Movie Review: Tolkien, directed by Dome Karukoski (Four Stars)

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Movie Review: Tolkien, directed by Dome Karukoski

(Four Stars)

“Where you follow the rhythms of language, I have to tell you, Mr. Tolkien, I’ve never come across anything like it.”

This movie will bomb. Too intellectual and idea driven, like Tolkien’s stories. Little to no action. Solid performances by a cast of unknowns.

“No … you deserve magic.”

Having read much by and about Tolkien, I can attest that this accurately represents the formative years of the greatest story teller of the twentieth century, despite the Tolkien Estate disavowing the film. In fact, reviewing Tolkien’s biography reveals Karukoski et al. took many liberties with fact, hence my labeling this as historical fiction

“There are cakes.”

Like Disney’s treatment of Madeleine L’Engle’s  A Wrinkle in Time, all reference to Tolkien’s faith was excised. Tolkien wrote, “We have come from God and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed, only by myth-making, only by becoming a ‘sub-creator’ and inventing stories, can Man ascribe to the state of perfection that he knew before the fall.”

“In a hole in the ground, there lived a Hobbit.”

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Book Review: The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (Five Stars)

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Book Review: The Hobbit or There and Back Again by J. R. R. Tolkien

(Five Stars)

Obviously written more as a children’s tale, it introduces–but is not quite up to the wonder of–The Lord of the Rings as told by the mature Tolkien.

After sixth reading: this is the book that sucked me into the world of high fantasy literature all those years ago. “Roads,” indeed, “go ever ever on.”

“One morning long ago in the quiet of the world, when there was less noise and more green ….”

After at least the seventh reading: I have read this and LOTR at least once a decade since the 1960s. Each time I find something new. Each time I marvel that Tolkien told so much with so few words. The story propels you along even as it invites you to relax for tea with the author. Amazing. (I greatly prefer this to the movies.)

“If ever you are passing my way,” said Bilbo, “don’t wait to knock! Tea is at four; but any of you are welcome at anytime!”