I'm not sure that there could be any better time to visit the 1998 film Gods and Monsters. Three of the four elements that make the film a true treasure have been circling the news. Aside from the excellent turn by star Ian McKellan, we recently lost the talented Lynn Redgrave, have suffered yet another terrible Brendan Fraser movie, and finally, have learned that writer/director Bill Condon is daring to helm The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn.

But before I get into that, I must at least mention McKellan's performance. Magneto and Gandalf were still in his future, and beyond his many skilled Shakespearian turns on stage and screen, his cinematic credits -- narrator of the quilt doc in To Die For, Death in Last Action Hero for example -- didn't make a name for himself. But in '98, everything was to change. He starred in Apt Pupil and Gods and Monsters, solidifying himself as an endearing performer and multi-faceted actor. As director James Whale, McKellan swims between lechery and love, decorum and desperation. He's of the generation where mind trumped all and age didn't dictate thoughts, a Henry Miller of sorts, desperate not to lose the mind he has always held so dear.

While around him...