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Review: DVD: Mr. Holmes

At 93 Sherlock Holmes is declining. His mental processes have slowed so much that his physician has instructed him to make dots on his diary (calendar) to indicate times when he was unable to complete a thought or remember a name or have any other kind of memory lapse. Some pages of the diary are almost completely covered with dots much like a painting by Georges Seurat.

Still, Holmes continues on with his quiet life. He looks after the bees in his aviary. He embarks on a journey of friendship with Roger, the son of his housekeeper (an excellent performance by Milo Parker). Holmes attempts to slay the demons of his past, and the one case in particular that has haunted him for 30 years and will take all of his deductive reasoning to solve.

There has been some Oscar hype about the performance of Ian McKellen in his starring role as 93-year old Sherlock Holmes. McKellen is marvelous as Holmes in his dotage. I was impressed by his ability to act the part of a genius in decline with such accuracy. McKellen’s blue eyes would appear to go opaque thereby indicating senior moments. It is unsettling to watch him play the formidable consulting detective in his declining years.

Laura Linney convincingly portrays the housekeeper, Mrs. Munro. In my mind’s eye, I picture Linney as she was in the movie Love Actually, a young career woman. In this movie, she is frumpy looking and acting just like a 1947 war widow making ends meet as a housekeeper.

The movie Mr. Holmes is based on the book A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullin. The library has the book as well as the audiobook in our collection.

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