Starring: Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Milo Parker, Hiroyuki Sanada

Mr Holmes

Mr Holmes

Director: Bill Condon

Rating: 4.5/5

We have seen many incarnations of Sherlock Holmes on both the big and small screen over the years, and Ian McKellen is the latest actor to take on the role of the legendary sleuth... however, this a Sherlock Holmes that we have never seen before.

Mr Holmes sees McKellen reunite with director Bill Condon for the first time since the pair enjoyed success with Gods and Monsters back in 1999 - a movie for which McKellen received a Best Actor Oscar nomination - and together, the pair have delivered another movie gem.

Mr Holmes is a new twist on the world's most famous detective. 1947, an aging Sherlock Holmes returns from a journey to Japan, where, in search of a rare plant with powerful restorative qualities, he has witnessed the devastation of nuclear warfare. Now, in his remote seaside farmhouse, Holmes faces the end of his days tending to his bees, with only the company of his housekeeper and her young son, Roger.

Grappling with the diminishing powers of his mind, Holmes comes to rely upon the boy as he revisits the circumstances of the unsolved case that forced him into retirement, and searches for answers to the mysteries of life and love - before it's too late.

Mr Holmes is a movie that I have been looking forward to all year and, I have to say, it is a film that really did not disappoint. Not only is it a great piece of drama and boast a terrific central performance from the wonderful McKellen, Mr Holmes is a welcome breath of fresh air in the middle of all of these big budget blockbusters.

Ian McKellen is just fantastic from start to finish, as he depicts a Holmes who is looking back at his life, his career, as well as thinking about his own mortality. This is a reflective Holmes and a Holmes that has regrets - this leads to the movie being so much more emotional than any other that contains this iconic character.

McKellen just bring a gravitas, a depth, and many layers to this character, as well as making him more human than ever before. We see Holmes as nothing more than just a man, where time has caught up him just like it does with everyone else.

I think that McKellen is just magnificent in the film, and his performance is already being tipped as a possible early Best Actor Oscar contender. It is hard to believe that an actor of McKellen's stature has never won an Oscar - could 2016 finally be his year?

Bill Condon has made a Holmes movie that is not about the usual questions and answers - and this is what sets the film apart and makes it unlike another other Holmes film that has gone before. While this may frustrate hardcore fans of this character, I think it is great to see a director do something new with a figure that we all know so well.

Condon has delivered a movie that is compelling as well as terribly moving - I really couldn't take my eyes off the screen for a single moment. I like the slower pace that Condon went with as it really builds the drama and the power as we get towards the end of the film.

If big budget blockbusters are not really your thing, then Mr Holmes is a movie that you really cannot miss, as it is a terrific piece of drama with a truly wonderful performance at its core.

Mr Holmes is out now.


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