Even before its release, Mr Holmes is receiving rave reviews for its new twist on an old favorite character. Sherlock Holmes has had a steady following of fans for centuries since the first book debuted in 1887. The newest film is set to hit U.S. theaters July 17, 2015.
The first novel about the character was titled A Study in Scarlet. In this story, Holmes is introduced to his sidekick, Dr. Watson, and their collaboration begins. They are investigating the death of a man found in an abandoned house in a pool of blood, but with no wounds. This is the first time the audience bares witness to Holmes’s use of deduction and logic to solve the crime.
Since this first novel, the character has inspired numerous sequential novels, movie retellings of the stories, and a variety of television shows. The films starring Robert Downey Jr. have seen recent success. There currently are two running television series starring the character. The UK has a version with Holmes played by Benedict Cumberbatch, known for his role in Star Trek. The U.S. series, Elementary, stars Johnny Lee Miller and adds its own twist, with a female Watson played by Lucy Liu.
Mr Holmes is set to release later this summer in America, but is already getting rave reviews for the new twist on the character. It has already been released in the UK. Brian Viner for The Daily Mail has reviewed the film and gives it many complements. He explains how the film takes Mitch Cullin’s novel A Slight Trick of the Mind and sends viewers on a journey through Holmes’ aging mind.
Viner praises Ian McKellen’s portrayal of the iconic character as the best in recent history. His review explains that this time, the story is mostly about the characters, rather than about solving a mystery. In his opinion, this is the importance of such strong casting and what makes this version so special.
McKellen is an English-born film and stage actor. According to his official website, he first showed an interest in acting at the age of three. His parents were very supportive, and he participated in acting camps and programs throughout his school career. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1990 for his service to the performing arts. He has received two Oscar nominations and has won more than 60 international acting awards.
Mr Holmes is directed by Bill Condon, known for Dreamgirls and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Parts 1 and 2. Condon has won and been nominated for many Oscars for his work as well. He is not only a director, but also a screenwriter.
Mr Holmes follows the aging detective on a journey in which he is recalling his last case and why it was his last. As a 93-year-old man, he lives with his housekeeper and her young son. He and the son form a special bond and the audience is taken back in time with memories of Holmes’s last case. As Viner points out, Mr Holmes is not as much of a mystery movie, as it is a showcase of the character.
The film has been called “brilliant” and “an utter delight.” Rolling Stone and The Telegraph have given the film great accolades. Though it has not yet been released in the U.S., Mr Holmes is receiving rave reviews from the critics for its new twist on the old favorite.
By Megan Hellmann
The Daily Mail – Look out Benedict-Gandalf’s a Superlative Sherlock: Is Ian McKellen a Better Sherlock Holmes Than Cumberbatch? The Answer’s Elementary
Mr Holmes Film – Cast and Crew
Ian McKellen’s Official Website-Biography
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