Mr. Holmes is a 2015 drama mystery film directed by Bill Condon and written by Jeffrey Hatcher based on Mitch Cullin’s 2005 novel A Slight Trick of the Mind. Now retired and near the end of his life, Sherlock Holmes struggles with his fading memory as he recounts the unsolved case that led to his retirement with the help of his housekeeper’s upcoming-detective son. The film stars Sir Ian McKellen as Sherlock Holmes, Laura Linney as housekeeper Mrs. Munro and Milo Parker as her son Roger. This is no ordinary story about Sherlock Holmes. In fact, we have never seen him like this and they explain it quite well. No wonder the tagline for this film is, “the man behind the myth.”
It is a beautiful story inside the mind of Sherlock and his relationship with the young housekeeper’s son, Roger and their love for mysteries and bees. Milo Parker delivers an outstanding performance, truly great. Laura Linney, whom at first I thought was doing a bad English accent but then realized she was Welsh, did beautifully playing Mrs. Munro. Sir Ian McKellen did amazing in all his movements, looks, and gestures as the 93-year old Mr. Holmes. The 76-year old actor was added make-up to look the part and he most certainly played the part excellently. Sometimes more was said in an expression than in spoken words. Supporting roles by Hiroyuki Sanada, Hattie Morahan, Roger Allam, Patrick Kennedy and Frances de la Tour were splendidly played. In particular, Hattie Morahan as Ann who did hauntingly good, and Frances de la Tour as Madame Schirmer who although was given a short role, stole the scene nevertheless with all that she offers in her performance.
The cinematography was stunning, from London in the late 40s to the breathtaking white cliffs of Dover where the main character resided with his apiary. There were wonderful close-up shots and excellent lighting with just the right amount of silence. Carter Burwell composed the music score. Each mood and thought was felt intimately throughout. It’s obvious that this was made with a professional film crew with high respect for the characters and their actors.
So who better than Sir Ian McKellen to play an old and retired master detective? From upcoming-film fans to the very people in the age of this wonderful actor, Ian McKellen is a widely known famous actor, who delivers exceptional performances in all his roles. To many of us, he will always be the beloved Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit trilogies, or perhaps the older Magneto from the X-Men films.
Like many British films, this one is a well acted drama with a wonderful cast and noticeable effort put into making this story a motion picture. I recommend this one to everybody who enjoys a well made film and a little mystery.
Thanks for reading my review!
– Nick Andersen