We’re not talking about a deep story with lessons for us all here with “Enola Holmes.” This is mind candy in the very best sense. When the movie first came out during the pandemic, I watched it several times. I needed a story of a young woman who refuses not only to cave to society’s norms, but one who stays positive despite everything.
There are plenty of plucky young woman tropes in here: not liking corsets (I know they weren’t quite as restrictive as we were all taught, but having worn a lot of them for plays, I’m not a fan), dressing up as a “lady” as a disguise, tricking men who think they’re very smart, and a “cultured” young man falling for Enola’s independent ways despite what he’s been told is ladylike. I don’t mind those tropes; in fact, I sort of love them. When I grew up, there weren’t enough stories like this, so now I have a soft spot for them.
I also love the fact that Enola’s mom is the one who teaches her these skills. She learns some things from her brother, but Eudoria faced the same issues that Enola does in terms of society’s ideas about how young ladies should behave. It’s a lovely mother/daughter relationship when you often see the opposite in period pieces, with the mom being disapproving of her hoyden daughter, or scrambling to get her married off. Plus, let’s be honest; you would love to have Helena Bonham Carter as your mom.
Give yourself a break from all the heavy stuff out there this year, and all the crazy CGI of the superhero genre, and give this a watch. Share it with the young people you know. Enola Holmes for
President Prime Minister!