Mr. HolmesPosted: January 12, 2016
Ian McKellen, Laura Linney
Roadside Attractions, Jul 17, 2015
Rated PG, 104 min
Amazon DVD $14.14, BluRay $16.99
I very rarely write about movies. There’s a good reason for that. I rarely watch a movie. If I recall correctly, the last time I was in a movie theater what when The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was a new release in 2012.
I was intrigued, however, when the Los Angeles Times reprinted a summer review of Mr. Holmes in December, presumably to remind the Academy about the movie. Terry and I streamed it via Amazon Instant Video on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve. Very well done.
The premise is that Sherlock Holmes was a real person, but that the accounts of his work by Dr. Watson greatly fictionalized and embellished the actual facts of his cases. In the movie Holmes is 93 and has retired to the country as a beekeeper, just as in Arthur Conan Doyle’s account. His memory is failing and he is trying to recall the facts of his final case, which he vaguely remembers he did not solve successfully, contrary to Watson’s depiction.
The cast is small. In addition to Holmes, there is his housekeeper and her son, who is integral to the plot. There is a man in Japan, who invites Holmes to his country in the aftermath of Word War II. We see the man who engages Holmes in his final case, and the man’s wife, about whom the man is suspicious. Holmes’s doctor plays a small but key role.
The movie started slowly, but I became engaged as it moved along. A couple of interesting twists at the climax led to what was for me a satisfying ending.
This is what is called a “small” movie, I suppose, but was well worth the hour and three-quarters I spent watching it.