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We saw Sherlock Holmes on Christmas Day, and then again this evening; I flat-out adored it. It’s not Great Film, of course, but it was unbelievably gay and undeniably gorgeous, the latter of which being what captivated me the most.

What incredible art design that movie had; the use of color, in particular, was not subtle, but it was stunning. Irene’s red, the blue in all the Order’s quarters, the odd brightness of the circus performers Holmes pursues Irene through. It’s not a monochrome film by any stretch of the imagination, but color is used sparingly and then where the color pops, it pops, and the use of it was so deliberate and obvious that it worked. I haven’t yet figured out what exactly the color is supposed to mean; why red (besides the standard cliched femme fatale idea of it), why blue. Why red and blue together in Parliament at the end. But it’s there, and it sticks out.

It isn’t the same use of color that Burton’s Sweeney Todd did; there the red is obvious, the blood and the violence and the vengeance, but it’s a similar aesthetic. Choosing that color. Makes me want to sit down and have a long conversation with the art director, and with Guy Ritchie.

And the wide shots of London, growing and becoming what it is today — the idea of this movie being perched at the edge of an era of change and Holmes spearheading that change, executed in a perfect visual fashion. Everything centered around the Thames and the bridges. And, oh, the final shot of the bridge — if you’ve seen the film, you know the one I mean — the slow pan back to the wide angle shot, it’s simply stunning. Breathtakingly gorgeous and macabre. Which was a good summary of the movie for me: gorgeous and macabre, and exactly what I wanted.

And also, you know, kind of gay.

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