An aged, retired Sherlock Holmes deals with early dementia, as he tries to remember his final case, and a mysterious woman, whose memory haunts him. He also befriends a fan, the young son of his housekeeper, who wants him to work again.
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The story is set in 1947, following a long-retired Holmes living in a Sussex village with his housekeeper and her young son. But then he finds himself haunted by a thirty-year old case. Holmes memory isn't what it used to be, so he only remembers fragments of the case: a confrontation with an angry husband, and a secret bond with his beautiful, but unstable wife.
Nicholas Rowe, who plays the Matinee Sherlock, played the title character in Young Sherlock Holmes (1985). In that movie Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), the elder Watson was voiced by Sir Michael Hordern, who previously played Gandalf in the BBC Radio version of The Lord of the Rings. The younger on-screen Watson was played by Alan Cox, whose father Brian Cox appeared with McKellen in X2: X-Men United (2003). In his own portrayal of Gandalf, Sir Ian McKellen worked on The Hobbit trilogy with Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch, fellow Sherlock Holmes alumni. Freeman played Bilbo Baggins, and also plays Watson on Sherlock (2010), and Cumberbatch provided the voice of Smaug and the Necromancer, and portrays Sherlock Holmes on the same show with Freeman. See more »
While the various vintage motor vehicles in the film look suitably new and recent on the outside for their 1947 time period, interior shots in two different cars show the cloth and mohair upholstery and interior headliner as extremely old, worn and stained, clearly showing their approximate 70 years of age, with no restoration for the film. See more »
The Strange Case of the Last Case of Sherlock Holmes.
This BBC film has an aged Sherlock Holmes, in failing health, living in retirement in the country, and trying to remember his last case.
Shakespearian thespian and British Knight, Sir Ian McKellen, plays well, and convincingly, the eponymous detective, both in his later years, and in flashbacks to his last case. The veteran actor had to prepare for the role by learning bee-keeping.
Mr. Holmes lives with a house-keeper and her son. New Yorker Laura Linney plays the house-keeper, fitting in well with the British thespians, and easily, and believably, conveys the circumstances of her character's situation as she interacts with both Mr. Holmes and her son.
The son is played by Milo Parker. His performance is just so breathtakingly superb that it is difficult to sum this up in words. Truly astonishing! Truly great!
Hattie Morahan shows great emotion in her small role, whilst Frances de la Tour's foreigner-role is so brief, but so good! There is a foreign element to the plot, apart from Miss de la Tour that is, that seems superfluous, however it turns out to be a nice sub-plot. The period-detail throughout the film is very good. Sadly, the film is marred by bad lighting and also blurry camera shots as the camera moves. This detracts, and distracts, but not greatly.
Despite it's UK rating of PG, this is not a film for children, but rather is more suitable for adults. There are moving and poignant scenes, and the film deals with matters of life and death. It is also necessarily slow, as the subject matter is the great detective in the Autumn of his years. 8/10.
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