Long-retired and near the end of his life, Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) grapples with an unreliable memory and must rely on his housekeeper’s son as he revisits the still-unsolved case that led to his retirement.
Watson and Mrs Hudson are blurs in the background; brother Mycroft (John Sessions), too, gets a bit part. Holmes’s main companions are his Dover housekeeper, Mrs Munro (Laura Linney), and her son Roger, played in a very solid, unaffected turn by the young British actor Milo Parker.
Adapting a 2005 novel, A Slight Trick of the Mind, by the American writer Mitch Cullin, Jeffrey Hatcher’s script is all about contrasting the “real” Holmes with the one of Dr Watson’s fabrication. It’s a pretend biopic, which imagines 221B Baker St’s beaky resident as a man impudently misrepresented by his myth.
The film was directed by Bill Condon.