Few author’s works have been such a rich source of Oscar-nominated film adaptations as J.R.R. Tolkien, the creator of the beloved fantasy sagas “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit.”
Now his own life might provide awards fodder as his experience both with his fellowship of outsider school chums and his devastating experiences as a soldier during World War I are at the center of the biopic “Tolkien,” which opens in theaters May 10. In the title role? Nicolas Hoult, fresh off his cheeky performance as a Robert Harley, a manipulative minister to Olivia Colman’s Queen Anne in the royal farce, “The Favourite,”which reaped 10 Oscar nominations and a win for Colman as Best Actress.
The just-released second trailer for the film suggests a melange of genres: a story of brotherhood among outcast students who want to change the world with art; a romance between Tolkien, who was orphaned at age 12, and Edith Mary Bratt (Lily Collins), the love of his life who he would marry; a tale of the horrors of battle; and the account of a young man blessed with an immense imagination and a gift for language who would entertain the world with his “fairy stories,” as he would call them.
In the trailer, Hoult tells Collins while on a date, “Since childhood, I’ve been fascinated by language. I’ve invented my own.” A great pickup line, it turns out, as she says with awe in her eyes, “You’ve invented an entire language?” “I’ve made stories, legends,” he adds. “Tell me a story,” she implores, “in any language you want.”
Finnish director Dome Karukoski, making his English language film debut, is behind the camera of this Fox Searchlight release. Colm Meaney plays the priest who was Tolkien’s guardian.