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)