Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
United Kingdom/USA, 1998. Lions Gate Films, Showtime Networks, Flashpoint, BBC Films, Regent Entertainment, Spike Productions. Screenplay by Bill Condon, based on the novel Father Of Frankenstein by Christopher Bram. Cinematography by Stephen M. Katz. Produced by Paul Colichman, Gregg Fienberg, Mark R. Harris. Music by Carter Burwell. Production Design by Richard Sherman. Costume Design by Bruce Finlayson. Film Editing by Virginia Katz.
Delicate, unforgettable drama based on Christopher Bram’s Father of Frankenstein, a hypothetical inference about the last days of reclusive film director James Whale (the original Karloff Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein). Whale was found perfectly dressed, drowned in his swimming pool in the 1950s without having left a suicide note, and Bill Condon’s perfect script concocts a story about the director (Ian McKellen) befriending his sexy gardener (Brendan Fraser in his best ever performance) in the hopes of getting him to help him do away with himself. Lynn Redgrave is superbly wise and funny as Whale’s severely Catholic housekeeper who dotes on the filmmaker during his last days. One of the most intelligent and elegantly produced movies of the year, filled with lots of delicious references for movie buffs and touching moments for drama lovers.
Academy Award: Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominations: Best Actor (Ian McKellen); Best Supporting Actress (Lynn Redgrave)
Golden Globe Award: Best Supporting Actress (Lynn Redgrave)
Nominations: Best Picture-Drama; Best Actor-Drama (Ian McKellen)
Screen Actors Guild Award Nominations: Best Actor (Ian McKellen); Best Supporting Actress (Lynn Redgrave)