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 Post subject: Re: Tolkien biopic
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 9:07 am 
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of Vinyamar
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Its a Biopic. I'm not expecting 5* reviews.

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 Post subject: Re: Tolkien biopic
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 8:25 am 
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I don't necessarily think a biopic must be a weaker-than-usual film. Malcolm X, A Beautiful Mind, Lincoln, and Milk, among others, all got very strong reviews. But I'll hold out until I see it (which won't be until mid-June here).


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 Post subject: Re: Tolkien biopic
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 9:23 am 
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No, but I don't think anyone would argue that Tolkien's early life was particularly cinematic.

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 Post subject: Re: Tolkien biopic
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 5:43 pm 
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We saw the film yesterday and the 3 of us enjoyed it. Considering neither my husband or daughter are Tolkien/LotR fans & that they were asking all kinds of questions and found him fascinating- and understood why I've always found him fascinating, would equal film success, imo. The film only covers Tolkien aged from about 11 or 12 until he's maybe in his early 30's, so no mention of the Inklings. One thing we thought the film did well was tie Tolkien's life events in with how it influenced his writing.


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 Post subject: Re: Tolkien biopic
PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2019 2:02 am 
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In the theater getting ready to see it.

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 Post subject: Re: Tolkien biopic
PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2019 2:48 am 
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Enjoy!
Short Documentary from King Edwards where Tolkien attended school.


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 Post subject: Re: Tolkien biopic
PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2019 4:57 am 
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I quite liked it (despite the obvious liberties that they took with the facts).

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 Post subject: Re: Tolkien biopic
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 3:47 am 
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Assuming your last post was about the biopic and if you find the time, could you elaborate? The film is only hitting cinemas here in a month, and I was not too pleased with the trailer (nor with the casting of the main actor). But if you actually liked it, I will definitely give it a shot.


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 Post subject: Re: Tolkien biopic
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 4:21 am 
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Yes, I was referring to the biopic. I would say that what Dmitra Fimi wrote in her blog pretty much speak for me: "I found myself in split personality mode while watching the film. There were moments when I poked my poor husband next to me and whispered: “this isn’t right!”. And yet, there were moments when I was entertained, and charmed, and even moved to tears."

TLS review of Dome Karukoski biopic “Tolkien” [Unfortunately, the TLS review itself is subscription so I wasn't able to read it.]

I thought the relationships with Edith and with the TCBS (and with Prof. Wright, though he really was an amalgamation of several different characters) were very successfully done. I actually thought the cellar door scene was wonderful, even though I hated the clip of it that I saw, and I really thought that Edith came alive as a character. I was not as bothered by the hallucinations of scenes from his future works as I thought I would be; they actually worked well in the context of the war scenes, which were effectively horrible. Even the invention of his trying to find G.B Smith, which I thought would really thought would bother me, actually did not; I thought it worked okay. Some of it was a little clunky and slow (though the pace didn't bother me as much as it did John Rateliff, with whom I usually am pretty much in agreement with about most things).

I would have liked it if they had been able to talk more about what Tolkien wrote at that time, particularly the Lost Tales, and the long fragments of verse that was later published in The Lays of Beleriand, but I would guess that they did not have the rights to do so. But they did nicely reflect Tolkien's love of trees. And his brilliance, and the heartbreak and love that honed it, come through.

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 Post subject: Re: Tolkien biopic
PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 5:36 pm 
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Thank you for the detailed review, V. I shall give it a try then. ^^


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 Post subject: Re: Tolkien biopic
PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 6:23 pm 
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For the sake of balance, I will reiterate that reaction has certainly been mixed by both critics and in the Tolkien community.

Typically, David Bratman had the worst review of the film of anyone that I have seen (he also had the most strongly negative reaction to all of Jackson's Middle-earth films that I have seen, as well). For what it is worth, here is his review at his blog (which, interestingly, has the only somewhat positive statement I have ever seen him make about Jackson's LOTR films).

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 Post subject: Re: Tolkien biopic
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:13 am 
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Just saw it.

I was a little apprehensive but on the whole I enjoyed it. It can be slow, there are episodes which could be cut without affecting the overall plot, and it over-dramatises things in the way that you’d expect from Hollywood. But it takes a pretty cinematic story of friendship, war and thwarted love and makes a pleasing movie out of it.

As a couple of the reviewers have noted, it draws heavily on the imagery of Jackson’s Middle Earth. But I can fully understand that it’s directed at the mass audience who’ve seen the films and might want to see an engaging human story about the author which draws (in some cases very obvious) links with what they know rather than the likes of us who are curious about the first mention of Gondolin or Valinor, or the development of Quenya verbs.

I’m not very familiar with Tolkien’s life, so I can understand others who are might get the impression they’re watching a fun house mirror version. I’ve read Humphrey Carpenter’s biography and I’m reading Tolkien and the Great War now (so I was tickled to see the rugby game which starts the book make it into the film). But I’d say it got the basic elements right. And Tolkien’s early life does actually provide quite a bit of material to mine for cinema.

On the history side, Tolkien joins Downtown Abbey, Parade’s End, at least one of the versions of Testament of Youth, and other films I’ve seen in having someone announce that Britain is at war suddenly in the middle of the day. Britain and Germany were actually at war at one o’clock in the morning, when the British ultimatum expired without a response from Berlin. But the cinematic medium demands someone comes in shouting and waving a piece of paper, so I’ve come to accept this as universal Hollywood history ™.

As an amusing anecdote, given the pronunciation of Tolkien’s name is a point of conflict in the film, the usher at the cinema announced the doors were now open for “Tol-ky-en”.

I don’t really have a desire to see it again but I’d recommend it to the membership of this board.


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 Post subject: Re: Tolkien biopic
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:26 pm 
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I'm glad that you mostly like it, Túrin. It sounds like your reaction was pretty similar to mine.

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 Post subject: Re: Tolkien biopic
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:05 pm 
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Túrin Turambar wrote:
On the history side, Tolkien joins Downtown Abbey, Parade’s End, at least one of the versions of Testament of Youth, and other films I’ve seen in having someone announce that Britain is at war suddenly in the middle of the day. Britain and Germany were actually at war at one o’clock in the morning, when the British ultimatum expired without a response from Berlin. But the cinematic medium demands someone comes in shouting and waving a piece of paper, so I’ve come to accept this as universal Hollywood history ™.


I'm no historian Túrin, but surely that can simply be explained by the slower delivery of news at that time?

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 Post subject: Re: Tolkien biopic
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:16 am 
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Alatar wrote:
Túrin Turambar wrote:
On the history side, Tolkien joins Downtown Abbey, Parade’s End, at least one of the versions of Testament of Youth, and other films I’ve seen in having someone announce that Britain is at war suddenly in the middle of the day. Britain and Germany were actually at war at one o’clock in the morning, when the British ultimatum expired without a response from Berlin. But the cinematic medium demands someone comes in shouting and waving a piece of paper, so I’ve come to accept this as universal Hollywood history ™.


I'm no historian Túrin, but surely that can simply be explained by the slower delivery of news at that time?


Not really - there were regular morning and evening newspapers. The approaching expiry of the ultimatum was all over the papers on August 4 and everyone would have woken up to the news on August 5 (e.g. front page of the Manchester Guardian). I don't think it's plausible someone in Oxford could have been walking around all morning ignorant of the news, although I could be wrong.


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