The Christmas Season is a wonderful time for movie viewing. It's fun to cozy up on the couch with family, or put together movie marathons with friends. And there are so many fantastic films that feature the Holidays as a backdrop.
Today's selection is a personal favorite. It's a film that hits all of the right notes for a Christmas movie. It has snowfall, friendship, a Dickensian sensibility, romance, and fantasy. It's also a film I adored when I was growing up and it still holds an extremely warm place in my heart. I might even venture to say that it is one of my favorite, even with its canonical lapses, films featuring Sherlock Holmes.
Featuring a screenplay by Chris Columbus and direction by Barry Levinson, Young Sherlock Holmes creates a wonderfully lovable version of Holmes. As a demi-Holmsian, which is to say someone who is a fan and not a scholar of the Holmesverse, I am frequently taken aback by portrayals of Sherlock Holmes as a distant or harsh person. It's a depiction that is often used to capture his intelligence, and how quirky people find him, but it is one at odds with the fact that Holmes is skilled at disguise, friendly with children, and frequently laughs or is genial when meeting old friends. One of my favorite such moments is when he meets McMurdo, the boxer/bodyguard in "The Sign of the Four." He's a man of many friends and that doesn't match how he is frequently portrayed. The Sherlock of Young Sherlock Holmes doesn't suffer fools, but he is genuinely good-natured with his friends. He is well acted and shows emotions running from joy and excitement to despair. Nicholas Rowe is one of my favorite Sherlocks.
The film also touches upon the importance of spending time with friends around the Holidays. It's a perennial film in our house.