GB / US
Dir: Bill Condon
Starring: Ian McKellen and Laura Linney
A 93-year old Sherlock Holmes struggles to recall the details of his final case because his mind is slowly deteriorating
This mystery is based on Mitch Cullin’s 2005 novel A Slight Trick of the Mind, a US portrait of Sherlock Holmes in old age that bears little resemblance to the Arthur Conan Doyle novels known to all. Despite this, and the fact that it lacks Baker Street bite, concentrating as it does instead on the fleeting musings of Mr. Holmes, the film is a pleasant delight, with Ian McKellen excelling in his portrayal of an ailing Holmes. It features the usual period scenes filmed on the Bluebell Railway, with Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes stations featuring, the latter appearing as ‘Cuckmere Haven’. Vintage Southern Railway coaching stock and more modern BR ‘blood and custard’ liveried Mk.1’s are present in these scenes, along with ex-GWR 5600 Class 0-6-2T No.5643 in the background of the scene at Sheffield Park. The opening aerial views, meanwhile, feature some really good shots of ex-LMS Class 5MT ‘Black 5’ 4-6-0 No.44767 George Stephenson with maroon Mk.1’s on the North Norfolk Railway. The Japanese station of Hiroshima is portrayed by Tilbury Riverside, closed in 1992, but still intact and in use as an Arts Centre. The station building appears with much additional furniture and signage, with a CGI train just visible beyond the ticket barrier.