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Gods and Monsters
Academy Award® Winner
Sir Ian McKellen stars as Frankenstein director James Whale, the openly gay English filmmaker who killed himself in 1957.

Starring Ian McKellan, Brendan Fraser, Lynn Redgrave...  View more >

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Reviews Summary

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
This totally engrossing, in-depth character study of Frankenstein director James Whale’s later years is truly fascinating. The key is the best performance of 1998 by an actor in a leading role by Sir Ian McKellan, who shows that his achievement in Apt Pupil earlier this year was no fluke. Golden Globe nominated Lynn Redgrave is hardly recognizable in a wonderful role as the stodgy housekeeper, and believe it or not, I was even enthralled by Brendan Frazier as the gardener. The film portrays with great effectiveness the downhill path that Whale’s life takes, using movies as a metaphor (while simultaneously paying homage to Whale’s classic films). It’s a joy to watch McKellan act and see the wheels turning. He’s a character struggling with the monsters of his past and present both literally and figuratively. Smart, funny, moving, and meaningful dialogue certainly doesn’t hurt either. The "Ed Wood" of 1998. Bravo!

10-point scale rating: 9

[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Good, poignant, and full of emotion; interesting in its historicity. It is presumably accurate historically and is a powerful reminder of how society limits people's ability to find and accept true and honest love.

[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Gods and Monsters

Bill Condon wrote and directed this film about the final days in the life of James Whale, the eccentric director who gave us numerous Hollywood classics. The story focuses on a more-than-likely fictional friendship between Whale, who was openly homosexual, and his gardener, a straight man who learns to accept Whale's lifestyle in order to preserve the relationship.

Brendan Fraser (George of the Jungle) is convincing as the gardener, a man much younger than Whale, but in desperate need of a companion. Ian McKellen, fresh off a strong showing in Apt Pupil, gives an Oscar-worthy performance as Whale.

The movie effectively entwines dark comedy with brash realism, exploring the trials and tribualtions of both men, while keeping the story exciting and original. Gods and Monsters borrows material - as well as style - from some of Whale's most well-known films, including Frankenstein and the Bride of Frankenstein.

It may be the film's attention to simple details in the everyday lives of its characters that makes it most interesting. But the behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood life, and even a re-creation of one of Whale's film sets make this a good choice for any movie fan.

Jul 15, 2003
\"Gods and Monsters\" tells the story of the James Whale, played by Ian McKellen. Whale is an openly gay director who directed \"Frankenstein.\" the film tells about his life. Brandon Fraser in a rare dramantic performance plays Whale\'s love intrest. The film has taken a rare view of the life of a cinematic genius.

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