Release Date: September 23, 2020
Director: Harry Bradbeer
Cast: Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin, Louis Partridge, Helena Bonham Carter
Studio: Legendary Entertainment
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This film ticks all the boxes: 19th Century England, political intrigue, chafing against feminine norms, choreographed fight scenes, dueling mysteries, and the littlest Holmes sister. I’ve got three words: SIGN ME UP.
Enola Holmes is based on a series of novels by Nancy Springer that follow the adventures of the overlooked little sister of the famous Holmes siblings, Mycroft and Sherlock.
While the two brothers are off solving crimes and playing in geopolitical affairs, Enola is learning her own brand of plucky self-sufficiency and brilliance from her suffragette mother, played by Helena Bonham Carter.
When Enola’s mother goes missing, Enola must evade her interfering brothers who want to force her into a ladies’ finishing school (and sand off her brilliant, quirky edges) to investigate the disappearance. Along the way, Enola gets embroiled in a mystery involving the attempted murder of a Marquess and a burgeoning political reform movement.
Millie Bobby Brown is fantastic as the quick-witted, no-nonsense, 16-year-old Enola coming into her own power in a society that doesn’t value women outside of their domestic roles. I loved every minute of watching her dynamism on screen. The character is self-aware and often breaks the fourth wall to add color commentary to whatever pickle she’s found herself in. It’s wonderful.
The entire film is an utter delight. It’s fun and funny and sometimes heartbreaking. The sweetness and silliness are balanced by poignancy. The stakes of living a life that others want to satisfy norms are driven home hard when Enola finds herself captured and sent to an awful boarding school. The emotional backbone of the movie is Enola’s respect and closeness with her eccentric mother – a connection that is made equally painful when Enola uncovers and disapproves of the choices her mother has made.
Enola Holmes is a new trailblazing, brilliant, fun, feminist romp through an otherwise well-trodden Holmes trail, relegating the flashy Sherlock and Mycroft characters to the background so that a new heroine, Enola, can take center stage. It’s a great movie for young and old audiences, Sherlock fans and newcomers alike.
Stream Enola Holmes now on Netflix!