Here at The A.V. Club, we know that there’s nothing that our readers care about more than how many minutes people clap for after a movie premieres at a European film festival. White Noise’s two-and-a-half-minute standing ovation was described as “tepid,” while the nearly nine minutes of applause for Bones And All turned young Timothée Chalamet into the King Of Claps at this year’s Venice International Film Festival. Now, there is new clapping to talk about and it may even move you (not clickbait!).
On Sunday night, Darren Aronofsky’s new film The Whale premiered in Venice, where it received a six-minute standing ovation. Brendan Fraser, who stars in the film as a 600-pound, wheelchair bound, gay man was reportedly moved to tears by the gesture, per Variety. The outlet adds, “He tried to leave the theater at one point, but the outpouring of clapping was so loud, he stayed longer and took a bow.”
All there is to say about this is: good for him. Fraser, who was a major leading man in the 90s and early 2000s, revealed in 2018 that he had been groped by former Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Philip Berk, and believes that the fallout from that interaction left him all but blacklisted for over a decade. Since that revelation, Fraser has steadily been getting more work, including roles in Steven Soderbergh’s No Sudden Move and in the shelved Batgirl movie (which is a whole other thing). If the clapping in Italy is any indication, Fraser’s comeback has been an undeniable success.
Following the buzz at Venice, it seems that The Whale is the thing that may make Fraser a first-time Oscar nominee, a fact he seems well aware of. The actor told Harper’s Bazaar on August 31, “I’ve had such variety [in my career], a lot of high highs and low lows, so what I’m keen for, in the second half of my time doing this, is to feel like I’m contributing to the craft and I’m learning from it. This is a prime opportunity … I wanted to know what I was capable of.” That’s the start of an Oscar campaign if we’ve ever heard one. Congratulations, Brendan Fraser, and enjoy the claps—you deserve them.