A bereft Charlie (Brendan Fraser) has become a recluse. With his best friend his only contact with the outside world, Charlie is eating himself into an early grave. His health failing, he reaches out to the daughter he abandoned when he fell in love with a man and left his wife.
Unfolding in a single room, the film has a rich sense of place – the dusty American mid-west. But its themes are universal: our fundamental need for human connection, a sense that time is unforgiving, and the (occasionally awful) power and responsibility of parenting.
With exquisite writing and pitch-perfect performances, ‘The Whale’ is destined to be one of the talking-point films of the year.