7:30 PM, 8th August, 2019
J.R.R. Tolkien was 62 years old when the first volume of The Lord of the Rings was published; and what’s more, a deeply conservative, tweed-wearing Oxford don. It’s hard to think of him now as anything other than an old man, but of course he had a youth, which this film brings to life.
It follows the young Tolkien (Nicholas Hoult) during his early years at university, covering his love affair with the woman (Lily Collins) he would eventually marry, and the outbreak of WWI. In particular, we see his stint fighting in the gruesome Battle of the Somme at the age of 24, an experience that he would always deny – unconvincingly, most people think – had any influence on his eventual journey into the world of Middle Earth.