Tolkien is a fascinating look at one of the greatest writers of the 19th century. His use of language is eloquent, incredibly descriptive, and detailed. I remember reading the Hobbit as a young teen and being amazed at how completely Tolkien brought me into his world. One of my friends even said Tolkien studied the star placement of different time periods so he could describe the sky accurately. I totally believed this, because his writing is descriptive to a fault in places. I have read all five of the ring series books and they definitely contributed to my love of the scifi/fantasy genre. So, was I excited to see this movie, Yes, Fan-girl Maybe not, but Giddy!
What I loved about this movie was the way they let us see Tolkien writing process. The glimpses into his history was interesting, but glimpsing his imagination made real, and his interest in language and hearing his thinking process was so fascinating. As a writer myself I just ate it up. I know it was artistic license, but I found it beautiful and fascinating. My favorite scene in the whole movie was his diner with Edith when they were discussing language. He brings up the word Cellar Door and he tells her how beautiful it sounds. She in turn argues that words are not beautiful just because of the way that they sound but because of the meaning we give them. She then ask him to make up a story about Cellar Door. We then get to listen to him create a story using just a word and it is amazing.
The little touches through out the movie are so great. Use of color and cinematography are fantastic. Creating grand fantasy scope and reminding you of scenes that will take place in his books like the dark riders, the trolls and Smaug. You see everything that he wrote as he saw it during his quest in the trenches. Beautifully filmed and played for any fan of his books to suss out. His four friends are the characters of his fellowship and the solider taking him through the trenches is on of the most important characters of the books. Also played by Kallum Tolkien himself. This movie is well done and worth seeing. The trench warfare scenes are worth seeing on the big screen while the intimate scenes Tolkien’s past can be watched on the small screen of you living room. Nicholas Holt does an excellent job as usual but it is Anthony Boyle’s performance that I loved the most. His friendship and unrequited love shown through on the screen. Making Holt’s grief more poignant in the end. Lily Collins was a fair Edith and I could have taken or left it. Dome Karukoski gives us a sweeping epic and a heart felt drama in a single film, much like Tolkien himself a well done translation of bluring the line between the writer and his work.
Tolkien (US release date 5/10/2019)
Directed by: Dome Karukoski
Written by: David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford
Staring: Nicholas Holt, Craig Roberts, Laura Donnelly, Anthony Boyle, Patrick Gibson, and Kallum Tolkien, and Colm Meaney
Production Company: Fox Searchlight Pictures, Chernin Entertainment