The Whale Brendan Fraser CR: A24
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Brendan Fraser to Receive TIFF Tribute Award for his Performance in ‘The Whale’

Moments ago, the Toronto International Film Festival announced that Brendan Fraser will receive the TIFF Tribute Award for his performance in Darren Aronofsky‘s The Whale. Considering that this is one of the more buzzed about performances of the year, it certainly bodes well for Fraser’s Oscar prospects. Also of note is that the former recipients of this prize include Jessica Chastain and Benedict Cumberbatch last year, Kate Winslet and Anthony Hopkins in 2020, as well as Meryl Streep and Joaquin Phoenix in 2019. So, it’s clear that getting this TIFF honor is a good step towards an Academy Award nomination. Fraser joins Sam Mendes and the cast of My Policeman as festival honorees so far, with more to come soon.

Here is the press release announcing Brendan Fraser as the TIFF Tribute Award Winner for The Whale:

Photo credit: Chad Griffith /A24 Films

Cameron Bailey, CEO of TIFF, is delighted to announce that Brendan Fraser will receive the TIFF Tribute Award for Performance for his outstanding performance in The Whale. The TIFF Tribute Awards presented by BVLGARI will return to an in-person gala fundraiser during the 47th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday, September 11 at Fairmont Royal York Hotel. The TIFF Tribute Award for Performance is presented by IMDbPro.

With a career spanning more than 30 years, Fraser has received recognition for his work by both critics and his peers. Known for playing Rick O’Connell in The Mummy trilogy, Fraser has gone on to star in many projects in both television and film. Fraser will make his return to Toronto with Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale, which will have its North American Premiere at this year’s Festival.

“Brendan Fraser gives a performance of staggering depth, power, and nuance in The Whale,” said Bailey, TIFF CEO. “This former Torontonian has been an action star, a screen comic, and a romantic lead. We’re thrilled to welcome him home as the actor behind one of the finest performances of the year.”

Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale tells the story of a reclusive English teacher living with severe obesity who attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter for one last chance at redemption. The A24 film is based on the acclaimed play by Samuel D. Hunter and also stars Sadie Sink, Hong Chau, Ty Simpkins, and Samantha Morton. It is being distributed in Canada by Elevation Pictures.

The TIFF Tribute Award for Performance presented by IMDbPro to Fraser is one of two acting awards being handed out. These two awards recognize an outstanding performance by either an individual or ensemble in the now gender-neutral acting category. Fraser joins the recently announced recipients of the TIFF Tribute Award for Performance presented by Polestar, the ensemble of My Policeman. Past recipients honoured in the prestigious acting category were Jessica Chastain and Benedict Cumberbatch in 2021; Kate Winslet and Sir Anthony Hopkins in 2020; and Meryl Streep and Joaquin Phoenix in 2019.

Also joining the list of 2022 TIFF Tribute Award honourees Academy Award®–winning filmmaker Sam Mendes who will be receiving the TIFF Ebert Director Award. The TIFF Tribute Awards have served as an awards-season bellwether, with past honourees such as Chastain, Hopkins, Phoenix, Roger Deakins, Taika Waititi, and Chloé Zhao going on to win awards on the international stage. Once again, the TIFF Tribute Awards honour the film industry’s outstanding contributors and their achievements, recognizing leading industry members, acting talent, directorial expertise, new talent, and a below-the-line artist and creator. The Awards gala event also serves as TIFF’s largest annual fundraiser to support TIFF’s Every Story fund, which promotes diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in film and TIFF’s core mission to transform the way people see the world through film. More information on the event and honourees will follow in the coming weeks.

Source: Press Release


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Written by Steven Prusakowski

Steven Prusakowski has been a cinephile as far back as he can remember, literally. At the age of ten, while other kids his age were sleeping, he was up into the late hours of the night watching the Oscars. Since then, his passion for film, television, and awards has only grown. For over a decade he has reviewed and written about entertainment through publications including Awards Circuit and Screen Radar. He has conducted interviews with some of the best in the business - learning more about them, their projects and their crafts. He is a graduate of the RIT film program. You can find him on Twitter and Letterboxd as @FilmSnork – we don’t know why the name, but he seems to be sticking to it.

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