Although “Tolkien” presents the bond among the T.C.B.S. as brotherly, one relationship, it suggests, was particularly special: that between Tolkien and Anthony Boyle’s doomed poet Geoffrey, whose longing looks in Tolkien’s direction hint of an unrequited romantic attraction. In the war scenes, Tolkien is shown risking his life in an attempt to find Geoffrey on the front line.
That implication may or may not be a bit of poetic license.
Before the film’s release, the late author’s estate released a statement saying that Tolkien’s family members “do not endorse it or its content in any way.” Their reasons are left unstated, and it should be noted that the family had yet to even see the film. Still, “Tolkien” is anodyne enough that no one should be terribly upset by it, let alone deeply moved in any other way.
Starring Nicholas Hoult, Lily Collins and Colm Meaney. Directed by Dome Karukoski.
Rated PG-13 for some sequences of war violence. At metro theaters. 1 hour, 51 minutes.
Bottom line: A capable and attractive enough biopic of the author