Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Mr. Holmes

I've been on a Sherlock Holmes kick lately thanks to the Masterpiece series, Sherlock. But my interest in the detective is hardly new. As a child, I began reading Sherlock Holmes mysteries after graduating from the Box Car Children and Nancy Drew. I was horrified when Sherlock died during an encounter with Moriarty, and relieved when he returned to life. So when I saw the movie, Mr. Holmes on Netflix, I put it in our queue.

In this quality production, Sherlock Holmes is an elderly gentleman living in the English countryside, barely able to walk and no longer interested in solving crimes. When the movie opens, he is returning home to his cottage by the sea from Japan, and he is greeted by his live-in housekeeper, Mrs. Munro, played by Laura Linney. Also living at the cottage is Munro's son, Roger, who in real life is an exceptional young actor by the name of Milo Parker. From the start, we see the relationship between the Munros and the curmudgeonly Holmes is somewhat contentious, but young Roger manages to work his way into the heart of the crusty detective.

But their story is simply a subplot. Sherlock has one more mystery to solve, and it involves him and the reason he abandoned his vocation and retired to the countryside decades before. A reason he can no longer remember. The movie has a slow start, and initially, swift cuts to images from both the past and Japan confused us, but it all works together in classic Holmes style to provide the viewer with a satisfying ending. With solid performances, a poignant storyline, and beautiful scenery, this is one I'll watch again.

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