Remake of Ikiru, but set in 1950s London. Stars Bill Nighy as a midlevel paper pushing (and, more commonly, holding/disappearing) bureaucrat prodded out of his pointless existence by a late life cancer diagnosis. He halfheartedly tries a few different ways to find meaning before throwing himself into getting a small playground approved. It's beautifully shot to look like an old photograph. Simple and straightforward, and I thought most critics actually underrated it. It's all very restrained post-war British, not melodramatic or goofy like The Bucket List or anything like that.
The script was co-written by Kazuo Ishiguro (who wrote Remains of the Day, Never Let Me Go, etc.), who I don't always love, but it is a perfect match for this material.
I haven't seen The Whale, but I really doubt Brendan Fraser is better in it than Nighy is in this. He probably should have won for best actor, and that's a little sadder for the fact that this was probably his last shot, given his age.