Surprising biopic in which Ian McKellen plays the role of his life as James Whale, the legendary director of horror classics who was found dead in 1957 ‘in mysterious circumstances’.
James Whale, the legendary director of horror classics such as Frankenstein, The Invisible Man and Bride of Frankenstein, was found dead on the bottom of his swimming pool in 1957 ‘in mysterious circumstances’. The surprising biopic Gods and Monsters is set in the last few years of Whale’s life that he spent sick, forgotten and lonely. Whale, a wonderful role by Ian McKellen (Richard III), is a fragile and isolated man, who lives with his housekeeper. He is running out of strength and has just returned from hospital after a stroke. The arrival of a new gardener awakens his lastvestiges of life. This muscular gardener, Clayton, is however on his guard and a strange cat-and-mouse game ensues between the openly gay Whale and the obviously heterosexual Clayton. The gardener – maybe even literally – brings Whale liberation from a life that is in danger of losing its dignity. His spirit, wracked by disease, remembers his youth in England, scenes from films that made him famous and the love he lost in the First World War. These are waves that make him bob round within and beyond reality. Whale’s roaming spirit gives the film a special narrative structure. Some scenes bring the Expressionist qualities of Whale’s films back to life. God and Monsters is both an intimate portrait and an imaginative fantasy. –IFFR
William “Bill” Condon (born October 22, 1955) is an American screenwriter and director. Condon is best known for directing and writing the critically acclaimed films Gods and Monsters, Chicago, Kinsey, and Dreamgirls. In 1998, Condon debuted as a screenwriter in Gods and Monsters, which won him his first Academy Award. He was also nominated for Chicago. In 2006, Condon won a Golden Globe for his film Dreamgirls, which he wrote and directed. Condon’s films have been both commercial and critical successes.
Condon was born in New York City, the son of a detective, and was raised in an Irish Catholic family. He attended Regis High School and Columbia College of Columbia University, where he studied philosophy. He is also openly gay.
At the age of twelve, Condon found himself drawn to screenplay writing with his first viewing of Bonnie and Clyde: read morePart of the pleasure of it was a completely instinctual thing that drew me into the world of writing about movies. Suddenly it…