James Whale is played by Sir Ian McKellen, who does a really fantastic job. Brendan Fraser also does excellent work, and the interaction between the two characters is complex and varied and fascinating to watch.
Also: full frontal male nudity.
Anyway, I liked it quite a lot. We've had the Netflix disc since September, because we are horrible people and will watch comedy over drama until we've run out of comedies entirely (tragedy tomorrow, comedy to-night!), but I am glad we got to it eventually because it's very good.
 Also, although I haven't particularly liked older men since the Sean Connery phase I went through as a young teen, I could watch him smoke that cigar ALL DAY.