Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
Twwhis Film documents the King of Literary Fantasy J.R.R. Tolkien’s (Nicolas Hoult) life, touching upon the beautiful and poignant experiences of Tolkien’s childhood to adulthood. Particularly his relationships with his group of childhood friends, his romantic relationship with Edith Bratt (Lily Collins) and his traumatic experiences fighting in World War I. And how these early life experiences helped him pen The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
There are many routes the Filmmakers could’ve taken with this Film, primarily a more fantastical one, yet they chose the more traditional route. However, by taking the conventional structure Screenwriters David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford have crafted a study of Tolkien finding his identity. In doing this, the Film has a solid writing structure that peers into the life Tolkien had and the immense importance of his brotherhood and romantic relationship. The story is also laced with rich humour and tender moments which are elevated by its stellar Cast.
The entire Ensemble boasts a vibrancy for the source material and the life of one of the most beloved authors of all time. The chemistry between everyone on screen is electric, whether it be between Tolkien’s brotherhood or between Tolkien and his one true love Edith. Hoult and Collins are a magnetic force that makes it impossible to not fall in love with them, both individually and together. They have the ability to inflict emotion with a single look shared between them even when no words are being exchanged.
Fox Searchlight release TOLKIEN Friday, May 10, 2019.