Enola Holmes (2020)
September 25, 2020 3:26 PM - Subscribe

When Enola Holmes-Sherlock's teen sister-discovers her mother missing, she sets off to find her, becoming a super-sleuth in her own right as she outwits her famous brother and unravels a dangerous conspiracy around a mysterious young Lord.

Now streaming on Netflix, based on the YA Enola Holmes mystery series by Nancy Springer (link is to author's website).

Vulture review

Screenrant synopse of the ongoing copyright infringement lawsuit by the Arthur Conan Doyle estate, which alleges a Sherlock Holmes who displays emotion and respect for women only occurs in later stories, still under copyright.

And, addressing perhaps the most important question, a Cosmopolitan investigation into whether Henry Cavill is too hot to play Sherlock Holmes.
posted by the primroses were over (20 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I thought it was a fun piece of fluff. I found the depiction of Mycroft to be annoying and very much out of whack with my expectation of "oh, Mycroft, he's the *smart* one in the family." But overall, it was fun and Brown succeeded in holding the film together. Lots of fun fourth-wall bits, too.
posted by rmd1023 at 3:43 PM on September 25, 2020 [8 favorites]

I thought this was cute. Millie Bobby Brown is really engaging, the plot is silly but fun, even the requisite YA romance is fairly charming.

I could use a sequel that gives Helena Bonham Carter more to do. And I felt like Mycroft got unnecessarily short changed - he's stuffy, granted, but he's not supposed to be a git - book Mycroft would never be fooled that easily by fake account books, he'd have a spy in the house or at least occasionally popping in to check up. (On preview, hard agree rmd1023.)

Cavill is fine as Sherlock - I liked how little he had to do with the plot, and his benignly neglectful attitude to his younger sister seemed in character. I liked the scene when the tea shop/jujitsu school owner schooled him on why it was he could so easily dismiss politics. (Also, good on this production for not using the Victorian setting as a poor excuse to cast only white actors. I'm not familiar with the book series, but I'd like to see more of that shop owner and the other suffragettes if this gets a sequel.)

I loved pinecone Dash and Enola's terrible attempt at embroidery.
posted by the primroses were over at 3:55 PM on September 25, 2020 [8 favorites]

I enjoyed this, even though it was very YA. But that's in keeping with MBB's age, as she is only 16!

It was fast, costumes were great, I liked the fight scenes (whoever did them), enjoyed the feminism, the cast diversity. Cute when they broke the 4th wall.

I don't think this will be a series; but, if it is, I will give it a go.
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 4:00 AM on September 26, 2020 [5 favorites]

I thought it was appalling drosh and resented the waste of two hours and the talent involved. The side plot with the marquis was dull romantic rubbish and the entire and much more interesting question of her mother and the bombs went absolutely nowhere. There wasn’t much actual mystery solving done and it was like a floppy pilot for a reinvisioned tv show that thinks a strong woman character is not like the other girls as a compliment. Dull, unfunny and with the brief nods to the fourth wall and graphics that also provided no real narrative benefit.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 6:56 AM on September 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

So Enola’s mother abandoned her in the middle of the night to... become a terrorist? But then didn’t do anything?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:23 AM on September 26, 2020 [6 favorites]

Fun romp. Definitely for younger audiences, which means it spells out many elements that adults will already have picked up on.
But who is that beanpole playing Mycroft? Mycroft is NOT supposed to be skinny!

After the first trailers, I read the book series on which this is based, and enjoyed them a great deal.

Same basic characters and setup, but the movie plot goes in a very different direction, including the reasons for their mother's disappearance.

In the books, Enola is 14, not 16, and actually makes a point of never dressing as a boy (because that's what her brothers would look for). Holmes is less astute with regards to women and their interests (such as the language of flowers), Watson exists, and Mycroft is more fully fleshed out (he really does want what's best for Enola, they just disagree on what that might be). And they have six books for character development.

Just bear in mind that the books are juvies, not YA.
posted by cheshyre at 8:26 AM on September 26, 2020 [4 favorites]

Oh, good to know the books are actually for younger readers, cheshyre. The press I'd seen referred to them as young adult, and there's definitely a difference.

The plot is swiss cheese, for sure, so if the performances and visuals don't grab you, I could see this movie being a drag.

I assumed Eudoria's plan revolved heavily around the explosives warehouse that Enola exploded escaping the not terribly capable assassin, resulting in a lack of immediate terrorist activity. But we don't get much insight into Eudoria's motives. There's a lot of hand wavy, don't look into this too closely, momentum based plotting going on here.
posted by the primroses were over at 9:05 AM on September 26, 2020

I mostly liked this, even as fluff. The one thing that really grabbed me as bad was the CONSTANT flashbacking. It seemed like every other scene was a flashback, always relating to whatever immediately preceded it. That's fine once or twice but repeated it wears really thin.

