Tolkien (film)

From Tolkien Gateway
The name Tolkien refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Tolkien (disambiguation).

Tolkien is a 2019 biographical drama film that depictes J.R.R. Tolkien's early life in Birmingham and King Edward's School, as an undergraduate at Oxford and serving in the Great War. Directed by Dome Karukoski and written by David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford, the film stars Nicholas Hoult as Tolkien, Lily Collins as Edith Bratt, Colm Meaney as Father Francis Morgan, and Derek Jacobi as Professor Joseph Wright. It was released by Fox Searchlight Pictures in the United Kingdom on 3 May 2019 and in the United States on 10 May 2019. The film received mixed reviews from critics and grossed $7 million worldwide on a $20 million budget.[1]

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Beginning with the childhood of Tolkien in Sarehole Mill, the film covers the early years of his life from his birth until the end of the Great War.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Actor Role
Nicholas Hoult J. R. R. Tolkien
Lily Collins Edith Bratt
Colm Meaney Father Francis Morgan
Derek Jacobi Prof. Joseph Wright
Anthony Boyle Geoffrey Bache Smith
Patrick Gibson Robert Q. Gilson
Tom Glynn-Carney Christopher Wiseman
James MacCallum Hilary Tolkien
Harry Gilby young J. R. R. Tolkien
Mimi Keene young Edith Bratt
Adam Bregman young Geoffrey Smith
Albie Marber young Robert Gilson
Ty Tennant young Christopher Wiseman
Guillermo Bedward young Hilary Tolkien
Pam Ferris Mrs. Faulkner
Kallum Tolkien Second Soldier
Craig Roberts Private Sam Hodges
Laura Donnelly Mabel Tolkien
Genevieve O'Reilly Mrs. Smith
Owen Teale Headmaster Gilson
Tony Nash Mackintosh
Sian Crisp Waitress
Mia Woods Priscilla Tolkien
Sienna Woods Priscilla Tolkien
Paul Gurcel Escudero Michael Tolkien
Harry Webster John Tolkien Jnr.
Jack Riley Christopher Tolkien

Reception[edit | edit source]

Some weeks before its release, the Tolkien Estate released a statement wishing to make clear that they '"did not approve of, authorise or participate in the making of this film", and that they "do not endorse it or its content in any way".[2]

The film received mixed reviews upon release, having a rating of 50% critic score and 71% audience score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes,[3] and an average rating of 6.8/10 on IMDb. [4]

Among Tolkien scholars, it is agreed that the film is hardly historically accurate.[5] [6] [7] Douglas A. Anderson said that he hopes "that film passes into its deserved oblivion quickly". [6] Eduardo Segura found it "epidermic and easy to forget".[7] Marcel Aubron-Bülles highlighted the fact, that even though the film doesn't represent the chronology and events of Tolkien's life accurately, "the mood, the atmosphere, it's just right".[5] Upon seeing the film, John Garth humorously remarked "Dang, I have to rewrite my book now".[5]

Another criticism held at the film was the apparent absence of Tolkien's christianity, despite it impacting his work.[8]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See also: Category:Images from Tolkien (film)
Pictures from Tolkien
J.R.R. Tolkien on his desk  
J.R.R. Tolkien and Edith kissing  
The T.C.B.S.  

External links[edit | edit source]


  1. "Tolkien (2019)" dated 14 June 2019, Box Office Mojo (accessed 23 April 2024)
  2. Aliso Flood, "Tolkien estate disavows forthcoming film starring Nicholas Hoult" dated 23 April 2019, The Guardian (accessed 23 April 2024)
  3. "Tolkien (2019)", Rotten Tomatoes (accessed 28 June 2023)
  4. Tolkien, IMDb (accessed 28 June 2023)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 010 Das Special: Tolkien: Ein Biopic, kein Dokumentarfilm (german, Episode 10 of TolkCast) (accessed 28 June 2023)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Interview with Douglas A. Anderson | TT 573 on YouTube (accessed 28 June 2023)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Eduardo Segura, "Tolkien", la película. Un comentario (blog entry) (accessed 28 June 2023)
  8. Paul Batura, "Paul Batura: Disney ignores Tolkien's Christian faith in new drama" dated 12 May 2019, Fox "News" (accessed 27 October 2022)