Mr. Holmes

Not even Sherlock Holmes can withstand the ravages of time. Here we join him on a farm with his housekeeper and her bright little boy. One thing keeps nagging at our aging hero: an unresolved crime from 30 years ago.

The United Kingdom submitted this drama to the 2015 Seattle Inter- national Film Festival and hedged its bets by starring one of its most beloved British actors and an American actress closely associated with Masterpiece Theatre. This satisfyingly complex plot is directed by Bill Condon ("Dreamgirls"), with a screenplay by Mitch Cullin based on the story "A Slight Trick of the Mind" by Arthur Conan Doyle.

The cast:
  • Ian McKellen ("Lord of the Rings") is our eponymous legend, brilliance fading but still curious and observant. He knows his intellect has lost much of its edge, but he still has his moments and he hopes infusions of Prickly Ash will help. McKellen skillfully shows us the difference between elderly and doddering.
  • Laura Linney ("Hyde Park on Hudson") is Mrs. Munro, his fairly new housekeeper. She is unsure of Mr. Holmes and his effect on her son, so she's anxious to move on to another job.
  • Milo Parker ("Ghosthunters") is Roger, Mrs. Munro's fatherless son. He naturally gravitates to Mr. Holmes and is remarkably quick to learn about bee keeping and solving mysteries.
  • Roger Allam ("The Angels' Share") is Dr. Barrie, whose news is NOT welcome to our hero, nor is his solution.
  • Hiroyuki Sanada ("The Twilight Samurai") Tamiki Umezaki is Mr. Holmes' source for Prickly Ash; plus he and his mother have a long-standing link to our hero.
It isn't often we see a movie with "name brands" at a film festival and we certainly can appreciate WHY they have become name brands. Both McKellen and Linney prove their worth in their sensitive and fully developed portrayals. And of course England is THE place to produce a costume drama...

After the screening we had a lively discussion in the bus about young Milo Parker. He closely resembles little Thomas Brodie-Sanger (now Thomas Sanger), who played Liam Neesen's stepson so heartbreakingly in love in 2002's "Love Actually." I guess they aren't even related. Oh well....
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