The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - On Tv -

The life of the writer who gave the world one of its most beloved fan­tasy sagas – “The Lord of the Rings,” of course – is dra­ma­tized, with Ni­cholas Hoult play­ing the au­thor in his younger years, col­lect­ing ex­pe­ri­ences and re­la­tion­ships that would help fuel his later work. Teach­ing at Ox­ford Univer­sity and par­tic­i­pat­ing in World War I were among the chap­ters J.R.R. Tolkien ex­pe­ri­enced first­hand, as well as a romance that im­pacted him pro­foundly; Lily Collins (“Mas­ter­piece: Les Mis­er­ables”) por­trays the woman he adored, who even­tu­ally be­came his wife (and the in­spi­ra­tion for the “Rings” char­ac­ter Ar­wen). Colm Meaney and Derek Ja­cobi also ap­pear in the film, which the Tolkien es­tate did not co­op­er­ate with. DVD ex­tras: au­dio commentary by di­rec­tor Dome Karukoski; deleted scenes; photo gallery.

★★★ (PG-13: AS, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On De­mand)

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