Enola Holmes (2020)

Adam Lenhardt

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Title: Enola Holmes (2020)

Tagline: Mystery runs in the family.

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Adventure

Director: Harry Bradbeer

Cast: Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Helena Bonham Carter, Sam Claflin, Fiona Shaw, Burn Gorman, Adeel Akhtar, Susan Wokoma, Frances de la Tour, Louis Partridge, Jay Simpson, Margaret Wheldon, Joakim Skarli, Gianni Calchetti, Quinn Copeland, Owen Atlas, Delroy Atkinson, Pierre Bergman, Heather Pearse, Paul Parker

Release: 2020-09-23

Plot: While searching for her missing mother, intrepid teen Enola Holmes uses her sleuthing skills to outsmart big brother Sherlock and help a runaway lord.

 

Adam Lenhardt

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Looks like a lot of fun. I enjoy the breaking the of the four wall. Millie Bobby Brown is well cast as Enola, as is Helena Bonham Carter as her mother. I'm less sold on Henry Cavill as Sherlock, but I'd love to be wrong.

The main thing that gives me pause is that the Jack Thorne wrote the screenplay, and his adaptation of the first book in His Dark Materials was pretty wooden. On other hand, Harry Bradbeer is directing and the trailer has a lot of the same kind of wry humor and offbeat energy as his collaborations with Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
 

Jake Lipson

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The main thing that gives me pause is that the Jack Thorne wrote the screenplay
While I expect Throne is a nice enough person, I hate his work. I will never forgive him for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which is a dumpster fire. I was kind of curious about this movie, if only because the Arthur Conan Doyle estate is suing Netflix over it, until I realized he wrote it. I'll admit it's got a good cast, but I can't see myself voluntarily sitting down with something he wrote ever again. Oh well.

That being said, I hope everybody who is looking forward to enjoys it.
 

Robert Crawford

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up late, (or up early). How was it?

And did you take a break in the middle to post this?
Up too early, started watching it then got tired and went back to bed. After waking up again, I got distracted with some other stuff like the Back to the Future movies and Full Metal Jacket upgrading to 4K/Dolby Vision on iTunes. I'll try again tomorrow morning.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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I adored this movie. It was everything I hoped it would be based on the trailer.

Produced by Legendary Pictures with the intention that Warner Bros. would distribute in theaters, Netflix acquired the distribution rights once the COVID-19 pandemic made theatrical releases problematic. Accordingly, it has a silver screen cast and silver screen production values.

My biggest worry going into this was that Jack Thorne wrote the screenplay. I never could get into Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and his adaptation of the first book of "His Dark Materials" for HBO and the BBC was a misfire of overbearing exposition and extremely frustrating adaptation choices that undermined the material. But the screenplay for this one zips along with lightness and energy, and just about all of the choices made work.

A big part of that is likely the direction from Harry Bradbeer, who collaborated with Phoebe Waller-Bridge on "Fleabag" and "Killing Eve". It's a period piece, set in the late nineteenth century, but it's shot in a very modern and irreverent style.

Much like "Wonder Years", Enola Holmes breaks the fourth wall constantly, regularly turning to and even consulting with the audience. Viewers accustomed to the monosyllabic Eleven on "Stranger Things" might be shocked by Enola, who hardly ever shuts up. The danger with a character this smart and this multi-talented is that she comes across as a Mary Sue. But Millie Bobby Brown (who also produces) makes Enola feel like a real teenage girl. She has flaws and she has feelings and she has to figure out what she wants and what she believes in, and separate that from what her mother wanted for her and what her brothers want for her. Brown juggles all of the character's competing demands with ease, with a wink and a smile that shows that both actress and character know how ridiculous it all is, but are having the time of their lives anyway.

The other big danger was that Enola would get built up at her brothers' expense. This is somewhat true with Mycroft, who has the occupation of his literary progenitor and similarly serves as an avatar of the British establishment, but lacks the superior intellect. He's not dumb in the movie, but he is a bit of a pedestrian thinker.

