In Mr Holmes, Sir Ian McKellen plays the famous detective at two stages of his life. At 93, Sherlock Holmes is a grumpy old man who's retired to a remote cottage in the countryside. His days are spent caring for his bees, frustrating his housekeeper, inadvertently forming a friendship with her son, and struggling with the early onset of dementia.
The cruel irony of the slow deterioration of Holmes' uncanny talent, and his identity, is flawlessly portrayed by McKellen's subtle but emphatic performance. His frail, older Holmes, and confident pre-retirement Holmes are both superb, and he easily outshines Benedict Cumberbatch.
Between pottering about his cottage and searching desperately for a remedy to cure his failing memory, Holmes tries to remember his last case from 28 years ago. He only remembers something horrible happened then, which pushed him into self-imposed exile.
Mr Holmes will take audiences on an emotional journey through Holmes' struggle to be the man he once was; and it's a beautiful look at what it means to be human. As the film moves swiftly between 1947 and 1919, it becomes clear Holmes' affliction is far more damaging than dementia, and the end will leave viewers misty-eyed.