlie, an English teacher living with obesity whose time is running out. As he makes a last bold attempt to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter, Charlie must confront, with his full heart and fierce wit, long-buried traumas and unspoken love that have haunted him for decades. But The Whale offers much more than just darkness. It’s a soaring character study of a man wrestling with the enormity of his regret, the duty of fatherhood, and the feasibility of goodness itself. At its core, The Whale is a story about transformation and transcendence, one man’s odyssey into himself and out of his body, a journey through the depths of grief towards the possibility of salvation. The A24 film also stars Sadie Sink, Hong Chau, Ty Simpkins, and Samantha Morton.

Fraser joins this year’s previously announced honorees Cate Blanchett (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress), Austin Butler (Breakthrough Performance Award, Actor), Viola Davis (Chairman’s Award), Danielle Deadwyler (Breakthrough Performance Award, Actress), Colin Farrell (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor), Bill Nighy (International Star Award, Actor), Sarah Polley (Director of the Year Award), Michelle Yeoh (International Star Award) and The Fabelmans (Vanguard Award). Past recipients of the Spotlight Award, Actor include Bryan Cranston for Trumbo and Andrew Garfield for Hacksaw Ridge. Both went on to receive Academy Award nominations for Best Actor.

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