Great British film of 2009: Sherlock Holmes

4 01 2010

This holiday staycation included equally extensive stints of slumber and sloth, sprinkled with enough spurts of activity to make sure there was still  a pulse.  Top of the list was bundling up and heading out to the Odeon on Tottenham Court Road on Boxing Day (December 26th) to check out the opening day of Sherlock Holmes.

Despite an unfortunately thin plot (you might say it was – groan – ‘elementary’), Guy Ritchie managed to deliver the 2009 British Film of the Year in this part mystery thriller, part comedy and all around love letter to London.

Filmed on location in London, Liverpool and Manchester,  Ritchie shot scenes at St Paul’s Cathedral, the Houses of Parliament, Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich and Tower Bridge plays a key role of its own alongside Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Rachel McAdams and Mark Strong. Other key locations include scenes shot in Manchester at the Manchester Town Hall, in Liverpool at the Albert Dock, and at Chatham Historic Dockyard in Kent.

Robert Downey Jr said, “Sherlock Holmes has great pride in being English.  London is an incredibly fascinating city and the centre of the world at the time our film takes place.  Holmes knows every inch of it and feels it’s his city.” The Holmes heartthrob added,” It was great fun filming throughout Britain.”

Slightly obsessed both with film locations (MissDani and I are set-jet addicts) and my new iPhone, I recently downloaded VisitBritain‘s  Great British Film Locations iPhone App (free) which came out as a result of the release of Sherlock Holmes.  The app works fairly well, and it is fun to find out which films were shot nearby. The app is especially useful for tourists to London or Britain who would like to visit film locations of their favourite British films.

From home in southeast London, I can see that Four Weddings and a Funeral was filmed 1.4 miles from here in Greenwich, Bridget Jones Diary scenes were filmed 4.7 miles from me in Southwark, SE1 (as in the location in this MyMetropole post) and that the nearest Sherlock Holmes location is 6 miles away at St Paul’s Cathedral.

While it is fun to imagine Guy and Jude and Robert and Rachel all palling around between shots at St Pauls or up in Manchester at the Town Hall, Guy Ritchie relied heavily on CG and animation technologies in order to recreate Victorian London, and some of the film was even shot as far away as Brooklyn, New York.

Sherlock Holmes is enjoyable, action-packed and brings Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson into the 21st century. Ritchie and the boys have definitely got a sequel or two coming to them, and hopefully this time the rumors will become reality and Brad Pitt will star in the next films to come.

Sherlock Holmes Location London Bridge

Sherlock Holmes in London

Sherlock Holmes location Albert Dock Liverpool