Enola Holmes | Chicago Reader
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Enola Holmes

Once again proving that YA content is tops, director Harry Bradbeer’s take on the ridiculously popular and tragically overproduced Sherlock Holmes story feels surprisingly fresh. Millie Bobby Brown embodies the plucky title character Enola Holmes, the little sister of the indomitable Sherlock (a charming and perfectly cast Henry Cavill— a more kindly take on the character’s traditional narcissist portrayal) and curmudgeonly Mycroft (a reliably and delightfully cranky Sam Claflin). Enola strikes out to solve her first mystery—the disappearance of her mother (played by a shockingly grounded and only slightly fantastical Helena Bonham Carter)—creating possibly the best adventure movie of 2020. The screenplay by Jack Thorne hits the perfect notes of mystery, swashbuckling action, and tween-centric feminism. Brown’s character is empowered in a way that seems natural and attainable for real girls, rather than an idealistic superwoman scale feminism that many adult women fail to reach. Despite her cleverness and skill, Enola takes her lumps, experiencing real danger and setbacks that stem from the encroaching darkness of the adult world, while still remaining firmly in the realm of youth. Thorne’s success with Enola Holmes is creating a YA fantasy world that feels real without being overly sanitized. A romantic subplot with Louis Partridge as Tewksbury is charming without overwhelming the daring caper with treacle, and a fabulous Susie Wokoma quietly steals the show in one scene with promises of an expanded role for her in what one hopes to be many, many sequels in perhaps the first truly intersectional Sherlock universe.

Netflix

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