An aged, retired Sherlock Holmes deals with early dementia, as he tries to remember his final case, and a mysterious woman, whose memory haunts him. He also befriends a fan, the young son of his housekeeper, who wants him to work again.
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 30-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, a secret bond with his beautiful but unstable wife. Written by
Nicholas Rowe, who plays the Matinee Sherlock, had previously played the title character in Young Sherlock Holmes (1985). In that film Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), the elder Watson was voiced by Sir Michael Hordern, who previously played Gandalf in the BBC Radio version of The Lord of the Rings. The younger on-screen Watson was played by Alan Cox, whose father Brian Cox appeared with McKellen in X2: X-Men United (2003). In his own portrayal of Gandalf, Sir Ian McKellen worked on The Hobbit trilogy with Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch, fellow Sherlock Holmes alumni. Freeman played Bilbo Baggins, and also plays Watson on Sherlock (2010), and Cumberbatch provided the voice of Smaug and the Necromancer, and portrays Sherlock Holmes on the same show with Freeman. See more »
One of the scenes where Holmes is writing up his memories of the old case as they come to him, he passes his pen from right hand to left, puts it down with the left, then when he picks up his drink with the right, a different camera angle shows the pen is in that hand between his fingers. Cuts show the two situations one more time each. See more »
When I first heard that Ian McKellen landed the role of Sherlock Holmes in a film about the end of the great detective's life, I knew he would be perfect for the part, and indeed, he was. "Mr. Holmes" (2015), based on a novel by Mitch Cullin called "A Slight Trick of the Mind", is a delightful film, full of humor and sadness as Mr. Holmes revisits his last case, and finds his memory isn't quite what it used to be. He has retired to his cottage by the sea and taken up his well known hobby of beekeeping or apiculture. With him are his housekeeper, Mrs. Munro (Laura Linney) and her son, Roger (Milo Parker), a precocious young boy. The on screen dynamic between these three is astonishing. More is conveyed in one glance than could be said in lines of dialog.
The sets were detailed with precision, the scenery was vibrant and gorgeous (except one scene which was perfectly moody and dark), and the cinematography was stunning. The score was perfectly understated and captured the sentiment of the scenes with finesse.
"Mr. Holmes" is a very different kind of Sherlock Holmes story. It is sentimental without being saccharine and I believe it is a fair representation of the greatest detective in fictional history. The movie is set to be released in Great Britain on June 19 and in the U.S. on July 17. I recommend it highly.
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