(Peter Debruge’s article appeared in Variety, 2/11; via Pam Green.)
Save for a mention in Arthur Conan Doyle’s “His Last Bow,” precious little is known about the latter years of Sherlock Holmes: “We heard of you as living the life of a hermit among your bees and your books in a small farm upon the South Downs,” Dr. Watson tells Holmes in that final installment of the author’s short stories — hardly the sexiest ending to an illustrious career.
Novelist Mitch Cullin caught up with the character at age 93 in “A Slight Trick of the Mind,” which finds Sherlock a bit less sharp than before, handling a case whose clues are tied up in his foggy memories of the past. “Mr. Holmes,” the bigscreen adaptation of Cullin’s novel, debuted Feb. 8 at the Berlin Film Festival, and picks up where earlier stories left off. The indie movie, which Miramax will release later this year in partnership with Roadside Attractions, reunites screen legend Ian McKellen with Bill Condon, the man who directed him in the 1998 film “Gods and Monsters.” Since that initial collaboration 17 years ago, Condon has kept in constant touch with McKellen. “In the time since we first worked together, Ian has become an international movie star. Obviously with ‘X-Men’ and ‘Lord of the Rings,’ things changed drastically. It’s wonderful that he comes back to this, more as an icon playing icon,” says the filmmaker.