On the other hand, the movie does a good job of allowing Sherlock Holmes to live up to his literary reputation. I'm not generally a fan of Henry Cavill, who I don't find especially charismatic on screen, but there is a certain charm to his take on Sherlock. The character's eccentricities often inspire a lot of scenery chewing by the actors who play him. Cavill's Sherlock is a lot more understated; his quirks are occasionally commented upon, but not dwelled upon. Among the movie's pleasures are the times when Enola and Sherlock make the same ingenious deductions, but arrive there by completely different means. Sherlock deduces more with less evidence, but Enola is remarkably adaptable.

Helena Bonham Carter, while a bit young to be playing Henry Cavill's mother, is well cast as the mother of the three Holmes siblings. Her character's sudden disappearance drives the plot, but despite her absence for most of the story, she looms large in Enola's memory.

There were five books in Nancy Springer's series, and this movie mostly only covers the plot of the first one. I'd definitely be up for a sequel, if it maintained this level of quality and fun.

I was kind of curious about this movie, if only because the Arthur Conan Doyle estate is suing Netflix over it, until I realized he wrote it. I'll admit it's got a good cast, but I can't see myself voluntarily sitting down with something he wrote ever again. Oh well.
I would recommend giving it a shot.
 
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Robert Crawford

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I hadn't planned on watching this, but now I'm curious so I likely will at some point this week.
I'm looking forward to reading your comments as I know you love the Sherlock Holmes character. However, he's a secondary character in this movie to his kid sister.
 

Darby67

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Just watched this last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. Quickly paced, visually engaging, great performances (especially Millie Bobby Brown and Helena Bonham Carter) and an uplifting theme of female empowerment...two hours well spent!
 

Edwin-S

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I thought the film was quite well done. The story was certainly successful in showing the oppressive patriarchal rules and standards women were subjected to in that Era.
 
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Matt Hough

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I found it pleasant and enjoyable but not compelling. The "underaged ward" stuff kept intruding on the mysteries, and I was not satisfied with her mother's reappearance. I'm assuming if it gets enough views, Netflix will green light another since they went to the trouble of establishing the friendly rivalry with brother Sherlock and the adversarial relationship with Mycroft. The period clothes, furnishings, and "green screen" London was nicely accomplished, and I'd enjoy seeing another with Enola and Sherlock actually working together.
 
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Wayne_j

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Is this a regional phrase?

what does it me. Is it something like when we call someone a Karen now?

A Mary Sue is a generic name for any fictional character (usually female) who is so competent or perfect that this appears unrealistic for the world's settings, even in the context of the fictional setting. Mary Sues are often an author's idealized or flawless self-insertion.[1] They may excel at tasks that should not be possible for them,[2] or they may upstage the protagonist of a fictional setting, such as by saving them. They may disregard previously established aspects of the fiction such as characterization and natural laws. They may also be praised by every other character in the work, especially by the antagonist of the work, regardless of whoever the Mary Sue characters are.[3] The Mary Sue is a type of stock character.

The principal criticism of the Mary Sue character as a literary device is that it undermines the drama and conflict of the narrative by presenting the protagonist as omnipotent and universally accepted. Narrative structure requires a protagonist to have a character arc, a transformation from one state to another, weak to strong, fearful to brave, naive to sophisticated. They confront an obstacle they can't overcome, make an internal change, and overcome the obstacle, or in the case of tragedy fail to do so. A Mary Sue has no internal flaw to confront, has no arc and therefore there can be no drama.

Mary Sue characters were first identified in fan fiction in 1973, but they have subsequently been identified in professional fiction and in films. A male character with similar traits may be labeled a "Gary Stu" or "Marty Stu". Critics, writers, and commentators have debated the way the term is used, both in general, and in its application to specific fictional characters.
 
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Movie information in first post provided by The Movie Database

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