Mr. Holmes

"Excellent"

Mr. Holmes Review


Despite this being a film about Sherlock Holmes, the fact that it's not much of a mystery may disappoint die-hard fans, but as an astute drama it's more than worth a look because Ian McKellen is simply terrific in the title role. This is a much more complex character than he has been able to play recently either in movies (like the X-men and Lord of the Rings franchises) or television (the nutty sitcom Vicious). The film also reunites him with Bill Condon, who directed him to an Oscar nomination in Gods and Monsters 17 years ago.

It's 1947, and Sherlock is 93 years old when we meet him, living on the Sussex coast where he keeps bees and has befriended Roger (Milo Parker), the curious son of his tough-minded housekeeper Mrs Munro (Laura Linney). As Sherlock teaches Roger about both beekeeping and sleuthing, he is also trying to work out his final case some 30 years ago, which his mind simply refuses to recall. As he relives it in his mind, rather than through Watson's embellished account, all he can remember is a worried husband (Patrick Kennedy) asking him to follow his wife (Hattie Morahan). In addition, Sherlock is also still thinking about the things he discovered while recently in post-war Japan at the invitation of a fan (Hiroyuki Sanada).

The main story and the two flashback sequences are intriguingly intertwined in Sherlock's mind, offering parallel discoveries that help him piece together events that unfold in all three. It's a clever approach that allows McKellen to dig deep into the character as a man discovering that his mind is fading, perhaps into senility. His take on Sherlock is simply fascinating, a witty detective who has always resisted the fictional depiction of him in Watson's stories. And he's also an ageing man who hasn't lost his childlike curiosity, which makes his friendship with the young Roger surprisingly tender and engaging.

All of the actors are terrific, with another luminescent turn from Linney and terrific side roles for veterans like Roger Allam, Frances de la Tour, Phil Davis and John Sessions. Sometimes the screenplay seems a little too pleased with a connundrum that isn't particularly tricky. And it also gets distracted by oddball elements like a glass armonica or a rare Japanese herb. But the central theme is something everyone can identify with, as it explores feelings of regret about past decisions. And McKellen creates a character who would be compelling and thoroughly enjoyable even if he wasn't that infamous Victorian detective.



Mr. Holmes

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 104 mins

In Theaters: Friday 17th July 2015

Distributed by: Roadside Attractions

Production compaines: Archer Gray, See-Saw Films, AI-Film

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 11

IMDB: 8.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Iain Canning, ,

Starring: as Sherlock Holmes, Milo Parker as Roger, as Mrs. Munro, as Ann Kelmot, Patrick Kennedy as Thomas Kelmot, as Tamiki Umezaki, Colin Starkey as Dr. John Watson, Zak Shukor as Matsuda Umezaki, as Inspector Gilbert

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