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Tolkien Estate Disavows Film Starring Nicholas Hoult

Desert Loon

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I'm still trying to decide if I want to see it. Honestly, the way big studios tend to make movies, I almost think that as long as it doesn't put in a sex scene it'll be okay. :rolleyes:
 

CirdanLinweilin

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I'm still trying to decide if I want to see it. Honestly, the way big studios tend to make movies, I almost think that as long as it doesn't put in a sex scene it'll be okay. :rolleyes:
I don't think I will, I don't need to see Catholicism beat into the mud by Hollywood yet again, with the poor man as their vehicle. If you see it, post on here and give us a fair review!


CL
 

Gloer

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But of course they do. They disavow to make certain there is no room to interpret that the movie has a "seal of approval" which it of course should not have. I am cerrtain Tolkien estate would be unable to create a biopic of Tolkien that could get their seal of approval. So how can anyone else!

Nevertheless, this movie is bound to be better than anything filmed of Tolkien so far.
 
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I've seen the film. There are many distortions as expected and Tolkien's Christian faith is downplayed - also expected. Father Francis Morgan isn't portrayed as a stuffy monster which was a relief. Lily Collins is beautiful but then so was Edith Bratt. They were bound to make a lot of Edith dancing in the woods but it is an important part of their joint story. It mainly covers Tolkien's time in school and university in flashbacks from the WW1 trenches - graphically depicted (similar to but not as good as Kubrick's Paths of Glory).

There's a lovely coda of Tolkien encouraging the mother of his schoolfriend, Geoffrey Smith, to publish his poetry (A Spring Harvest) for which Tolkien offered to write a foreword - and Derek Jacobi as his Oxford philology Professor always adds to any drama.

So don't look for an accurate portrayal here. But if you lay that aside it's better than a lot of the pap you see in cinemas these days.

A Spring Harvest is available online:
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/48371/48371-h/48371-h.html
 

Ithilethiel

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I've seen the film. There are many distortions as expected and Tolkien's Christian faith is downplayed - also expected. Father Francis Morgan isn't portrayed as a stuffy monster which was a relief. Lily Collins is beautiful but then so was Edith Bratt. They were bound to make a lot of Edith dancing in the woods but it is an important part of their joint story. It mainly covers Tolkien's time in school and university in flashbacks from the WW1 trenches - graphically depicted (similar to but not as good as Kubrick's Paths of Glory).

There's a lovely coda of Tolkien encouraging the mother of his schoolfriend, Geoffrey Smith, to publish his poetry (A Spring Harvest) for which Tolkien offered to write a foreword - and Derek Jacobi as his Oxford philology Professor always adds to any drama.

So don't look for an accurate portrayal here. But if you lay that aside it's better than a lot of the pap you see in cinemas these days.

A Spring Harvest is available online:
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/48371/48371-h/48371-h.html
Thanks for the review Rivendell_librarian. I've read numerous online reviews and knew Tolkien's faith was greatly underplayed in the movie. It's similar in the CS Lewis movie, Shadowlands. That was a beautifully filmed and acted movie that I enjoy even though we are somewhat led to believe that Joy Gresham's death caused a break in Lewis' faith. It did not.

I could forgive it in Shadowlands because it was less the theme of the movie. But for Tolkien his faith played a major role in his writings. You cannot separate the two. Did the movie not examine this? And if so, what did they use as the impetus of his storytelling if not his faith? Thanks!
 
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The film uses an accurate quote from his schoolfriend, Geoffrey Smith, as an implied motivating factor:

My chief consolation is that if I am scuppered tonight there will still be left a member [of our School group] to voice what I dreamed and what we all agreed upon. For the death of one of its members cannot, I am determined, dissolve [the group]. Death can make us loathsome and helpless as individuals, but it cannot put an end to the immortal four! May God bless you my dear John Ronald and may you say things I have tried to say long after I am not there to say them if such be my lot

Geoffrey Smith was killed at the Somme. The film shows Tolkien looking for him in the trenches even though Tolkien was going down with trench fever. I don't know how accurate that is.

But, the film only goes very briefly into his time as an Oxford professor (and only as a young man with small children). There's no Inklings or C S Lewis so maybe one shouldn't expect too much analysis of the gestation of his writings. One couldn't help notice a similarity between WWI no man's land and Mordor but the film did not make that connection explicit. There was an odd parallel between a German flame thrower attack and a PJ style Balrog! (to appeal to PJ fans I would think).

However, I think this film would provoke some people to read, say John Garth's Tolkien and the Great War (or the letters) in the way that PJ's films provoked people to read Tolkien (again).
 

Ithilethiel

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The film uses an accurate quote from his schoolfriend, Geoffrey Smith, as an implied motivating factor:

My chief consolation is that if I am scuppered tonight there will still be left a member [of our School group] to voice what I dreamed and what we all agreed upon. For the death of one of its members cannot, I am determined, dissolve [the group]. Death can make us loathsome and helpless as individuals, but it cannot put an end to the immortal four! May God bless you my dear John Ronald and may you say things I have tried to say long after I am not there to say them if such be my lot

Geoffrey Smith was killed at the Somme. The film shows Tolkien looking for him in the trenches even though Tolkien was going down with trench fever. I don't know how accurate that is.

But, the film only goes very briefly into his time as an Oxford professor (and only as a young man with small children). There's no Inklings or C S Lewis so maybe one shouldn't expect too much analysis of the gestation of his writings. One couldn't help notice a similarity between WWI no man's land and Mordor but the film did not make that connection explicit. There was an odd parallel between a German flame thrower attack and a PJ style Balrog! (to appeal to PJ fans I would think).

However, I think this film would provoke some people to read, say John Garth's Tolkien and the Great War (or the letters) in the way that PJ's films provoked people to read Tolkien (again).
Thank you for your thorough reply. I imagine it would be difficult for a film to encompass the entirety of the Professor's prolific and extraordinary life. Still, I believe the story would have been more authentic if his faith had at least been examined in part.

I just don't understand why faith, particularly Christian faith is such a taboo subject. Perhaps it is best screenwriters with jaded views of Christianity do not attempt to write of things they do not fully understand. If the film spurs individuals to dig deeper to discover the true Tolkien than I imagine it is in some small way a success. Thank you again.
 
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It's all part of our post Christian age. Da Vinci's Last Supper is discussed in terms of its preservation or as a lad's night out or the da Vinci code, and the religious significance of the event portrayed is often ignored.
 

Kolbitar

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I’m not sure we can ever expect any exemplary and untainted work, in particular one about a man like Tolkien, in this postmodern age—but I found the film to be an opportunity to fellowship with my Inkling-esque friends and drink in a fresh draught of something like what resembles a lovely, if faded dream—although perhaps it was more like looking into Galadriel’s mirror, or Sarumen’s palantir-sans-will, with shadows and glimpses of what might have been, knowing that much of it wasn’t—none-the-less, the honor it did by preserving memory of the TCBS as something valuable to the great author, even though his faith was paramount, was nice. It could have been great. It was inaccurate. But it was nice,
 

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