Tolkien is a biographical drama directed by Dome Karukoski and written by David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford. The film is about the early life of English professor J. R. R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, as well as other notable academic works. Tolkien is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures under the Fox Searchlight Pictures banner, making it the first film released by Searchlight after an acquisition by Disney.  I wasn’t sure about Tolkien — I thought it might be a documentary, but it isn’t. The film was well done and I’m glad I got to see it.

Tolkien opens with young J. R. R. Tolkien (Harry Gilby) lying in a field of leaves fantasizing about two fully armored men on their horses, fighting amidst fire, with spears drawn. Reality sets in and he awakens as an officer in WWI who is badly…

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