MR. HOLMES: Ian McKellen gives an impecable performance as the aged Sherlock Holmes who, looking back on his life, grapples with one unsolved mystery that caused his retirement. With only his housekeeper and her young son Roger for company, he seems content to tend to his bees but the past gnaws at him and as forgetful as he is, he relies more and more on the other two. Laura Linney plays the housekeeper with warmth and a degree of hidden shame at her lack of education. Milo Parker as Roger, is quite the opposite, smart and aching to follow in the detective’s footsteps. A film of lyrical beauty, it is quite slow moving but never boring and the three leading characters are a joy to behold as are the actors who portray them. With references to the stories that Dr. Watson conceived about his famous friend, we soon learn that most of it was simply imaginative story telling. No deer-stalker hat. No pipe. What this particular story does is bring the Holmes legend to an end and end it beautifully with tenderly wrought drama. Case closed.

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