It’s been a while since we’ve seen Bill Condon in the award-winning, critically acclaimed form of the director who delivered “Gods And Monsters,” “Kinsey,” and “Dreamgirls.” Since then, he’s made a couple of “Twilight” movies, and the disappointing Julian Assange flick, “The Fifth Estate.” Next, he’s tackling “Beauty And The Beast” for Disney, but coming up first is “Mr. Holmes,” a small-scale drama about a very big literary figure.
Ian McKellen leads the movie that tracks a very elderly Sherlock Holmes, living in post-war England, who tires to occupy himself with life’s little pleasures, but can’t shake the oddities surrounding certain cases from his past. Here’s the full synopsis:
England in 1947. The famous detective Sherlock Holmes, now 93 years old, lives in his Sussex country house. When he goes to the cinema and sees a film about himself, he mostly shakes his head. For much of what he is purported to have done in the heroic stories has simply been made up. He never wore the legendary hat and, rather than the pipe, he always preferred a cigarette. Long since retired, he steers clear of people and dedicates himself chiefly to bee-keeping. The only people he suffers to be around him are housekeeper Mrs Munro and her small son Roger, whom Holmes is initiating into the secrets of apiculture. But sometimes his thoughts are beset by old cases. What really went on with the mysterious Ann Kelmot, whom he shadowed at her husband’s behest? And what connects him to the Umezaki family, who have invited him to Japan? Holmes undertakes one final big journey, experiences a botanical miracle and resolves to tell a compassionate lie …
Freely adapted from Mitch Cullin’s novel “A Slight Trick of the Mind”, Bill Condon’s film reflects upon the interplay between truth and legend, age and memory, unresolved guilt and the chance to finally make peace with oneself.
Oscar contender? With a Berlin International Film Festival premiere around the corner, we’ll know soon. Roadside Attractions has the film slated for a summer release, but who knows, if word is good, that could change. Watch the first clip below.