December 9, 2016

Mr Holmes

Ian McKellen is terrific as Sherlock Holmes. He's never been my favorite detective character, but McKellen is an excellent choice to play him. In this story McKellen plays Holmes (in great old-age makeup) as a decrepit old man in 1947, grappling with infirmity and dementia while trying to recall his last case in 1918 that may have led to his ultimate failure...if only he could remember it (shown in flashbacks also by McKellen).
The Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock TV show has directly addressed Holmes's personality disorders in a modern context; this movie illuminates how Holmes's clinical, logical understanding of the facts can make him a poor detective; solving a mystery is not always the same as successfully closing a case.
Laura Linney plays the widowed housekeeper-turned-home health aide who's trying to pull away from Holmes while her young son finds the father figure he desperately needs. She's a talented, subtle actress, but she's not convincing as a ignorant, near-illiterate housekeeper.  We already know she can play the sad, hopeless lonelyheart (see Love Actually) but somehow she doesn't play 'low class and uneducated' as well. Also her accent is a mystery- she sounds like an American with some English accent creeping into her voice, but the script doesn't mention this.
Amazon Instant Video, with Emily