Saturday, January 28, 2023     Volume: 23, Issue: 48
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A MAN CALLED OTTO
A QUIET PLACE PART II
AMSTERDAM
ANOTHER ROUND
BARBARIAN
BINGEABLE: 100 FOOT WAVE (2021)
BINGEABLE: 1923 (2022-present)
BINGEABLE: A FRIEND OF THE FAMILY (2022)
BINGEABLE: A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN (2022)
BINGEABLE: ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL (2022)
BINGEABLE: ANDOR (2022-present)
BINGEABLE: BARRY (2018-present)
BINGEABLE: CASTLEVANIA (2017-2021)
BINGEABLE: CHEER (2020-present)
BINGEABLE: ECHO 3 (2022)
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG (2016-2019)
BINGEABLE: FLEISHMAN IS IN TROUBLE (2022)
BINGEABLE: GOSSIP GIRL (2021-present)
BINGEABLE: HACKS (2021-present)
BINGEABLE: INSIDE MAN (2022)
BINGEABLE: JOE PICKETT (2021)
BINGEABLE: KUNG FU (2021)
BINGEABLE: LAST LIGHT (2022)
BINGEABLE: LIFE & BETH (2022)
BINGEABLE: MAID (2021)
BINGEABLE: MIDNIGHT MASS (2021)
BINGEABLE: ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING (SEASON 2) (2022)
BINGEABLE: SLOW HORSES (2022)
BINGEABLE: SQUID GAME (2021)
BINGEABLE: STATION ELEVEN (2021)
BINGEABLE: SWEET TOOTH
BINGEABLE: TELL ME YOUR SECRETS (2021)
BINGEABLE: THE BEAR (2022)
BINGEABLE: THE ENGLISH (2022)
BINGEABLE: THE GREAT (2020-present)
BINGEABLE: THE WHITE LOTUS (SEASON 2) (2022)
BINGEABLE: THREE PINES (2022-present)
BINGEABLE: TULSA KING (2022-2023)
BINGEABLE: WEDNESDAY (2022)
BINGEABLE: WELCOME TO WREXHAM (2022-present)
BINGEABLE: WILLOW (2022)
BINGEABLE: YELLOWJACKETS (2021-present)
BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER
BLAST FROM THE PAST: A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (2001)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: COWBOY BEBOP (1998)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX (1999)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE SHOOTING (1966)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART (1990)
ENOLA HOLMES 2
GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY
GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S PINOCCHIO
GUILTY PLEASURES: GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE
GUILTY PLEASURES: JOLT
HAVE A GOOD TRIP: ADVENTURES IN PSYCHEDELICS
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM (1996)
I CARE A LOT
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
NEW FLICKS: ANTLERS
NEW FLICKS: BABYLON
NEW FLICKS: BEST SELLERS
NEW FLICKS: BULLET TRAIN
NEW FLICKS: CAUSEWAY
NEW FLICKS: CRUELLA
NEW FLICKS: DAY SHIFT
NEW FLICKS: DISENCHANTED
NEW FLICKS: FINCH
NEW FLICKS: FRESH
NEW FLICKS: GEORGE CARLIN’S AMERICAN DREAM (2022)
NEW FLICKS: HUSTLE
NEW FLICKS: I WANT YOU BACK
NEW FLICKS: KATE
NEW FLICKS: MONTANA STORY
NEW FLICKS: MY POLICEMAN
NEW FLICKS: PREY
NEW FLICKS: RED NOTICE
NEW FLICKS: SIGNIFICANT OTHER
NEW FLICKS: THE GOOD NURSE
NEW FLICKS: THE GRAY MAN
NEW FLICKS: THE NORTHMAN
NEW FLICKS: THE OUTFIT
NEW FLICKS: THIRTEEN LIVES
NEW FLICKS: WATERMAN (2021)
NINE PERFECT STRANGERS (2021)
PIG
THE BATMAN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM (2019)
THE MAP OF TINY PERFECT THINGS
THE MENU
THE PAPER TIGERS
THE SUNLIT NIGHT
THE WHALE
THE WOMAN KING
THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF LONGING
TV REVIEW: BATES MOTEL
TV REVIEW: DEFENDING JACOB
TV REVIEW: HOMECOMING
TV REVIEW: HOW TO WITH JOHN WILSON
TV REVIEW: LENOX HILL
TV REVIEW: LITTLE AMERICA
TV REVIEW: MRS. AMERICA
TV REVIEW: ONE MISSISSIPPI
TV REVIEW: PAINTING WITH JOHN (2021)
TV REVIEW: RAMY
TV REVIEW: RUN
TV REVIEW: SPACE FORCE
TV REVIEW: TED LASSO (2020-present)
TV REVIEW: THE BOYS
TV REVIEW: THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD
TV REVIEW: THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT
TV REVIEW: THE LAST KINGDOM
TV REVIEW: THE MIDNIGHT GOSPEL
TV REVIEW: THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
TV REVIEW: UNDONE
TV REVIEW: WARRIOR
TV REVIEW: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
TV REVIEW: ZEROZEROZERO
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS (2005)
UNDERRATED: ZOLA (2020)
WHITE NOISE

