THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH.
In 1947, 93-year-old Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) is befriending the young son of his housekeeper while trying to recall the details of his last case, unsatisfactorily chronicled by Dr. Watson. After a few disappointing films, Bill Condon reunited with his Gods and Monsters (1998) star for an intriguing look at the autumn years of the most celebrated detective in history. Paying careful attention to the style and details of the original novels and mythology, as well as the time period, the film has a rich, fairly involving story. The tone is adult and somewhat mournful over the fact that the end is near and mental faculties are waning. McKellen is a pleasure to watch.
2015-Britain-U.S. 104 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Iain Canning, Anne Carey, Emile Sherman. Directed by Bill Condon. Screenplay: Jeffrey Hatcher. Novel: Mitch Cullin (“A Slight Trick of the Mind”). Cast: Ian McKellen (Sherlock Holmes), Laura Linney (Mrs. Munro), Milo Parker (Roger Munro), Hiroyuki Sanada, Hattie Morahan, Patrick Kennedy.
Trivia: Nicholas Rowe, who plays Holmes in the matinee movie, also played him in Young Sherlock Holmes (1985).
Last word: “I went through a period of reading a lot of [Sherlock Holmes novels] and I’ve always been interested in, especially in the last thirty/forty years, how he’s been scripted in television and movies and constantly reinvented. It’s a wonderful thing about that character. All of them seem to be revealing different facets of him and the way that none of them contradict each other. That’s what I’m hopeful about this movie is this adds one other view of him. Obviously it hasn’t been seen before, his old age and later life – this unlikely kind of place. And it’s such an anachronism living after the horrors of World War II. He usually seems like he comes from such a cosy world before the horrors of both world wars so placing him in that context was one of the really neat ideas from the novel.” (Condon, Den of Geek)