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The story is set in 1947, following a long-retired Holmes living in a Sussex village with his housekeeper and her young son. But then he finds himself haunted by a thirty-year old case. Holmes memory isn't what it used to be, so he only remembers fragments of the case: a confrontation with an angry husband, and a secret bond with his beautiful, but unstable wife.
The film is set in 1947 prior to the nationalization of the railways, but the train in the opening sequence has the British Railways post-1956 crest on the tender and is hauling British Railways Standard Mark 1 carriages which were not introduced onto the railways until 1951. The engine hauling the train is an ex-LMS Railway Jubilee Class locomotive which would not have been seen in Sussex which was served by the Southern Railway in 1947. See more »
The Strange Case of the Last Case of Sherlock Holmes.
This BBC film has an aged Sherlock Holmes, in failing health, living in retirement in the country, and trying to remember his last case.
Shakespearian thespian and British Knight, Sir Ian McKellen, plays well, and convincingly, the eponymous detective, both in his later years, and in flashbacks to his last case. The veteran actor had to prepare for the role by learning bee-keeping.
Mr. Holmes lives with a house-keeper and her son. New Yorker Laura Linney plays the house-keeper, fitting in well with the British thespians, and easily, and believably, conveys the circumstances of her character's situation as she interacts with both Mr. Holmes and her son.
The son is played by Milo Parker. His performance is just so breathtakingly superb that it is difficult to sum this up in words. Truly astonishing! Truly great!
Hattie Morahan shows great emotion in her small role, whilst Frances de la Tour's foreigner-role is so brief, but so good! There is a foreign element to the plot, apart from Miss de la Tour that is, that seems superfluous, however it turns out to be a nice sub-plot. The period-detail throughout the film is very good. Sadly, the film is marred by bad lighting and also blurry camera shots as the camera moves. This detracts, and distracts, but not greatly.
Despite it's UK rating of PG, this is not a film for children, but rather is more suitable for adults. There are moving and poignant scenes, and the film deals with matters of life and death. It is also necessarily slow, as the subject matter is the great detective in the Autumn of his years. 8/10.
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