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Bring a Baby: Tolkien

Dome Karukoski

The much anticipated biopic about J.R.R. Tolkien was first rumoured of being in production back in 2013. Finally realised by director Dome Karukoski (Tom of Finland) Tolkien explores the circumstances that shaped a young man into becoming the author of the world's most famous fantasy novels.

“Tolkien doesn’t shy away from the writer’s dark wartime experiences…”

The film begins with young orphans John Ronald Reuel (J.R.R.) Tolkien (Nicholas Hoult) and his brother Hilary, who are taken under the wing of Father Francis Xavier Morgan (Colm Meaney). Clearly very bright, J.R.R. wins a place at a local grammar school, where he forms a life-long ‘fellowship’ with a group of fellow outcasts, the secret Tea Club and Barrovian Society. Tolkien’s devotion to his friends is matched only by his love of languages and his growing attachment to Edith Bratt (Lily Collins), the beautiful girl who distracts him from his studies. But like so many of their generation, all their lives would be irrevocably changed by the onset of the First World War.

Much like Goodbye Christopher Robin (the recent film about A.A. Milne and his son) Tolkien doesn’t shy away from the writer’s dark wartime experiences and how this trauma played a role in his creative work, inspiring 1937’s The Hobbit; a mythology expanded exponentially with 1954–1955’s The Lord of the Rings novel trilogy, along with several supplemental stories.