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Gods and Monsters Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Gods and Monsters was promoted from the outset as an artistic drama, but the publicity tended to play coyly on the possibility of a homosexual romance between the retired film director James Whale, played by Ian McKellen and his hunky gardener Clayton Boone (Brendan Fraser). While the film does involve romance, the central relationship between the director and his gardener is about the development of a genuine friendship between two outwardly dissimilar but inwardly kindred spirits. In the story, Whale has been living for many years in peaceful, if not entirely contented retirement, under the loving and watchful eye of his contentious and argumentative Hungarian housekeeper (Lynn Redgrave). His earlier celebrity as the director of the original Lynn Redgrave movie and its sequel, Lynn Redgrave, results in his being visited occasionally by disagreeable young men who have come to bask in the reminiscences of this creator of two "camp" classics. His reputation as a fairly outrageous homosexual comes into play here, when one particularly unpleasant and effeminate young man comes by seeking cinematic tidbits: the director challenges the boy to a game of stripping off one article of clothing for every revelation he shares about his moviemaking past. He had gotten the boy down to his briefs when he is stricken with one of his ever-recurring bouts of epilepsy, the result of a series of strokes. By way of contrast, while he is clearly interested in his gardener as a sex-object, gradually luring him into ever closer association, the openness and vulnerability of this awkwardly aggressive heterosexual boy inspires him to reveal the history of his heart. It turns out that, like the young man who is modeling for his supposed artworks, he came from a poor and difficult background. By the time naïve gardener learns of the director's homosexuality from the housekeeper, he has been drawn too deeply under the man's spell to stay away from their meetings for long. While the tension between the men never departs, a genuine relationship of caring develops between them. Meanwhile, Whale has been clearly observing the progressive deterioration of his mental faculties, and is increasingly being overwhelmed by vivid memories and visions. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi

  • Release date:January 21, 1998

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Bill Condon Best Adapted Screenplay 1998 Winner
Independent Spirit Awards Bill Condon Best Screenplay 1998 Nominee
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Ian McKellen Best Actor 1998 Winner
Broadcast Film Critics Association Ian McKellen Best Actor 1998 Winner
National Board of Review Ian McKellen Best Actor 1998 Winner
National Society of Film Critics Ian McKellen Best Actor - Runner-up 1998 Winner
Chicago Film Critics Association Ian McKellen Best Actor 1998 Winner
Toronto Film Critics Association Ian McKellen Best Actor 1998 Winner
Independent Spirit Awards Ian McKellen Best Actor 1998 Winner
Screen Actors Guild Ian McKellen Best Actor 1998 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Ian McKellen Best Actor 1998 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Lynn Redgrave Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture 1998 Winner
Independent Spirit Awards Lynn Redgrave Best Supporting Actress 1998 Winner
Screen Actors Guild Lynn Redgrave Best Supporting Actress 1998 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Lynn Redgrave Best Supporting Actress 1998 Nominee
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Carter Burwell Best Music Score (Runner-up) 1998 Winner

Cast

Ian McKellen
as James Whale
Brendan Fraser
as Clayton Boone
Lynn Redgrave
as Hanna
Lolita Davidovich
as Betty
Kevin J. O'Connor
as Harry
David Dukes
as David Lewis
Brandon Kleyla
as Young Whale
Jack Plotnick
as Edmond Kay
Jesse James
as Michael Boone

Crew

Bill Condon
Director
Mark R. Harris
Producer
Paul Colichman
Producer
Gregg Fienberg
Producer
Bill Condon
Screenwriter
Christopher Bram
Book Author
Stephen M. Katz
Cinematographer
Carter Burwell
Composer (Music Score)
Virginia Katz
Editor
Richard Sherman
Production Designer
Stephen Jarchow
Executive Producer
Clive Barker
Executive Producer
Bruce Finlayson
Costume Designer
Shawn Holden
Sound/Sound Designer
Valorie Massalas
Casting
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