The formative years of the orphaned author J.R.R. Tolkien as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school.

Director:

Dome Karukoski
Reviews
Popularity
1,985 ( 344)

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicholas Hoult ... J.R.R. Tolkien
Al Bollands Al Bollands ... First Soldier
Kallum Tolkien Kallum Tolkien ... Second Soldier
Craig Roberts ... Private Sam Hodges
Harry Gilby ... J.R.R. Tolkien (Young)
Colm Meaney ... Father Francis
Laura Donnelly ... Mabel Tolkien
Guillermo Bedward ... Hilary Tolkien (Young)
Nia Gwynne ... Bronwen
Pam Ferris ... Mrs. Faulkner
Adrian Schiller ... English Master
Albie Marber ... Robert Gilson (Young)
Ty Tennant ... Christopher Wiseman (Young)
Adam Bregman Adam Bregman ... Geoffrey Smith (Young)
Tony Nash Tony Nash ... Mackintosh
Edit

Storyline

Tolkien explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school. This takes him into the outbreak of World War I, which threatens to tear the "fellowship" apart. All of these experiences would inspire Tolkien to write his famous Middle-Earth novels. Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Life of Love, Courage, and Fellowship


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sequences of war violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Nicholas Hoult's second performance as a famous author, having previously portrayed J.D. Salinger in Rebel in the Rye (2017). See more »

Goofs

When it is announced that war has broken out, the speaker says it is because Germany had invaded Belgium. That had been front page news and surely the most talked about topic everywhere for a day. He more likely would have said that Germany had ignored the ultimatum to leave Belgium. See more »

Quotes

Christopher Wiseman (Young): Now what do we do?
Robert Gilson (Young): We change the world.
Geoffrey Smith (Young): Oh, good. Something simple.
Robert Gilson (Young): Through art, you clown. Through the power of art.
J.R.R. Tolkien (Young): Brothers, will you join your comrades in this act of changing the world?
Robert Gilson (Young)Geoffrey Smith (Young)Christopher Wiseman (Young): We will.
See more »


Soundtracks

Kashmiri Song (Pale Hands I Loved)
Lyric by Lawrence Hope
Music by Amy Woodford-Finden
Performed by Patricia Hammond
See more »

User Reviews

Enjoy a romantic bio of Tolkien's early years, and get a hint of his inspirations.
6 May 2019 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"A safe fairyland is untrue to all worlds." J.R.R. Tolkien

Although the name Tolkien conjures up thoughts of fantastical tales about hobbits, rings, and magic of the highest order, there's little magic and much reality in the new biography, Tolkien. Yet there is much romance, in fact a genial part of an otherwise difficult life.

In reality this story of J.R.R. Tolkien (Nicholas Hoult), up until he becomes well-known for his fantasies while he is bringing up four children and loving his "elfin" princess, Edith (Lily Collins), has a magic of its own. At the same time, it acknowledges the serious shortcomings of an impecunious genius struggling to be heard in the din of class restrictions and WWI.

Besides the delightful early courtship of Tolkien and Edith, the best romance in a long time as far as I am concerned, is the romance of his boy's club. It started before the four culturally gifted young men enter Oxford and Cambridge and goes through the war, which decimated their little intellectual "fellowship." The support they gave each other, the companionable joy, has rarely been so lovingly captured on film. Lamentably, the boys never develop fully as characters, perhaps because of time restrictions.

Satisfying is his discovery by rhetoric professor Wright (Derek Jacobi), who eventually acknowledges Tolkien's genius with language. For those skeptical about the importance of education, watch Tolkien come alive in Wright's hands.

Although these early years seem accurately reported, the joy of this film is in seeing the slow but inexorable growth from a small boy raptly listening to his mother's fantastical readings to a young man doodling heroic figures on horses and scratching out inchoate stories that will give birth to some of the most influential literature in the Western world.

"If you really want to know what Middle-earth is based on, it's my wonder and delight in the earth as it is, particularly the natural earth." Tolkien


60 of 84 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 243 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

10 May 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tolkien See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,200,537, 12 May 2019

Gross USA:

$4,535,154

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,090,040
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed