Thursday, May 23, 2019

Review of Tolkien

Rather plodding biopic about Tolkien, who didn't have a very interesting life (student then professor at Oxford). Some interest from the cutting backwards and forwards to awful experiences in the Great War, into which fantasy sequences have been inserted (dragons, monsters). I note in passing that depictions of WW1 in films tend to emphasise the slaughter and the horror, but depictions of WW2 do so less consistently.

Without the intercollated WW1 scenes it would be a dull biopic about a quite dull bloke and his dull posh friends (and nice kind wife). They drink a lot of tea and eat cake. Once he and his girlfriend are thrown out of a hotel tea room for mucking about with sugar cubes.

The more interesting bits of the story really happened before the film starts and aren't covered at all in the film...the family's move to South Africa, his mother's conversion to Catholicism and her Baptist family's decision to cut her off from all support as a result, the extraordinary education she must have given her two children at home...

Watched at the Vue in Stroud in a nearly-empty cinema, with annoying subtitles.

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