Autumn 2015 Features series
Sunday, September 27, 2015 at 4:00pm
Sunday, September 27, 2015 at 7:00pm
Directed by Bill Condon
Screenplay by Mitch Cullin
Based on the book by Mitch Cullin
Starring Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, and Milo Parker
Rated NR ·
UK / USA
English, Japanese, and French /w subtiles
In 1947, the long-retired Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen), aged 93, returns from a journey to Japan, where, in search of a rare plant with powerful restorative qualities, he has witnessed the devastation of nuclear warfare. Now, in his remote seaside farmhouse, Holmes faces the end of his days tending to his bees, with only the company of his housekeeper, Mrs. Munro (Laura Linney, Hyde Park on Hudson, The Savages), and her young son, Roger (Milo Parker).
Grappling with the diminishing powers of his mind, Holmes comes to rely upon the boy as he revisits the circumstances of the unsolved case that forced him into retirement—a case involving an aggrieved husband, Thomas Kelmot (Patrick Kennedy, The Last Station, Atonement), his estranged wife Ann (Hattie Morahan, The Bank Job), and a strange musical instrument, a glass armonica, with possible occult powers, but, above all, a case in which Holmes got something wrong—and searches for answers to the mysteries of life and love—before it is too late.
Adapted from Mitch Cullin’s 2005 novel, A Slight Trick of the Mind, Mr. Holmes is a new twist on the world’s most famous detective, in which he must detangle latent hang-ups regarding an unsolved case from his younger years at 221B Baker Street. Seventeen years after the movie that put him on the directing map and won him a screenwriting Oscar, Gods and Monsters, Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) is reunited with that film’s redoubtable star, Ian McKellen, in a pleasing variation on shared themes of aging and mortality. McKellen takes to the role with effortless gravitas and emotional versatility.
“McKellen is brilliant throughout, his piercing blue eyes revealing the gallantry of youth and the sadness of a life’s worth of memories slipping further away. His understated and charming approach to the role makes it all the more potent and engaging.” (Miriam Di Nunzio, Chicago Sun-Times)
“Maneuvering shrewdly within the boundaries of the traditional canon and aided by the impeccable performance of Ian McKellen, Bill Condon directs an elegant puzzler that presents the sage of Baker Street dealing with the one thing he’s never had to contend with before: his own emotions.” (Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times)