I went to see this movie a few days after it original showing at the theatre at my local mall, which has quite large theaters. Unfortunately since this lovely movie was made in the U.K. the theatre that it was confined to was only five rows large. The most basic plot summary I can provide is that a withering Mr. Holmes who has many holes in his memory tries to remember the case that ended his career about thirty years ago for a little boy who is his housekeepers son. He had recently returned from Japan and the man that he spent his time with told him a story about how his father abandoned his family because of him. Holmes tells him that he cannot remember his father and leaves. When he cannot remember the story the boy who had so faithfully followed him questions why he did not accept Waston's fairy tale ending to the story. Holmes states that he does not believe in telling a lie so that the story ends happy and that he would remember the ending to the story. He remembers the end to the story and then writes a letter to the man, telling a false story to him.
The story showed progress and the way that the information was presented in flashback form helped the flow of the movie. As usual Ian McKellan was fantastic as Mr. Sherlock Holmes portraying him in the present and in the past beautifully. The best part about this movie was that the empty space was occupied by a sub plot in the movie with the conflict of the housekeeper making plans to take her son away with her to a new job and Sherlock Holmes' declining health. The only downfall in this movie was the length. I found myself wanting it to end even though the movie was under two hours long. I just wanted to know what happened with the case he was trying to remember but, in the end the movie is everything you would hope to get from one. A good theme, an interesting story, and a nice flow.