An aged, retired Sherlock Holmes deals with 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 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.
To simulate age progression, liver spots are placed on Holmes' head. In earlier scenes, they are not there. See more »
Holmes (perhaps forgivably for 1947) repeats the mistaken idea that "the queen runs the colony and the workers do the work" - in fact, a queen bee is no more than an enlarged egg-making machine at the service of a worker collective, which will slaughter her should she falter, while other worker bees create a replacement queen. Also when the colony grows too large, it is the workers who make the decision to swarm, by starving the queen which both lightens up her body and forces her to take flight. See more »
I genuinely had no idea what to expect from this film as I knew so little about it. OK, so it has Sherlock Holmes as the lead character and I naturally assumed that it would be some crime solving caper. Boy was I wrong, but pleasantly so. The premise of the film is simple - what happens to the famous Sherlock Holmes in his twilight years, if he were to suffer from senility... and no it's not a comedy nor is it a depressing film. It's an evenly-paced, gentle, well-written character study of a fiercely intelligent man trying to hold on to the use of his brilliant mind to recount the details of his final case. If I could use one word to describe this film - contemplative. It's a series of vignettes, each with its own little mystery, all seemingly unconnected at first, until it gradually all comes together. Ian McKellen is, as always, fantastic and perfectly cast in the titular role but the most intriguing character is the subject of Holmes' final case, wonderfully portrayed by Hattie Morahan as Ann Kelmot. Also love the moody soundtrack by Carter Burwell. Very good film, thoughtful with striking images of the British countryside.
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