Soundtrack Review: Mr. Holmes

Soundtrack Review: Mr. Holmes

Mr. Holmes Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score Mr. Holmes by Carter Burwell.

At a glance:

Geek Score: 90
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 18.17
Album Excellence: 47%

How are the scores calculated and what does it mean?

Mr. Holmes is a 2015 crime drama mystery film directed by Bill Condon and starring Sir Ian McKellen, Laura Linney and Hiroyuki Sanada. Long-retired and near the end of his life, Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) grapples with an unreliable memory and must rely on his housekeeper’s son as he revisits the still-unsolved case that led to his retirement. The score is composed by Carter Burwell.

Yes, Mr. Holmes is well known and this is probably the hundredth film adaptation, except it has a retired Holmes which makes it interesting. Can you imagine Robert Downey Jr. doing another Sherlock Holmes movie in his late 70s? Props to McKellen to give the old retired Holmes a face. The music for Holmes has shifted and changed for pretty much each Holmes film and I expect this to be no different. The last Holmes I saw was Guy Ritchie’s Holmes with an entertaining score by Hans Zimmer. It is no surprise though that director Bill Condon use Carter Burwell yet again which he has done for most of his career. The opening cue ‘Mr. Holmes’ will provide many answers and it does. Like the elderly Mr. Holmes, there’s no fast and furious quirky action scoring here, but more of a classic, slow but dramatic opening cue. The theme is not very memorable at first, but maybe it will grow on me in time. The music is melancholic, but without emotions, at least for now.

I find the more “traditional” approach in the first three cues good, but something is missing. The “missing” is appearing in ‘The Glass Armonica’ a soft minimalistic cue that sounds much better maybe because it’s not trying to be traditional, but more of a reflective moment. I didn’t expect it, but there’s a wonderful cue inspired by Japan in ‘Hiroshima Station’. That was great. This score is gradually improving. The music feels more alive now, presenting itself in various styles and moods. Does it feel like Mr. Holmes though? What does the music of Holmes feel like? I think that’s a question no one can answer, because pretty much everything goes. If we take the premise of a retired Holmes in the 40s era, I’m not sure this score makes me think of that. It’s interesting and very good as music, but I don’t feel “Holmes” and for that I have to watch the movie to get a feel for what Burwell meant with the music. I am only judging it by the music on album though and as such it is quite impressive at times. So it may not be Holmes, but it sure is nice music. Check it out!

4. The Glass Armonica
5. Always Leave A Trace
6. Hiroshima Station
7. Ann’s Plans
8. A And Bee
11. Investigating Mr. Holmes
14. The Other Side Of The Wall
16. The Consolation Of Fiction

GD Star Rating
Soundtrack Review: Mr. Holmes, 8.6 out of 10 based on 5 ratings


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