‘The Whale’ is a story of regret and atonement

THE WHALE

PHOTO BY , COURTESY OF A24 AND PROTOZOA PICTURES

THE WHALE


Where is it playing?: Regal Edwards RPX Santa Maria

What's it rated?: R

What's it worth?: $Full price (Glen Starkey)

What's it worth?: $Full price (Anna Starkey)

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Darren Aronofsky (Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, Black Swan, Mother!) directs playwright Samuel D. Hunter’s screenplay about morbidly obese Charlie (Brendan Fraser), a reclusive online college English teacher who desperately longs to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter, Ellie (Sadie Sink). (117 min.)

Glen: Charlie has deep regrets, most especially for abandoning his then-8-year-old daughter when he left his wife for another man. When the story begins, it’s nearly nine years on, and Charlie, “who’s always been big,” is now gigantic, with legs like tree trunks, an abdominal apron that extends to his knees, and hulking back fat blossoming like sweaty mushrooms around his neck. Every movement is exhausting to witness, and watching him strain to get upright with his walker so he can lumber to the bathroom to relieve himself is painful—almost as painful as watching him stuff greasy fried chicken, pizza, or meatball subs into his mouth. Charlie knows his behavior is killing him. His nurse and only friend, Liz (Hong Chau), makes it abundantly clear. Charlie is committing slow suicide, wallowing in misery, but he’s certain he doesn’t deserve better. As the story unfolds, we learn what’s driven him to his impending end. This is a tale about someone who’s ready to die but who also wants to get one thing right before he goes—to make sure his daughter will be OK. It’s sad and hard to watch, and I wish I could tell you there’s a reassuring emotional pay off, but frankly, if there is, I missed it.

Anna: Most of this film is deeply uncomfortable, and while it seems fairly obvious from the subject matter, I would caution those with disordered eating to ensure a good head space when entering this film. It not only deals with Charlie’s slow climb to death through congestive heart failure that stems from his obesity, but also his former partner, Allen, who lost his life after a period of deep depression—one symptom of that being self-imposed starvation. This is a sad film, and while I can’t say that I actually enjoyed it, I can say that Frasier deserved every accolade he has received for this role—he’s phenomenal. He isn’t alone in that category either. Chau as Liz is amazing as well, as is Samantha Morton in her brief but powerful role as Charlie’s ex-wife, Mary. Set solely in Charlie’s darkened apartment, this film feels insular in many ways, much like Charlie’s life in a self-imposed prison. The ways we punish ourselves in deep moments of loss and grief are evident here, and Charlie just can’t seem to forgive himself for any of his past decisions. He can’t quite see the reality in front of him either. It’s all just melancholy and bleak.

Glen: Yet, Charlie has an optimism inside him. At one point he says, “Do you ever get the feeling that people are incapable of not caring?” He needs to know his daughter is going to be happy, or happier than him at least. He also cares about teaching and wishes his students would write with honesty. This is a very good film, but ultimately, I find it’s deeply flawed. Will Ellie be OK? Will his ex-wife find solace? Will Liz find peace? There’s a whole side story about a religious cult and how religion can wound and destroy. For so simple a story, it covered a lot. I found it an emotive viewing experience, but not a redemptive one. Don’t expect a happy ending.

Anna: It’s a pretty intricate character study of someone who hates himself even more than his teenage daughter does, or more than his ex-wife, or more than Liz, who spends her time off of work caring for him. I think this film was a great opportunity for Frazier to showcase the nuance of his talent, but it certainly isn’t easy to watch Charlie struggle. I have a feeling I’ll be ruminating on this film over the next few days.

New Times Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey and freelancer Anna Starkey write Sun Screen. Glen compiles listings. Comment at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.










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