Even though the author of one of the 20th century’s most beloved pieces of literature was a devoutly Christian Catholic, whose faith animated a work that spawned a multi-billion-dollar franchise in the 21st century, the movie depicting his life seems oddly unaware of this fact.
According to Fr. Michael Ward at The Catholic Herald, the new movie “Tolkien” treats the renowned author’s Catholic faith as if it was some afterthought, a brief passing blurb in his life that played little to no role whatsoever in the books that people would forever know as “The Lord of the Rings” – so much so that the movie does not even bother to mention the fact Tolkien’s own mother was ostracized from her family when she became a Catholic after his father’s death.
“This handsome, earnest, yet overstuffed and poorly paced film deviates frequently from the historical record,” Fr. Ward said. “Most seriously, it ignores Tolkien’s devout Christian faith: there is no indication that he served Mass daily as a boy or ever even entered a Catholic church. His punch-ups with Wiseman and drunken night-time profanities are, in comparison, unimportant inventions.”
“Incidents come thick and fast, but are strangely uninvolving,” Fr. Ward continued. “Screenwriters David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford present various possible motives for Tolkien’s behaviour, but it’s unclear what animates him, and Hoult’s unconvincing, un-Edwardian performance doesn’t make good the lack.” – READ MORE