British Film Spring 2016



25–30 April 2016

British Council Azerbaijan
The British Embassy Azerbaijan
Nizami Cinema Centre

Мистер Холмс
Mr Holmes

Countries: Great Britain, USA
Year: 2015
Director: Bill Condon
Cast: Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Hiroyuki Sanada
Genres: drama, mystery
Language: English, French, Japanese
Translation: russian subtitles
Time: 1 hour 44 minutes
Возраст: 16+

Mr. Holmes, a mild and minor bit of revisionist Sherlockiana, imagines the world’s greatest detective in his dotage, retired to a picturesque rural spot on the English coast where he tends to bees and fading memories. It’s 1947, and Holmes is in his 90s. Dr. Watson is long gone, and it turns out that the pipe and the deerstalker cap were fictitious embellishments. The keen ratiocinative powers that made Holmes an early hero of modern popular culture are still in evidence, though the cases he has left to solve are of a decidedly intimate, melancholy nature. No spectacular murders or intricate conspiracies: just quiet enigmas of memory and remorse.

Directed by Bill Condon and based on a novel by Mitch Cullin, Mr. Holmes tells a few overlapping stories. From the cottage where Holmes spends time with his housekeeper, Mrs. Munro, a war widow, and her young son, Roger, the film occasionally ventures backward and eastward, revisiting a 30-year-old case and a more recent sojourn in Japan. In London just after World War I, Holmes trails a married woman whose husband suspects her of taking illicit music lessons. In Japan, he meets with an amateur herbalist with a family secret. Back home, Holmes struggles with his growing forgetfulness, tends his hives and encourages Roger’s dreams and ambitions, which are thwarted by Mrs. Munro’s narrow, anxious mind-set.

The film suggests that there is much about Sherlock Holmes that his fans don’t know. Its most ingenious conceit is that the real man has grown old alongside his legend, slipping into theatres to watch movies made about his exaggerated exploits and gently correcting some of Watson’s fabrications. A long retirement has humanized him, and the specific longings and regrets chronicled in Mr. Holmes might constitute only a partial list.

That at least, is the tantalizing possibility implicit in Mr. McKellen’s whispered reminiscences and slow, graceful movements: that beyond the potted vignettes we are witnessing lies the untold story of a great, complex soul, a man more mysterious than any of the crimes he is supposed to have solved.


Awards and festivals:

Seattle Inetrnational Film Festival - Best Actor (2ndPlace)
Sydney International Film Festival - participation



Baku: Nizami

26 April, Tuesday

18:30 Mr Holmes

28 April, Thursday

14:30 Mr Holmes