Palm Springs International Film Awards to honor Brendan Fraser with the Spotlight Award, Actor

PALM SPRINGS – Brendan Fraser is the recipient of the Spotlight Award, Actor for his performance in The Whale, The Palm Springs International Film Awards announced Tuesday, Dec. 20.

The Film Awards will take place in-person on Jan. 5 at the Palm Springs Convention Center, with the festival running through Jan. 16. The event will be presented by American Express and sponsored by Entertainment Tonight and IHG Hotels & Resorts.

“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,” Festival Chairman Harold Matzner said in a statement. “For this award caliber performance, it is our honor to present the Spotlight Award, Actor to Brendan Fraser.”

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).

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 is most well-known for his role in Universal’s Mummy Franchise as Rick O’Connell. Past work also includes Crash, The Quiet American, Gimme Shelter, Escape from Planet Earth, The Nut Job, Whole Lotta Sole, Journey to the Center of the Earth, GI Joe: The Rise Of the Cobra, The Air I Breathe, George of the Jungle, Furry Vengeance, Extraordinary Measures, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Bedazzled, Monkey Bone, Blast From the Past, Dudley Do-Right, Mrs. Winterbourne, Encino Man, School Ties, With Honors, Airheads, The Scout, and The Twilight of the Golds, No Sudden Move, Doom Patrol, Line of Descent, Professionals, The Secret of Karma, The Poison Rose, Trust, Condor, The Affair, The Field and Texas Rising.

For his role in The Whale, Frasier received Best Actor nominations from the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, Satellite Awards and several regional film critics organizations.

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  • 2022 Brendan Fraser: Palm Spring Film Festival