Parents' Guide to

Gods and Monsters

By Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Haunting biopic has language, nudity, predatory behavior.

Movie R 1998 105 minutes
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Writer and director Bill Condon imagines the final days of iconic filmmaker James Whale with an elegance, charm, and haunting dignity that earned him an Oscar for best screenplay. Adapted from the novel Father of Frankenstein, Gods and Monsters explores the relationship between Whale and his monster, shown through on-set flashbacks and the passing resemblance he sees in Fraser's hulking silhouette.

McKellen is perfectly cast in the lead role. A twinkle in his eye and a great sense of whimsy stolen from his youth are gracefully balanced with a flash of nastiness and hopelessness that comes with his status as an ailing outcast. Both he and Redgrave were Oscar nominated for their performances, the latter giving an intricate portrayal of a housekeeper whose caring nature and love for her employer is directly at odds with her bigoted views. Part biography, part fantasy, part meditation on the true nature of inner monsters, life, death, and art, this is a sensitive and compelling study of an iconic industry figure.

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