This is a post by JBFC Marketing Intern Stacy Zakalik
Mr. Holmes, opening at the Burns on July 17, is a mystery film directed by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, Kinsey) about Sherlock Holmes during old age. Sherlock, as an elderly detective, is played by Sir Ian McKellen, who spends retirement at age 93 in a Sussex farmhouse practicing beekeeping and botany. He is watched over by his housekeeper (Laura Linney), along with her young son Roger (Milo Parker), who looks up to Holmes and is becoming something of an inquisitive detective himself.
The story takes place in 1947, when Holmes makes a decision to solve one last case. The case, which took place thirty years earlier, remains unsolved to this day and is the one that forced Holmes into retirement. About a distressed husband, Thomas Kelmot (Patrick Kennedy); his depressed, childless wife (Hattie Morahan); and a strange musical instrument, a glass armonica, with possible occult powers, the case takes up Holmes’ interest and time once again. The only problem is that Holmes cannot for the life of him remember important details from the case. This forces him to look through the old writings of his assistant, Watson, and to use a substance called “prickly ash,” requiring him to travel all the way to Japan, which legend has it can bring memory back to the forefront.
The film, based on the novel A Slight Trick of Mind, switches between the present-day and the flashbacks with relative ease. If you are a fan of McKellen and his other works, you’ll love this movie, as McKellen shines in his part and brings some much-needed light-hearted humor to the famous detective. You can hear McKellen talk more about his role in the video below.
This is not solely a detective mystery, though, and delves more deeply into character study. The film is all the more better for it, bringing a fresh perspective to the world’s most famous detective, something most people thought impossible with the onslaught of Sherlock Holmes stories in the past few years.
If you want a new twist on an old story – teaching an old dog new tricks – definitely go see this movie! Tickets for Mr. Holmes are on sale now.