MR. HOLMES (PG)
D: Bill Condon
Miramax/Roadside Attractions/BBC/Filmnation (Anne Carey, Iain Canning & Emile Sherman)
W: Jeffrey Hatcher [based on the book "A Slight Trick Of The Mind" by Mitch Cullin; and characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle]
DP: Tobias Schliessler
Ed: Virginia Katz
PD: Martin Childs
Mus: Carter Burwell
Ian McKellen (Sherlock Holmes), Laura Linney (Mrs. Munro), Milo Parker (Roger Munro), Hiroyuki Sanada (Tamiki Umezaki)
Sherlock Holmes may be cinema's most portrayed literary character, but until now has yet to be portrayed as retired and in his twilight years. Perhaps this film answers the reason why, since there is very little mystery and absolutely no crime for the sleuth to solve, since this a period drama and not a whodunit, making the film's title particularly misleading. Perhaps it would have been wiser sticking to the original title of the source novel "A Slight Trick Of The Mind", since this is less a film about Sherlock Holmes and more about the early stages of dementia.
There's no Dr. Watson, Moriarty, Deerstalker Cap and iconic pipe in this portrayal of Holmes, instead openly stating that this was a fictionalised account of the detective made famous by the stories from the late Dr. Watson. There's no labyrinthine riddle for Holmes to solve either as he's settled in his countryside retreat, battling his dementia as he attempts to write a memoir and tend to his bees, with the help of his housekeeper's young son.
It's not a terrible film. In fact, there's many qualities, such as strong performances from Ian McKellen & Laura Linney. The production design, costumes, makeup and cinematography are also very good without being deemed revolutionary.
As mentioned above, this is a period drama, and for those expecting that it's a good film, but for those expecting one last case from the super sleuth, this will be a huge disappointment.