Mr Holmes – Review by Fran Winston
Directed by: Bill Condon
Starring: Ian McKellan, Laura Linney, Hattie Morahan, Milo Parker, Patrick Kennedy,
Phil Davis, Roger Allam, Hiroyuki Sanada
In cinemas June 19th
This is Sherlock Holmes (McKellan) as you’ve never seen him before. Now in his 90s and with his memory fading he desperately tries to remember the details of the case that led to his retirement. Living with his long suffering housekeeper Mrs. Munro (Linny) and her son Roger (Parker) he potters about tending to his bees and attempting to write his journal. When the boy takes an interest in his work Holmes takes him under his wing and as they bond he begins to recall long forgotten memories that explain why he finally hung up his famous deerstalker (although he never really wore one apparently!)
This is a gentle movie and not what you would expect from a Sherlock Holmes film. McKellan is outstanding playing both the extremely elderly Holmes and the much younger dapper version in flashback scenes. Parker is a revelation as the young Roger. He is just the right side of precocious and manages to hold his own with the acting powerhouse that is McKellan – something even some experienced actors have struggled with. Linney is suitably stoic as Mrs. Munro although her accent does slip from time to time which is one of the few distractions in an otherwise lovely movie.
This looks beautiful and the editing is fabulous switching nicely between timelines without ever becoming confusing. Although there appears to be several sub plots they all knit together nicely and you never feel dissatisfied with the resolutions. Well scripted and with thoughtful direction you will find yourself engaged in even the least exciting scenes.
This is not action packed. It is merely an interesting story executed well. However sometimes that is what you want from a cinematic experience. It makes you think about the ravages of age that cause vibrant people to lose some of their powers and the importance of having people you care about around you. Not an epic drama but a lovely watch this will resonate deeply with most people even if they aren’t fans of the Baker Street based detective.