Mr Holmes (PG)
This mystery from director Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters) takes a sympathetic look at the agonies of old age, as it finds one of the great fictional minds failing. Based on Mitch Cullin’s novel A Slight Trick of the Mind and set in 1947, it imagines Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) as a frail 93-year-old retiree and enthusiastic beekeeper living with his housekeeper (Laura Linney) and her young son (Milo Parker). Haunted by scattershot memories, Holmes pieces together the fragments of his final case, in a story told partly in flashbacks. McKellen’s face is as compelling as any narrative and, assisted by Tobias A Schliessler’s sensitive cinematography accentuating every line, he subtly communicates Holmes’s complex psychology through a range of scowls, sneers and scoffs. The lively Parker makes for a delightful companion and although Linney’s wobbly accent distracts, she delivers dramatic conviction aplenty. Mr Holmes resists the sensational reveals of traditional murder mysteries, opting for more moving conclusions. The ponderous pace will prove testing to some but this is a film that builds in power almost imperceptibly as it works its way deep under the skin.
Stars Ian McKellen, Laura Linney and Milo Parker
Running time 99 min
Date of event:11th February 2016