Gods and Monsters

A deserving Oscar-winner by Bill Condon, this film stars Ian McKellan as James Whale, director of 1931 horror classic Frankenstein. Whale’s orderly, tedious retirement is disrupted by a young student interviewer with probing questions about Whale’s Hollywood years, and a handsome new gardener called Clayton Boone, played by Brendan Fraser.

As Whale’s memories of his golden years surface and he finds himself attracted to Boone, he asks him to sit for a portrait and Boone, needing the cash, agrees. Tentative steps towards friendship and an uneasy understanding between the two men, observed by Whale’s protective, eagle-eyed housekeeper Hanna (Lynn Redgrave), make this a sensitive, engaging, often humorous film.