Classic books were given the title of “classic” for a reason. However, that does not mean that a modern writer cannot put their own spin on the tale.
Enola Holmes premiered Wednesday on Netflix. Based on the series of books by Nancy Springer, Millie Bobby Brown stars as the title character. Raised by her widowed mother Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter), Enola receives an education that is extremely unusual for a young lady in Victorian era England. When her mother disappears, Enola’s much older brothers come home to take charge.
Her oldest brother Mycroft (Sam Claflin) is conventional in every sense of the word. Her second oldest brother, Sherlock (Henry Cavill) is more empathetic, but still concerned that his sister was not raised as she ought to have been. Before she can be sent to a school that promises to make her a proper young lady, Enola runs away to find her mother. Along the way, she meets a young aristocrat, Tewkesbury, (Louis Partridge) who is also running away and a new mystery is set at her feet.
I would categorize this movie as cute and empowering (if that makes sense). The message, I think, is the most important part of the film and feels very relevant for 2020. That being said, it is not without it’s flaws. However, it is one of those movies that is both fun to watch and an inspiration, especially for the younger female audience.
I recommend it.
Enola Holmes is available for streaming on Netflix.
The latest addition to Masterpiece Mystery is Arthur and George. Arthur Conan Doyle (Martin Clunes) is at a crossroads in his life. His wife had just died, there are rumors that he had an affair with a female friend, Jean Leckie (Hattie Morahan) and he is completely lost. The case of George Edalji (Arsher Ali) might just turn him around. George is the product of an Anglo/Indian marriage. His career as a solicitor has been completely ruined when he went to jail for mutilating local animals and writing obscene letters. Recently released from jail, George is looking to return to his previous life.
Called to George’s case by his secretary, Alfred “Woodie” Wood (Charles Edwards) Arthur agrees to take the case. Is George guilty of the accusations or is the real culprit still out there?
Beyond the bromance of Arthur and Woodie and the standard whodunit story, there are interesting elements. There is the life changing experience of loosing your spouse and the harshness of racism. There is also the question of reputation, especially in the Edwardian era, when one’s reputation was everything.
Fans of British television and Masterpiece will recognize several of the principal actors. Martin Clunes (Doc Martin), Hattie Morahan (Sense and Sensibility) and Charles Edwards (Downton Abbey) have all graced our screens before. The problem is that I found most of the first episode to be boring. It was only within the last ten minutes of the program did I feel like I was finally getting into the story.
The new film, Mr. Holmes, is based on Mr. Cullin’s novel.
In the late 1940’s Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) is 93 years old. Retired from detective work, he is content to live near the sea and enjoy his final years. His housekeeper, Mrs. Munro (Laura Linney) is a war widow with a precocious and curious son, Roger (Milo Parker). Roger develops a father/son like relationship with his mother’s boss, in spite of his mother’s fears. Roger also helps Sherlock to remember the case that ended his career.
Thirty years before, Sherlock was approached by Thomas Kelmot (Patrick Kennedy). His wife, Ann (Hattie Morahan) has changed since her two miscarriages. He wants Sherlock to follow his wife and figure out why Ann is not the woman that she was. Can Roger help Sherlock to remember the case and maintain his faculties as long as he can?
I was excited to see this movie. Sherlock Holmes is a character that is very much a fabric of our culture. But more often than not, he is seen in his younger days, not as a man who knows that the clock is ticking. To be honest, the movie was a little slow for me. While I enjoyed the relationships between the characters and the marked different between the two periods in Holmes’s life that the film explores, it was not what I hoped it would be.