John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in 1892 and died at the age of 81 in 1973. He is best known for his incredible works of fantasy that include The Hobbit, Lord Of The Rings and The Silmarillion. Less is known of the life he lived before he became the internationally renowned writer.
His childhood was one filled with tragedy as his father died when he was three years old and his mother when he was twelve. He was however a keen student with a penchant for languages that was enlivened by a vivid imagination. Without a family name and financial backing, his education was much more difficult for the hyper intelligent student.
The film studies the class system of the times as well as the impact that the church had on the young orphan’s life. It also highlights the destructive effect that World War I had on the world at large and the devastation it caused in his closely knit group of friends. Many of them became casualties of that great conflict.
Nicholas Hoult plays the older Tolkien with a well developed air of sensitivity. He was not immune to the horrors around him during that period of war and is lucky to have survived it. Even with all the horrors on display there is an optimism that Tolkien possessed and an undying affection for his true love, Edith Bratt played by the luminous Lily Collins. Their reunion at film’s end elevates the viewer after the arduous journey that has come before.