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Gods and Monsters Movie Poster
Plot, Details & Awards

Gods and Monsters

R In Theaters 11/4/1998 , 120min.
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Plot & Details

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 Frankenstein movie and its sequel, The Bride of Frankenstein, 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.
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Genre(s): Foreign
  • Run Time: 120min.
  • Theatrical Release Date: 11/04/1998
  • DVD Release Date: 06/08/1999
  • Distributor(s): Lions Gate Films
  • Director(s): Bill Condon
  • Starring: Ian McKellen , Brendan Fraser , Lynn Redgrave , Lolita Davidovich , Kevin J. O'Connor
  • Themes: All Washed Up,Haunted By the Past,Unlikely Friendships,Servants and Employers,Unrequited Love
  • Tone: Affectionate,Gentle,Poignant,Autumnal,Bittersweet,Witty,Melancholy
  • Keywords: director
  • Country of Origin: USA (11-06-1998)
  • Language: English

Awards

Academy Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1998 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Adapted Screenplay Bill Condon Won
1998 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Supporting Actress Lynn Redgrave Nominated
1998 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Actor Ian McKellen Nominated

Golden Globes

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1998 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture Lynn Redgrave Won

Broadcast Film Critics Association

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1998 Broadcast Film Critics Association Best Actor Ian McKellen Won

Chicago Film Critics Association

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1998 Chicago Film Critics Association Best Actor Ian McKellen Won

Independent Spirit Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1998 Independent Spirit Awards Best Actor Ian McKellen Won
1998 Independent Spirit Awards Best Picture Won
1998 Independent Spirit Awards Best Screenplay Bill Condon Nominated
1998 Independent Spirit Awards Best Supporting Actress Lynn Redgrave Won

Los Angeles Film Critics Association

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1998 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Music Score (Runner-up) Carter Burwell Won
1998 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Actor Ian McKellen Won

National Board of Review

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1998 National Board of Review Best Picture Won
1998 National Board of Review Best Actor Ian McKellen Won

National Society of Film Critics

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1998 National Society of Film Critics Best Actor - Runner-up Ian McKellen Won

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