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  • Writer's pictureShannon Heibler

Sherlock Holmes (2009)

My god this movie is FUN. Just grade A entertainment. I'm hard pressed to think of a venture made by any single person involved in this film that I enjoy more. It's my favorite Guy Ritchie (where did this director go??). My favorite Robert Downey, Jr. My favorite Jude Law. My favorite Hans Zimmer. Honestly, it's one of my top five favorite scores. It does so much to drive the action. (That "oom PAH oom PAH oom PAH" that builds into the mandolin and balances the play with the building tension!!!!) It's just a terrific way to spend two hours. (Could have been 90 minutes though, let's be real.)


The weakest part of Sherlock Holmes is the plot/mystery (despite Mark Strong being one of my favorite villain character actors working). But happily, the movie seems to understand that and puts the focus where it needs to be: Holmes & Watson and their relationship. Are there flirty overtones? You betcha. Which I love even more because there's never a "no homo!" flinch. But more than anything, it's about two men who care about each other, don't really know how to function without the other one, and have spent so much time together they have a common shorthand parlance that no woman will ever put asunder. And that's lovely. All of their back & forths are so joyous and real. Even when Watson wants to murder Holmes.



I made the argument to Ben during this viewing that this movie succeeds mostly due to Law's Watson. Returning the good doctor to his literary origins of ladykiller warrior is the only way to make Sherlock's neurodivergent chaos work. As Ben said, "Watson is such an adult, it does a lot to heighten Sherlock." I also really appreciate that they gave both Holmes and Watson their own distinct fighting styles. The consistency of everything in this movie (THE PRODUCTION DESIGN IS DIVINE) is what sells it. They built a whole world and knew it so intimately that the audience knew it too, even without being guided by the hand through it. Because of those little consistencies throughout.


Came back to post the art and wow! I didn't write a lot here. But I stand by it being fun and that's what matters.


Ink on paper.



Takeaways:

-For saying little about this movie and all of it pretty much being about Jude Law's John Watson, I did nothing pertaining to him! Huh!

-I had this idea during the movie, my brain smooshed Irene Adler into Sherlock's description of the sphinx and I love the illustration/wood cut style of the end credits so... voila!

-Part of me wishes I had more time this week to work on this one but I honestly don't know what more I would have done. I still wish my line work shading (hatching and cross hatching) was cleaner but it's coming a long and that's fine. The pencil work looked moderately more like Rachel McAdams but as I inked it, I lost it and honestly, fine, I don't want to be sued.

-I have been failing, this week, at my 2024 resolution to be kinder to myself. I've been pretty mean. With this piece, I mostly beat myself up over being "obvious." (Though now as I write this, I don't know that it's true.) I don't know. I've been thinking a lot about the nature of "fan art" and wrestling with the fact that I pretty much exclusively do "fan art" which is pretty much universally derided in the art community. But... I'm not really in the art community so who cares. And also, art history is full of what is essentially fan art. Imaginings of literary scenes and figures. RELIGIOUS ART. It's all fan art. I dunno. I like this one enough. I'm glad I went small given the week I had. Onto the next!

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