The story follows the life of Charlie (Brendan Fraser) an obese man living in an upstairs apartment and working as an instructor for an online school teaching English literature and writing. His friend Liz (Hong Chau) a practicing nurse would come to check on Charlie almost every day to make sure he was alright. Liz and Charlie have a personal connection that keeps them bound together. The same reason Charlie has left himself go physically due to the loss of his partner. He was much thinner at one time years earlier but the death of his partner drove him to excess eating and loathing of himself.
Charlie was with Mary (Samantha Morton) for some time and they had a daughter together, Ellie (Sadie Sink) but after their relation was over Charlie stepped away from Ellie and her life for personal reasons. Yet Ellie came to seek out her father for a few reasons, mostly money and help writing her school papers so she doesn’t flunk out of school. Also, Charlie became friends with a religious initiator Thomas (Ty Simpkins) who one day knocked on his door and later kept returning. Charlie was dealing with a lot of grief, his weight, not being in his daughters’ life, the loss of a love, his mental and physical situation was not good and Charlie was on a spiral in the wrong direction.
The film has a very small cast but is brilliant in helping you to look into the life of an obese man that has lost his will to live the life he once had. The direction and writing his amazing especially because it really only takes place in an apartment. There is not a lot to look at but there is a lot of dialogue and it is the relationships with the characters that make you reflect on your own life and also the times that you may have looked at someone so large in disgust or embarrassment.
All of the actors in this film are brilliant but it is Brendan Fraser that truly deserves that Oscar on the night of black ties and gowns honoring the actors that show excellence. Well-deserved work by Brendan to help make people understand the person within and not just what one sees on the outside. The only animal in the story is a wild bird Charlie would feed outside his window.