Gods and Monsters
by: Shaun

Gods and monsters; sometimes you cant tell them apart, but just look at it's creator to distinguish the truth and this film does. A beautiful film that depicts the late James Whale (Ian Mckellen), he was a horror film director who's greatest hits include "Frankenstein," " Bride Of Frankenstein," and "The Invisible Man." A homosexual old man (I didn't even know that was feasible) who shows great hospitality and can create one of those assuring smiles, but when first introduced on to the screen he looks opaque, worn out and violated. That is because he has just returned from the hospital after conceiving a seizure. Whale is compassionate at times, but don't be deceived by this old man into taking your clothes off in front of him, as a reportes\r is soon to learn. The reporter enters Whale's house as he just returned from the hospital, he is very jumpy and optimistic to have finally met his idle. Then while they are sitting outside sipping tea by the pool, Whale offers the young mild mannered reporter to take a dip, the reporter is more interested in the interview. Whale agrees to cooperate if each answer he gives results in a removal of clothing, the poor naive reporter reluctantly agrees and by the end is left with just a pair of underwear. The movie has impeccable taste and the scene that I have just describes is only the beginning of a portrait so eloquently crafted that I would not be surprised if it won best picture. The film revolves around Whale's relationship with a young garden boy named Clay Boon (Brendan Fraser). Boon at the beginning is oblivious to what Whale's occupation was and what his sexuality is. He is first encountered by Whale in the garden and is offered to swim in the pool naked, speak of hospitality. Now you must understand that this film takes place in 1957 when homosexuals in Hollywood were extremely confidential, but not Whale, he exploited it not caring what the outcome might be. Boon spends most of his nights in a bar and after figuring out Whale's background he watches Frankenstein in the bar with his friends and learns that he is queer, Boon's relationships with women are based on pure sex, he just meets women to engage in sex and it makes him feel so good to know that he is normal, now that he met a homosexual.

Whale's maid Hanna (Lynn Redgrave) is a religious women that is not fond of his behavior and believes that he'll be condemned to hell. Whale is having hallucinations now and is turning senile, these are the touching parts as he reminisces to World War I and his lover who died in action, he even has a gas mask saved neatly in his closet as he looks at it with horror. He dreams of the setting in Frankenstein and its enormous castle, we even get to take a look on the set of "Bride Of Frankenstein." Whale and Boon's relationship doesn't start out to peacefully, when Whale is painting a portrait of Boon and begins to ramble on about how there were a lot of men around all the time swimming nakedly, we even see a flashback of naked men swimming in his pool (could've done without) as Whale smiles with glee, Boon has a fit and leaves. Boon returns the next day with an apology and is ready for the second portrait only this time Whale throws a fit of rage causing a conflict because Boon is making him think back into unpleasant times. These scenes are so beautifully acted and to my opinion Mckellen and Fraser are the best duo of the year.

It is a quiet film that makes it's impact felt in many ways, the end leaves you touched and heart broken. The Oscar should be made out for Mckellen as he delivers the best performance of the year and the director Billy Condon (Candy Man 2), who is gay as well, has created a monumental achievement.