ENOLA HOLMES – Review by Susan Granger

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Based on the first of Nancy Springer’s series of YA novels, set in 1884, it revolves around Sherlock’s teenage sister Enola, played by plucky Millie Bobby Brow (best known as Eleven in TV’s Stranger Things), who faces the camera and addresses the audience directly.

Born when Sherlock (Henry Cavill) and Mycroft (Sam Claflin) were already grown and gone, Enola was raised by her eccentric, widowed mother, Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter), who home-schooled her to be an independent, free-thinking woman, a rarity in in Victorian England.

Along with excelling in chemistry, cryptograms and chess, clever Enola is also adept at archery and fencing. Then on the morning of Enola’s 16th birthday, Eudoria disappears, leaving only a lovely but cryptic gift for her bewildered daughter.

Forced to return home and care for Enola, Mycroft is eager to enroll her in a ‘finishing school,’ where the prim headmistress (Fiona Shaw) is reputed to be able to turn unsophisticated girls into “acceptable wives and responsible mothers.”

“I have my own company,” cheeky Enola explains, noting that her name – spelled backwards – is “alone.” So she runs off, disguised as a boy, hoping to find her beloved mother in London.

Along the way, she meets another teenage runaway, Viscount Tewkesbury/Marquis of Basilwether (Louis Partridge), who becomes her friend as she tries to enlist reticent Sherlock in her quest.

Episodically scripted by Jack Thorne (“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”), it’s directed by Harry Bradbeer (“Fleabag”), who deftly includes the controversial issue of Parliamentary reform and expanding voting rights to include women.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Enola Holmes” is a delightfully subversive 7. I want sequels…

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.