Elementary, My Dear Roger

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An image from the first clip from Mr. Holmes, starring Ian McKellen as an aging Sherlock Holmes. Clip courtesy of Roadside Attractions.

Roadside Attractions has releases its first clip from the upcoming movie Mr. Holmes.

Set in 1947, nonagenarian Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) has seen some incredible–and some unspeakable–things in his long life. He now resides quietly in his seaside residence, maintaining his lifelong interest in beekeeping with the company of only a housekeeper (Laura Linney) and her young son, Roger (Milo Parker).

It is here Holmes faces two challenges, the re-opening of his final, unsolved case (one that forced him into retirement), and the unavoidable deterioration of his own mind.

The film is directed by Bill Condon, who has worked with McKellen in the biopic Gods and Monsters, in which McKellen portrays another icon nearing the end of his days, Frankenstein director James Whale. Mr. Holmes is based on the novel A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullin (Tideland).

For the past few years, the image of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes has been steadily morphing in to an intellectual sex symbol, including roguish steampunk character of Robert Downey Jr. from the Guy Pierce movies, the saber-tongued and debonair Benedict Cumberbatch of the hit BBC series, and the edgy bad boy of Jonny Lee Miller from the CBS crime series.

All three of the actors have taken on this role with confidence and ease, and should be collectively congratulated for the continual rise in popularity of all things Sherlock. No matter his exterior, however, the absolute core of the great sleuth is his extraordinary mind. What happens if that wonderful, sometimes thought provoking and sometimes thoughtless tool of deduction begins to wear out? How would Holmes tackle his greatest challenge yet: the battle within his own head?

If anyone can take up that ultimate mystery of Mr. Holmes, it should be Sir McKellen.



Lisa Kay Tate is a veteran feature writer with 20 years experience in newspaper, magazine and freelance writing. In addition to serving as Associate Editor for her local arts and entertainment guide, El Paso Scene, she has been a regular contributor to the site ihogeek.com and maintains her own blogsite at lisathegeekmom.wordpress.com. She and her husband, writer/photographer Rick, live on the edge of "New Texico" where they keep busy raising their two geeklings and sharing space with their dog, Sirius Black, and cat, Loki.