Enola Holmes Review: Millie Bobby Brown Shines in Netflix Adventure

Harry Bradbeer’s Netflix movie stars Millie Bobby Brown, Sam Claflin, Henry Cavill, and Helena Bonham Carter.

In the past, I’ve lamented the decline of the PG adventure movie. Kids are either shunted off into family-friendly animated features or they’re thrust into the blockbuster fare of PG-13 summer tentpoles. It’s getting harder to find movies that are appropriate for the 9-12 set while also being terrific. Enter Enola Holmes, a cinematic and electrifying adaptation of a YA book series that focuses on Sherlock Holmes’ kid sister. Developed as a feature in part by star Millie Bobby Brown (who also serves as a producer on the film), Enola Holmes is a pure delight from start to finish that spins a captivating mystery yarn worthy of its protagonist’s surname while being family friendly enough that parents won’t have to worry about anything too dark scaring their young ones. With the skillful direction of Fleabag helmer Harry Bradbeer, a strong supporting cast, and Brown proving she can carry a project all on her own, Enola Holmes is a total charmer that will have you eager to see further adventures of this young detective.

Enola Holmes (Brown) was raised by her mother (Helena Bonham Carter) where education was constant and always coupled with her mother’s affection. On Enola’s 16th birthday, her mother goes missing, which leads to her brothers—Mycroft (Sam Claflin) and Sherlock (Henry Cavill)—whom she’s never really known, coming to cart her off to boarding school while Sherlock tracks down mom. Enola, resolved to find her mother and not be a subservient lady to anyone, runs away and catches a train where she meets fellow runaway Lord Tewksbury (Louis Partridge), who is being threatened by a nefarious goon (Burn Gorman). Enola and Tewksbury flee and strike up a rapport, but Enola is eager to get back to the case of her missing mother. But Tewksbury’s helpless nags at her, and she decides she must also take up the case of the endangered lord.

At first glance these stories may seem disparate, but Enola Holmes holds them together through the sheer force of Brown’s performance, which has the advantage of letting the charismatic young actress break the fourth wall to address the audience. Brown has been a rising star since Stranger Things became a phenomenon, Continue reading

The End of the F***ing World’s Jessica Barden on her struggle with acne and coming to terms with anxiety

Rising to fame as Alyssa in Netflix’s dark comedy drama, The End of the F***ing World, Jessica Barden has recently turned her attention to becoming a spokesperson for anxiety. Here, she shares her struggles. 

Twenty-seven-year-old British actor Jessica Barden is sitting in her back garden with her three-legged German shepherd, Hammy. She’s been living in Los Angeles for a while now, and there’s an ever-so-slight American twang to her unmistakable Yorkshire accent.

Growing up, Barden always dreamt of being an actor. Landing small parts here and there, she rose to fame in 2017 as unlikely heroine Alyssa in Netflix’s dark comedy-drama The End of the F***ing World, about a teenage Bonnie and Clyde duo who embark on a road trip to escape the mundanities of school work and suburban life. Continue reading

Emmys spotlight: Asa Butterfield on ‘Sex Education’ resuming production

When hit Netflix series Sex Education (hopefully) returns to production this summer, it will be one of the first major shows to do so following the coronavirus shutdown.

Asa Butterfield, who plays lead character Otis, is looking forward to it. “We’re going to be paving the way, potentially, for how things are done for the next while,” he says. “They want to get it right – there will be a lot of safety protocol put in place.”

Shot predominantly in south Wales, the high school drama’s sun-kissed visuals require long days of light. It was scheduled to film season three in May, before lockdown intervened; the restart is now tentatively scheduled for August, according to Sony, parent company of the show’s UK-based production company Eleven.

The option of quarantining a full cast and crew has been floated as a solution to Covid-19 transmission concerns in the industry. “If that’s what needs to be done, then that’s what needs to be done,” says Butterfield of the possibility that Sex Education could adopt such a measure. “I’m lucky that Wales isn’t that far from home – it’s in the same time zone and relatively similar. I’ve been staying in my apartment for the last few months so it wouldn’t be all that different – it’ll just be a different apartment!”

Whatever social distancing measures are required on set, he is naturally keen they don’t alter the essence of the show. “The foundation of this show is relationships, friendships, and intimacy, and it gives such a positive message. Otis and [best friend] Eric are always hugging and jumping around – we can’t change that. I would rather we all quarantined and we keep the heart of the show than lose that.”

Butterfield hopes the detailed work the industry is doing for a post-pandemic return as a chance to adopt greener shooting practices. “People are realising what’s important and what’s necessary, and then what’s just being wasteful. I know Sex Education is really pushing to minimise waste; taking that even further would be something that could come out of this.”

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How ‘Sex Education’ Star Asa Butterfield’s Therapist Mom Helped Him Prepare for His Role

For his role as amateur sex therapist, the charming star of Netflix’s hit teen sex comedy found a valuable resource close to home.

When it premiered on Netflix in 2018, “Sex Education” immediately resonated with audiences for its clever comedy, sex positive message, heart-wrenching romance, and exceedingly likable and relatable characters. While the show’s second season expanded the ensemble to ever more colorful characters, the heart and soul of “Sex Education” will always be fumblingly sweet, sometimes self-involved, but generally kindhearted Otis Milburn. Played to charismatic teenage boy perfection by Asa Butterfield, Otis is the epitome of boy next door charm coursing with a gentle current of hormonal teenage angst. There’s no question why both Maeve (Emma Mackey) and Ola (Patricia Allison) are in love with him, and why he has the coolest best friend in town (Ncuti Gatwa’s Eric) — Otis is, to put it plainly, a total peach.

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