Brendan Fraser won best actor at Sunday’s Critics’ Choice Awards for his role in festival favorite “The Whale,” in what could be his first award season The first of many major pieces of hardware.
Fraser has some serious competition for the award, including Golden Globe winner Austin Butler, star of “Elvis,” and Colin Farrell, who starred in “The Banshee of Enisherin.”
Tom Cruise (“Top Gun: Maverick”), Paul Mescal (“After Sun”) and Bill Nighy (“Blood and Live”) are also nominated.
Ultimately, a group of more than 600 media critics and entertainment journalists chose Fraser, who played a reclusive, fat teacher named Charlie, has been in the spotlight ever since getting a standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival.
“Herman Melville once wrote that there are only five critics in America—the rest are asleep. I don’t know what that means, but I’m glad you woke up for me,” Fraser said in the award Said in the speech.
Although the film drew some backlash, Fraser ended his speech with a message of hope.
“If you — like someone like Charlie, who I play in this movie — struggle with obesity in any way, or you just feel like you’re in a sea of darkness, I want you to know that if you too Have the strength to stand up to the light and good things will happen,” he said.