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Tolkien, a biographical drama film released in 2019, masterfully explores the formative years of the world-renowned author J.R.R. Tolkien. This captivating movie casts Nicholas Hoult in the leading role as the legendary author, and Lily Collins features as his beloved wife and muse, Edith Bratt. Directed by Dome Karukoski, written by David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford, and produced by Fox Searchlight Pictures, this film brings to life the compelling human story behind the creator of some of the most enduring fictional worlds in literature.

The film takes the viewer on a journey through Tolkien’s youth, tracing the experiences and relationships that shaped him and inspired the creation of his iconic Middle-Earth novels, including "The Lord of The Rings" and "The Hobbit." Throughout the movie, viewers get an intimate look at the seminal moments in the author's life, weaving together a rich tapestry of experiences, including orphanhood, love, war, and friendship, which nourished Tolkien's vivid imagination.

Nicholas Hoult, as J.R.R. Tolkien, gives a captivating performance, accurately depicting the multifaceted nature of the author, from his imaginative, scholarly interests to his deep emotional world. Lily Collins as Edith Bratt, Tolkien's great love and future wife, brings a perfect blend of charm, intelligence, and empathy to her character, matching the depth and complexity of Hoult's Tolkien.

The narrative of the film carefully unravels the early life of Tolkien, beginning from his childhood days orphaned and under the guardianship of Father Francis Morgan (played by Colm Meaney). The movie puts a spotlight on the friendship between Tolkien and his three schoolmates, Robert Gilson, Christopher Wiseman, and Geoffrey Bache Smith. Upholding the significance of fellowship through their brotherhood - the Tea Club and Barrovian Society (TCBS) - they stand together through personal trials, as well as the tumultuous backdrop of World War I, casting direct links to the camaraderie and adventures of Tolkien's fictional characters.

Though primarily a biographical drama, an impressive subtlety of the film is the intermittent fantasy sequences interspersed throughout. By harnessing the power of metaphor and symbolism, these sequences embroider elements of Tolkien's Middle-Earth into his real-world narratives, which brings a depth and a captivating glimpse into the mentally constructed landscapes that would eventually populate his famous novels.

The movie also devotes a considerable amount of time showcasing Tolkien's romantic involvement with Edith Bratt, their scenes together often laden with palpable chemistry and authentic emotion. Their love story is tenderly portrayed, offering glimpses of how Edith became the muse for Tolkien's ethereal elfin characters.

Encapsulated in the poignant narrative are Tolkien's linguistic passions. The future professor of English language and literature at Oxford University, and creator of complex Elvish languages, got his start studying Latin and Greek at King Edward's School in Birmingham - a detail not lost in the film. Mastery of language was not only Tolkien's academic pursuit but was also profoundly intertwined with his creative writing, as shown in several key scenes.

Tolkien's experience in World War I was another critical chapter of his life that has been well depicted in the movie. The mind-numbing horrors of the trenches that he faced while serving as a Lieutenant have been portrayed with deftness and emotional intensity, providing a backdrop for illustrating the stark contrast between the peaceful Shire and the apocalyptic Mordor in his later writings.

While the movie has been crafted to appeal to a broad audience, fans of Tolkien's work will find a wealth of references and homages to his literary masterpiece. These provide an extra layer of appreciation for those familiar with the iconic author's groundbreaking novels.

In conclusion, the movie "Tolkien" is a beautifully rendered biographical drama that delves deeply into the life of J.R.R. Tolkien. It is a detailed exploration of the experiences that helped shape a young orphan into one of the world's most beloved authors. It’s an engaging narrative of friendship, love, tragedy, and triumph – a perfect tapestry mirroring the epic tales Tolkien himself would eventually craft.

Tolkien is a War, Drama, Romance movie released in 2019. It has a runtime of 111 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.8. It also holds a MetaScore of 48.

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Where can I stream Tolkien movie online? Tolkien is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at FuboTV, Sling, FX Networks, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Tolkien for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Dome Karukoski
Nicholas Hoult, Lily Collins, Colm Meaney, Derek Jacobi
Also directed by Dome Karukoski
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