Sep 27, 2020

"Enola Holmes": Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Sister Searches for Her Missing Mother/Girlfriend

Enola Holmes
 is the most watched flick on Netflix, a family-friendly, teen-friendly, girl-empowerment tale with Sherlock Holmes taking a tangential and completely unnecessary role.  

I was creeped out by it.

15-year old Enola Holmes (Millie Bobbie Brown) has been raised in Foxworth Manor by her free-spirited mother Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter),  who taught her all sorts of things unfitting for proper Victorian girls, like archery, martial arts, playing tennis indoors, and...gasp...feminism.  Nothing wrong with that, but there is no one else in their lives.  At least Mom has secret meetings of her mysterious women's club, but Enola has no friends her own age, or of any age.  "We don't need anyone else -- we have each other."  They are constantly holding each other, hugging each other, sleeping together.  Good God, they are lovers!    

On the morning of Enola's sixteenth birthday, Eudoria disappears.  No note, no explanation, no sign that she was taken against her will, just gone.  

Enola's two older brothers arrive to take charge.  They have not visited since they fled to London many years ago, when she was a toddler (Why? Was, I mean Mother trying to turn them into lovers, too?  I guess they figured that she was just interested in boys, so it would be safe to leave Enola alone with her.  They were wrong!).

The oldest brother, Mycroft (Sam Claflin), actually owns the house, and has been sending Eudoria money to pay for renovations that never happened and staff who were never hired.  (So Mom has basically spent ten years grifting her son.  Incest and fraud!  Nice lady!).  

He wants to send Enola to a boarding school, where she can meet some kids her own age, and maybe get over her creepy Electra complex.  But Enola considers the idea of meeting people besides her Mother/Girlfriend a fate worse than death.  "No!  Let me stay alone and be happy!  I don't need anybody else!  I have myself!"  Geez, she creeps me out.

To be fair, Mycroft is intent on the boarding school run by his "old friend" Miss Harrison (Fiona Shaw), obviously an ex-girlfriend, who teaches girls to be proper Victorian ladies and find husbands.  So it will constrain Enola's free spirit.  Still, there will be other girls there, not just Mom/Girlfriend and the housekeeper!

In order to search for Mom/Girlfriend, who left some cryptic clues to her whereabouts, Enola runs away.  On the train to London, she accidentally becomes involved in another story: someone is trying to kill the dreamy but utterly inept 17-year old Lord Tewksberry (Louis Partridge).  His father has just died, so he stands to inherit Dad's seat in the House of Lords, and cast the deciding vote on a controversial Reform Bill.  So now he has a target painted on his back.

Enola helps Tewksberry survive, and they have a few sparking moments of romance.  Uh-oh, Mom/Girlfriend will be jealous.  Then Enola sleuths out  who has been paying the hit men (it's not Mycroft).  And that's the story.  

Wait!  What about the mysterious disappearance of Mom/Girlfriend? Enola was supposed to use her sleuthing skills to unravel the clues and find her!  

Oh, she returns on her own.  But...then what's the point of all the setup?

Oh, and Enola's second brother is the famous detective Sherlock Holmes (Henry Cavill, top photo), who doesn't do anything.  He is apparently in the movie so that Enola can drop his name.

And there is no Dr. Watson.  But at least Sherlock doesn't express any heterosexual interest.

My grade: I didn't like the bait-and-switch plotline, and the mother/daughter incest is just creepy. But the sets are pleasant, and there was some racial diversity -- some black extras in the background, and Lestrade is South Asian.  C


  1. If Henry Cavill does not take his shirt off at least once the movie is waste of time.

  2. An inherited seat in the House of Lords will not be taken until the new lord's 21st birthday (to be exact on the day before)

  3. *tt* I sometimes swear we need to teach what subtext is acceptable now.


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