I made a determined effort to see Ian McKellen in Mr. Holmes before it disappears from the cinema and I’m sure glad I did.
Once again, Ian McKellan proves the best special effect is, and always be, an extraordinary actor. McKellan deftly switches between Holmes of two time periods – one a frail 93 year old battling senility and the other – a still old but still very hearty 60 something year old. The depth and complexity of emotions he can convey with a look or slight tilt of the head or a tic or a …. well you get the idea – is astounding.
One cool thing the movie introduced to me that I was not aware of previously, had to do with a musical instrument – the glass hormoncia. It is played like a keyboard but sounds like a flute. It makes a most haunting sound.
Laura Linney does well here but the boy – Milo Parker – gets the showy role and acquits himself admirably.
This is very much a character study and a study of regrets so don’t go in expecting a big mystery to be solved. Do go in to see a master actor at work. You will thank yourself afterwards.
I would love see to see McKellen reprise the role of Holmes in a more traditional manner.