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.
Continue reading: Mr. Holmes Review
Can Ian McKellen pull it off as the next Sherlock Holmes?
Sir Ian McKellen is due to star as an elderly Sherlock Holmes in the movie adaptation of 'A Slight Trick of the Mind', a 2005 novel by Mitch Cullin.
'The Hobbit' star has been signed on to portray the world famous sleuth which is set to be directed by Bill Condon, who he previously worked on in Oscar winning 1998 biography drama 'Gods and Monsters', with a screenplay by Jeffrey Hatcher.
The Holmes film is about the detective as an old man, partially crippled and only able to walk with a cane, and with an increasingly poor memory. He must crack a case that has stumped him for 50 years before his almighty mind finally fails him.
Continue reading: Ian McKellen Goes From Sorcerer To Sleuth In Upcoming Sherlock Movie
Now, they may be technical Oscars. It's too soon to catapult Saul Dibb's exquisite period biopic into the Best Picture race, what with 20 or 30 award-hungry competitors left to screen over the next three months. But you can book Dibb's handsome picture for the craft categories -- costume, art direction, makeup, and set design. And if there's any justice in this industry, Duchess will score nods for Rachel Portman's elegant score and for leading lady Keira Knightley, who delivers the most mature, versatile, and devastating performance of her young career (can you believe she's only 23?)
Continue reading: The Duchess Review
Call him an 18th century Hitch, if you will -- he's Casanova (Heath Ledger), and he has so many admirers he doesn't need to sleep with the same woman more than once, and seldom does. How does he do it? Is it his uncanny charm? His undeniable charisma? His stunning good looks? His fashionable wardrobe? Who knows? But what whatever he's doing, it definitely works.
Continue reading: Casanova Review
Edward "Ned" Kynaston (Billy Crudup) encounters that vary problem. Ned is an actor living in the 1660s when women were forbidden to appear on stage. Because women couldn't act, men held the honor of playing women. Thus, Ned is England's most celebrated leading lady, profiting handsomely from his femininity. Currently, he's Desdemona in the Betterton Theatre production of Othello. His career couldn't be better. His co-stars envy him. Audiences adore him. But when King Charles II (Rupert Everett) grows tired of the same old stage routines, Ned gets the surprise of his life.
Continue reading: Stage Beauty Review
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