In 1951 in Africo, a small village in the southern valley of Aspromonte, a woman dies in childbirth because a doctor fails to arrive on time. No road connects Africo with other villages. In... See full summary »
Valeria Bruni Tedeschi,
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
Tolkien: Not quite the romantic warrior professor but certainly all three of the preceding in part. Tolkien had a tough early life, falling into impecunity, his mother had to move with J.R.R. (Harry Gilby as the young Tolkien) and his brother from a rural idyll to the satanic mills and factories of Birmingham, an early model for Mordor no doubt. Then getting excessively MisLit, his mother (Laura Donnelly) dies and he is fostered by an elderly rich lady and along with his brother gets scholarships to an exclusive school. His family's benefactor, always working behind the scenes, is Father Morgan (Colm Meaney), benevelovent but steely in his determination when Tolkien's romance with Edith threatens his chances of getting an Oxford scholarship. Morgan may have been the inspiration for Gandalf.
At school Tolkien founds a Fellowship with other artistically minded students bur the Great War will wreak havoc on that brotherhood. The film cuts between Tolkien's earlier life and the trenches of the Somme. This is literally Hell, a real Mordor. The adult J.R.R .(Nicholas Hoult) is on a (perhaps allegorical) quest to the Front to find one of the Fellowship who is missing in action. He passes through mud holes full of bodies and fever stricken imagines that a german with a flamethrower is a dragon. The film suggests many inspirations for his books, Edith (Lily Collins) as an Elven Princess, his mother's reading tales of dragons when he was a boy, the War, his schooldays. A great influence on him was the philologist Professor Wright (Derek Jacobi) who won him over to the study of Old English and Gothic languages. Directed by Dome Karukoski from a screenplay by David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford, Tolkien is an engaging account of the earlier life of the scholar and author. 8/10
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