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Another Sherlock Holmes thing! Did you hear me groan out loud? There are So. Many. Sherlock. Holmes. Things. So many reboots, revamps, rethinks, resets and revivals. Sometimes the real mystery to me is … why? And then, whoa, along comes Enola Holmes, whose sole mission seems to be to charm the knitted socks right off us. Mystery solved!

Based on a series of YA novels (and clearly meant to be the first in a series of movies), Enola Holmes spends a few minutes setting up the titular character’s situation: teen girl who lives with her mother (Helena Bonham Carter, in a part that contains an edge of unexpected darkness) in a (preposterously alluring) English countryside house where they practice indoor archery and Mummy teaches Enola all about everything (it seems like they might have spent a lot of time on … anagrams?). Along the way, you find out that Enola is the youngest sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, both of whom show up to get the plot churning. Oh mmm hmmm, there’s a plot: something something, Mummy disappears, Enola goes to find her, missing Marquis, something something else, suffragette bombs, Superman plays Sherlock, something else happens and voila, it all works out. None of that matters—this thing is all about Millie Bobby Brown’s performance as Enola, which is so hugely enjoyable that you half wait for Sherlock to show up and launch an investigation into why he’s not making more of an impression.

Fair warning: you will spend a lot of time pausing and looking at all the frippery. Clothes, curtains, vines that cloak the manor house, art hanging on the walls (I went nuts for the chrysanthemum paintings), a magical treehouse in the woods. It looks like it all cost a zillion dollars—er, pounds. You will also spend time wishing this was already a completed series and you could watch just one more.

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  • Ok, I had to go searching. Wikipedia says the house they used was benthall hall in Shropshire. My daughter watched it last night so I’m interested in whether she noticed all the things you did.

  • Your review was spot on!

  • Definitely a talespinner! Utterly fantasy and wonderful movie. The camera angles, the film stoppage for her personal thoughts, splendid!

  • Agreed. A really good film, with a talented, likeable actress carrying it.

  • It was delightful, and I will watch it again (and again?) for all those details.

    • So much packed into movie…wish it was spread across several episodes. Enola is a charmer and loved seeing Helena Bonham Carter (who doesn’t seem to age) again. May be asking too much, but why didn’t Sherlock or Mycroft return home for years?

      • The answer to that question is definitely revealed in the book!

  • Love this review. Frippery is my new favorite word.

    • Same! I’m going to seek out frippery all week!

  • I watched this last week, and I was taken with it too. And I’m not too proud to admit that I totally had not figured out who the baddies were. I was charmed and smitten enough to go looking for more. Henry Cavill was as charming as MBB and HBC. But now I need more!

  • Really enjoyed it. Hoping for more.

    • Just watched this last night and agree whole heartily! A fun watch!

  • I’ll admit to watching anything Holmesian and this was an absolutely delightful story and actress. Helena Bonham Carter’s appearance was a real treat. I hope this series extends beyond just 2 episodes.

  • This movie was so much fun! I hope they continue to make more.

  • Watched the day it debuted on Netflix. Loved, loved it! The subplot with Helena Bonham Carter’s character was both encouraging and a little bit scary. Can’t wait for the next episode.

  • If she can’t embroider (Horrors!) then she must not know how to knit (Waaaaaaah!).

    Cheryl Faracci

    • What a charming, delightful movie! Husband agrees, we would have loved watching this with our daughter. Look forward to gifting these books.

    • I can’t embroider but I sure can knit! There’s hope?!

  • It was great! I hope there will be more.

  • I love Millie Bobby Brown in this and in Stranger Things. It was a fun movie. Watched it as soon as it was available. It just raised my spirits.

  • As an avowed ‘always read the book before seeing the movie” type, I started in on the books and they’re delightful!! With audiobooks for maximum knitting. 🙂
    I’m looking forward to the movie even more based on your description – once I either get them all done (I’m halfway through the 6) or can stop reading them!

  • Why am I not reading DG Strong’s reviews and reflections in the New York Times or other wide‐reaching platforms? DG Strong’s ideas, coupled with his command of language, belong in widespread media.

    • Oh, you mean that *other* daily publication?

    • He agrees completely!

  • Great review! I could not have said it better!

    • I thought Mycroft was a bit one dimensional but as a lifelong Holmes fan, I thought it was a really interesting take with Sherlock relegated to the sidelines. Henry Cavill did a nice job of playing Holmes with a bit more humanity (only a little bit).

  • We watched it last week and loved it. So much fun. Milly Bobby Brown is charming. Helena Bonham Carter is magical. The boys were cute.

  • Thanks for this review. I have been interested to see what they had done with the Enola Holmes books, and you have tipped me over the edge into, “I’m going to check this out.” I will take slight issue with your first sentence, though. “Another Sherlock Holmes thing!” All “Sherlock Holmes things” are not created equal. I think that Laurie R. King’s contribution to all things Sherlock via the Mary Russell series is excellent, particularly the early novels. (The premise: in 1915 a retired Sherlock Holmes takes on a young apprentice.) Mary Russell is written as Holmes’ equal and King’s writing is excellent. The first book in the series is The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.

  • It was very enjoyable and I agreed with you–I was wishing there was a sequel available.

  • Delightful movie! The books would be just the thing for my grandkids. Of course, I’ll have to read them first!

  • I watched on Saturday with my daughter. A perfect mother-dsughter viewing experience.

  • I love this review! If I hadn’t already watched it, I would turn it on now, based on D.G. vivid descriptions. Thanks!

  • The movie was charming. And now for the pedantic rant. I’m one of those people. I’ve read all of the books. And the changes made–the Marquess as a romantic figure, Sherlock as more understanding and romantic, Enola rescued by a boy, the more sympathetic mother–ugh. Am I crazy, or is that what happens when boys write the script? Why why why can’t the ruthlessness of the books be reflected in the movie? Anyway, the movie was charming.

    • I totally agree!!! The power of the books was in the female strength—while also enjoying the female love of beauty and fashion!!! To have a male adapt the script!? And add eye candy Marquess?! (Tho he was adorbs) it diluted part of the most powerful part of the books.

  • This was so fun and charming to watch…even my husband chuckled during it.

  • The books are a favorite. She is such an independent thinker!

  • Thank you so much for this recommendation! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    • Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate is suing both Netflix and the author of the books over this movie. All but the final 10 Holmes books are in the public domain, but the estate claims that Holmes did not display any affection until those final 10 books and therefore Henry Cavill’s display of humanity is copyright infringement!
      Loved the movie and can’t wait for the next one. Also second the comment above about the Laurie R. King books. Mary Russell is a wonderful character.

  • I loved it! It was delicious knit to this!!!

  • LOVED watching the movie and so wishing Netflix continues the series. Of course I had to check into the books and so I’ve been listening to them on audio books, while knitting of course. Wonderful as well. Enjoying the “character” of Enola (she really is a character!), and MBB is perfect in the movie role.

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