Friday, September 25, 2020

Enola Holmes (2020)


Streaming Services: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: Enola Holmes (2020)
Genre: Adventure, Crime, Drama
Length: 123 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production/Distribution: PCMA Productions, Legendary Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, EH Productions, Netflix
Director: Harry Bradbeer
Writers: Nancy Springer, Jack Thorne
Actors: Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin, Helena Bonham Carter, Louis Partridge, Burn Gorman, Adeel Akhtar, Susan Wokoma, Hattie Morahan, David Bamber, Frances de la Tour, Claire Rushbrook, Fiona Shaw, Gaby French, Paul Copley, Ellie Haddington, Alex Kelly, James Duke, Connor Catchpole, Sarah Flind, Sofia Stavrinou, Sophie Dixon, Mary Roscoe, Tuyen Do, Esther Coles, Owen Atlas, Gianni Calchetti
Blurb from IMDb: When Enola Holmes-Sherlock's teen sister-discovers her mother missing, she sets off to find her, becoming a super-sleuth in her own right as she outwits her famous brother and unravels a dangerous conspiracy around a mysterious young Lord.

Cat’s Point of View:
Where do I even begin? I have been fairly chomping at the bit while waiting for Enola Holmes to be released. The game was afoot the moment I watched the trailer. The concept of this film is appealing to me on several levels. Needless to say, I was excited enough that I have been hell-bent to get this review written for you, whether I have pinched-nerve pain or not. (Thankfully, that’s all my arm issue has been, and not something more lasting or dire.)

I am a Sherlock Holmes fan, even if not an up-to-date one. I haven’t seen the BBC series of recent years, but I have watched previous iterations as well as the 2009 and 2011 blockbuster movies. I think it was a bloody brilliant idea for Henry Cavill (The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Mission: Impossible - Fallout, Night Hunter) to step into the role of the legendary gumshoe. His wit, charm, and native English dialect lend themselves well to the role and made the casting choice rather elementary.

The cast was also a large draw to this feature. Had the production team decided to give this film a theater distribution, it had the potential to be a serious box-office draw under non-pandemic circumstances. With that said, I’m ever so grateful that the decision was made to partner with Netflix for the release. Production has slowed to a crawl or has been full-stop delayed all-together for The Witcher (2019-) Season 2 and Stranger Things (2016-) Season 4, respectively, due to the pandemic. While I’ve been yearning for the next installments of those favorite series to get into gear again, this movie provided the perfect opportunity for the warm fuzzy feels from seeing actors from both share the screen in the same production. (I’m having withdrawal, okay? It’s been over a year for Stranger Things. I’m used to getting a more predictable fix.)

Getting back to the point, I was excited to see Millie Bobby Brown (Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Intruders, Godzilla: King of the Monsters) in the lead role here. I honestly couldn’t picture anyone else playing the part of the titular character. Some may not have enjoyed the occasional 4th wall breaks sprinkled throughout the movie, but I found them endearing. I loved being included in the shenanigans. Of course, I can’t forget Helena Bonham Carter (Ocean's 8, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, The Crown). Her presence as the Holmes siblings’ mother is quite fitting. These two were the perfect pair to portray the fierce independence of their characters amidst the feminist movement of Victorian England.

Sam Claflin (The Quiet Ones, Adrift, Me Before You) has no small part here, either. I almost didn’t recognize him – but his performance was memorable as the more traditional and set-in-his-ways judgemental brother.

I could ramble forever, but I’ll try not to digress too far.

The cinematography was excellent here. Everything flowed really well and I nearly didn’t realize the passing of time at all. Another draw to the film for me was the Victorian setting. I do adore a good period piece now and again, and the production team absolutely nailed it. The locations and ambiance were amazing.

I sincerely hope that Netflix expands this experience into a franchise with at least a couple more sequels. Since the film is adapted from novels, I imagine there’s plenty of material to fuel several further escapades. There’s only one unfortunate kink in that prospect – the original author of the books Enola Holmes draws from as well as the production team for this film are all currently embroiled in a legal battle with the estate of the late Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930). The suit is regarding copyright issues stemming from some aspects of Sherlock’s personality shown in this movie. I am glad that it didn’t stop this from being released – but its outcome certainly has bearing on whether or not there might be future installments.

That being said, I can only heartily recommend this film and intend to encourage all of my friends to give it a watch. Hopefully, a settlement or ruling can be reached that will keep the movie available on Netflix and allow many adventures to come. I’m crossing my fingers!

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 92%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 80%
Metascore – 68/100
Metacritic User Score – 5.9/10
IMDB Score – 6.7/10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 5/5
Movie Trailer:

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