Stars: Ian McKellen / Milo Parker / Laura Linney /
Release Date: 2015-06-19
Production Companies: BBC Films, See-Saw Films, FilmNation Entertainment,
Director: Bill Condon, Kim Armitage,
Mr. Holmes Summary
The story is set in 1947, following a long-retired Holmes living in a Sussex village with his housekeeper and rising detective son. But then he finds himself haunted by an unsolved 50-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.
As someone who neither hungers for yet another incarnation of this character nor understands why anyone would, I watched in subdued bafflement.
The mystery subplot lacks the ingenuity of the greatest Holmes stories, but McKellen excels, switching effortlessly between the reclusive beekeeper with a faltering memory and the elegant younger detective at the height of his powers.
It's a gripping little tale, to be sure, but it's more than that. Somewhere in its tangle of timelines, false starts, and red herrings is a great truth about the unsolvable mystery of the human soul.
Even those who've read the book can be startled by what happens in Mr. Holmes, while they're being moved by McKellen in a role he's come to late, but with his customary elegance.
[An] intriguing if only semi-satisfying Sherlockian enterprise.