Tolkien

Tolkien

DVD - 2019
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Explores the formative years of the renowned author's life as he finds friendship, courage, and inspiration among a fellow group of writers and artists at school. Their brotherhood strengthens as they grow up and weather love and loss together, including the author's tumultuous courtship of his beloved Edith Bratt, until the outbreak of the First World War which threatens to tear their fellowship apart. All of these experiences would later inspire him to write his famous Middle-earth novels.

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singoutlouise
Feb 25, 2020

Sadly the best part of the movie are the last 5 minutes, followed by the "post story" credits of what happened to the factual main characters. Too many flashbacks, and too much time spent on uninteresting events in this man's life. Movie did not give me any new insight about his unique/interesting history. Will look for a documentary instead.

m
MichelleinBallard
Feb 16, 2020

There are some troubling problems with this film. First, Tolkien was a devout Roman Catholic whose faith influenced his life and shaped his most famous works. He described *The Lord of the Rings* as "a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision." Little or none of this comes through in the film. To be clear, a clumsy or heavy-handed representation of Tolkien's faith would probably have been equally as bad, if not worse.

Second, Father Francis Morgan became the guardian of Tolkien and his brother when their mother died when J. R. R. was twelve, leaving the two boys orphans. Tolkien was very close to Fr. Morgan describing him as "a guardian who had been a father to me, more than most fathers" and he said, "I first learned charity and forgiveness from him." For so important a figure in Tolkien's life Fr. Morgan is scarcely portrayed in the film.

Third, Tolkien resisted going off to fight "The Great War", seeking and receiving a one-year deferment. By his own account, he might have put it off even longer but for the strong familial and social pressure he was under. Again, none of this is portrayed in the film. He would later become an anti-imperialist with self-avowed anarchist leanings and was no ardent fan of WW II either.

Finally, in real life Tolkien married Edith Bratt about six weeks before he shipped out to France. The film inexplicably shows them still unmarried after he returns from Europe.

I can understand some dramatic license in cinematic depictions of the lives of real people but this film perniciously diverges too far from the truth.

P.S. No, I'm not now nor have I ever been a Roman Catholic.

b
bdehler
Feb 14, 2020

Interesting story behind a disturbed author and why he wrote the books.

If you're a fan of Tolkien's modern films it will be easier to appreciate the imagery and poetic vision of this biopic which covers the first third of Tolkien's life. If you find the very idea of a "hobbit" annoying this film's imagery may seem obscure and meaningless. However, if you find the very word "hobbit" interesting this film will definitely be delicious to watch. I was captivated by every scene. It's very helpful to listen to the Director's Comments on the DVD (with subtitles) to better understand the artistic choices made and to learn more about Tolkien's life. In order to do justice to the life of such a fascinating person it would take way more time than two hours - imagine a three or four disc serial!!! But it is what it is, and it's pretty fantastic. I loved the way the timeline moved back and forth and the images suggested so many links to his future writing. The director's approach is subtle and filmed with true respect for J.R.R. Tolkien. This film will probably inspire many people to learn more about this author and read more of his books. This is a beautiful and emotional film about brave and creative people, poverty, war, and genius. The acting is believable and captivating.

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misatim
Feb 02, 2020

This is a story that needn't be told. A lovely story but no real meat at it's heart.

s
slaroche
Jan 24, 2020

3.5* Slow at times but not bad. Interesting true story about Tokien.

s
star2014
Jan 12, 2020

This biopic 's focus seems to be on Tolkien's formative years,especially his friendships and schooling. My husband and I enjoyed this movie very much. I even learned how to properly pronounce Tolkien.

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lindy919
Jan 08, 2020

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I'm a LOTR fan and, while I enjoyed it, I doubt much of it is true.
.

d
duane767
Dec 26, 2019

A rare movie where your ears won't bleed, your heart won't feel horrible for seeing too much skin, and the violence is more for contemplation as opposed to being for gross demonstration. If this movie is truer than not I will say it spoke to me about how some beautiful things can come out of, from, and through tragedy.

i
ilovewhippets
Dec 15, 2019

Great story! Make sure to watch the Bonus section! The commentary was quite interesting and informative!

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ArapahoeTina Jan 22, 2020

"Things aren't beautiful because of how they sound. They're beautiful because of what they mean."

ArapahoeTina Jan 22, 2020

"I can die in any way the fates choose, that's not up to me. But what is within my power is to decide how I live. Courageously or timidly."

FizzyWhizzy: If you like Tolkien, you'll absolutely love this movie!

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ArapahoeTina Dec 12, 2019

ArapahoeTina thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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