“This is a story of travel, of journeys that one makes to prove things”. Entered production in 2013, the biopic dedicated to the giant of the literature of the fantastic british J. R. R. Tolkien, is about to go to the cinema. This biographical work has not yet been able to benefit from the support of the descendants of the illustrious writer. In a press release, members of the “Tolkien Estate” have informed that they have not been approved, have not authorized and were not involved in the production of the film. And of course, it hurts somewhat to the promotion of Tolkien to the general public, and requires the director, Dome Korukoski, to explain his artistic choices.
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“It’s always the same battle between the facts and the fiction”, he to legitimize its intention, the exhibition of “true feelings” of the central character. Taken aback by the lack of information regarding the details of the life of J. R. R. Tolkien, the director has had to be imaginative with regard to the adaptation on the big screen of some of the key events of the life of the writer. As the relationship of Tolkien with Edith, her great love incarnated in the film by Lily Collins, or the Battle of the Somme in which he fought at the front. “How many times has he carried a gun? How many times has he pulled? We do not have any information on it… the purpose is not to relate facts, but to tell an emotion, a landscape of war, and the tragedy that he had to keep, I imagine, of this war.”
After being turned down first refusal of collaboration at the time of scenario development, Dome Karukoski has tried to contact the heirs of Tolkien, this time to suggest them to watch the completed film. In vain. “It is their way to deny that they are then asked to respond to interviews,” he confided to Cnet . “I did not feel any hostility in this position. But I’d love to really be able to watch the movie with them, hear their opinion and also to explain some of our choices.” Presented as an exploration into a film of the possible links between the youth of the british engineer and his literary complex, Tolkien recounts in particular the academic life of the future writer at Oxford, as well as his experience of the First world War.
During the pre-premiere of the film , which took place in London on April 29, the actor Nicholas Hoult has said that he is “honoured” to have been able to incarnate J. R. R. Tolkien on the big screen, and has insured have done so with respect. Interviewed by ITV London , the actor has avoided all controversy by simply expressing the hope that this biopic is pleasing finally to the family of the writer.
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After its screening in London, Tolkien has also managed to divide the critics, american and british. When The Independent calls this a feature-length film “portrait sympathetic and touching”, Variety on guard, especially the memory of a “biopic awesome but reducer”. In France, it will be to discover in cinemas on 19 June next.