|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 112 min.|
|FSK:||From 12 years|
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (Nicholas Hoult) always had a weakness for stories. But early on he must learn that real life writes the cruellest stories. After he has lost his mother, he comes to a school where he feels more than strange - until he makes friends with some schoolchambers. This "community" also brings him through difficult times, but with the outbreak of the First World War it threatens to break. Tolkien must now learn to deal with the trauma of war and the losses. His great love Edith (Lily Collins) could help him - but also writing. And indeed, everything he experienced in his childhood and youth will flow into a novel cycle that will shape the world of fantasy literature like hardly any other work of the 20th century…
"Tolkien" has to struggle with some difficulties. On the one hand, the movie lacks any support from the heirs of J.R.R. Tolkien, on the other hand it tries a bit too convulsively to inspire the many "Lord of the Rings"-fans by constantly incorporating allusions to the classic into the story, both dramaturgically and visually. This often looks really good, but all in all it seems a bit too hard to be really believable. Otherwise, Dome Karukoski has staged a pretty commercial biopic that almost meticulously follows all the usual criteria of this genre...
This is far from being bad. After all, the story about the later writer's difficult childhood and youth is visually captivatingly staged and played well by Nicholas Hoult. However, the movie simply follows too familiar paths and doesn't take any risks. This leads to the fact that the production splashes about rather shallowly. That's nice to look at, but - in contrast to Tolkien's works - it can't leave any lasting impression.
That doesn't mean that "Tolkien" doesn't have some really strong moments. But they are almost completely lost in the otherwise too leisurely and conventional staging. What remains is a well played, quite entertaining work that tries too hard to be bigger than it actually is. All in all, that's just enough for one: Worth seeing with some concessions!
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