And yes, I'm still not clear what Mrs. Holmes' logic was supposed to be, much like His thoughts were red thoughts. The arc of the movie is basically, find my mom, no wait I gotta find the cute boy from the train because he's in danger then I'll worry about mom, OK boy saved, turns out we're out of film.
posted by axiom at 9:43 PM on September 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

My assumption was that the explosives were for if Reform DIDN'T pass, which Enola avoided by the Power of Caring about the Marquis. So explosives were no longer needed.

Mom was presumably still being hunted by Dark Forces and had to stay on the run.

It was a mess, plotwise, but I would have eaten it up like ice-cream at the right age.
posted by emjaybee at 9:38 PM on September 27, 2020 [4 favorites]

It was a mess plot-wise, but convinced my 14-year-old daughter to watch it with me and she loved it, so that makes it a solid A+ win in my book. Brown was great.
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:10 AM on September 28, 2020 [5 favorites]

I don't have much to say except that I enjoyed the heck out of this, and I'm looking forward to whatever project MBB takes on next.
posted by solotoro at 2:01 PM on September 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

Based on my reaction to this, compared to the reactions of people who chose differently, I can say with great confidence that this movie is much, much more entertaining and enjoyable than the Trump/Biden debate.
posted by Naberius at 7:55 AM on September 30, 2020 [6 favorites]

Yeah, entertaining bit of fluff - I suspect one's enjoyment kind of hinges on whether you find the Enola character as played by MBB relatively charming or not.

I did, and I think it makes sense for her to tackle something like this after the grim weirdness of Stranger Things. She's clearly got comedic chops.
posted by soundguy99 at 2:05 PM on October 2, 2020

> It was a mess plot-wise, but convinced my 14-year-old daughter to watch it with me and she loved it, so that makes it a solid A+ win in my book.

Same and same!
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:30 AM on October 3, 2020

I liked the scene when the tea shop/jujitsu school owner schooled him on why it was he could so easily dismiss politics... I'd like to see more of that shop owner and the other suffragettes if this gets a sequel.

She (Susan Wokoma) looked super familiar to me so I double checked her IMDB and she played Cynthia, Tracey (Michaela Coel)'s older sister in Chewing Gum. She was great in both and I hope to see her a lot more in potential future sequels and other projects - she's also in a lot of other stuff though I'm guessing probably mostly British projects so they haven't been getting airtime here in Canada.
posted by urbanlenny at 12:17 PM on October 9, 2020

My husband and I enjoyed this very much, except for the characterization of Mycroft who was such an asshole, I could punch him. And he just kept sending his mother money without having any idea what was going on at his ancestral home? I found that really hard to believe. Plus he was shown as described to be nowhere near as smart than Sherlock, which is unconscionable.

Other than that, we found it very entertaining even with some enormous plot holes. We'd definitely watch another if they made one.
posted by ceejaytee at 1:07 PM on October 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

Plus he was shown as described to be nowhere near as smart than Sherlock, which is unconscionable.

Kind of felt to me like there could only be two "smart" Holmes siblings. We added Enola so sorry Mycroft, you're dumb now.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 7:57 PM on October 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

Just watched this. I was entertained and so was my husband. The costuming was great, the scenery too. I just loved Enola's home, it was so atmospheric and eccentric. Really wish they hadn't thrown in the whole cute boy thing but I suppose I'm not the target audience. It was a little Wes Anderson, a little Lemony Snicket, and a little pinch of Tim Burton. If it became a series I would definitely watch it.
posted by the webmistress at 6:18 PM on October 25, 2020

I liked it, with the exception of two things that seemed significantly contradictory and may be, ironically, because the writers grapple a little, but not enough, with the setting.

So when Tewkesbury cups her face a bit and they almost-kiss but then he says “you were made to fight” and then hug, it seems like he’s trying to do a very adult thing by essentially saying that he’s attracted to her, but understands that to get romantically involved with her would destroy who she is as she would have to stifle herself down, so they will remain friends instead. Which is, in my view, contradicted by his “will you live with me” which implies both giving a reason for her to live with him and also bringing her into that world which it’s implied he understands is a problem.

But perhaps that’s a part of, or addressed in, the books.
posted by corb at 10:13 AM on May 10, 2021

A sequel is in the works. (Link to Variety article.) And Helena Bonham Carter is back for it, so here's hoping she gets to do more than just flashbacks.
posted by the primroses were over at 7:45 AM on October 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

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