There are some mysteries that even Sherlock Holmes cannot solve, mysteries of memory, age and human relationships that are not easily distilled into mere facts. In Bill Condon’s Mr. Holmes the great detective’s inability to solve such mysteries catches up to him. Set in 1947, this film features a retired Sherlock Holmes living far from 221 B Baker Street, with his housekeeper and her son in a small farmhouse. He struggles to recall the details of his last case even as senility is robbing him of his famous mental faculties. The film flashes back 30 years to the case in question, as well as to a more recent expedition to Hiroshima, Japan, where Holmes seeks out a botanical remedy that he hopes will allow him to recover his memories. There are times when this film feels rather unfocused, much like Holmes’ mind, but the brilliant performances by Ian McKellan (Holmes) and the rest of the cast prove compelling throughout. And in the end Holmes learns that logic and facts will only take you so far, especially in regard to human relationships. A
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