The LOTR Movie Site
March 16, 2000

LOTR Movie and Other Thoughts
Amy Bradley

I, too, am an old LOTR lover. I first encountered the books in the mid-60's, and once I had acquired my own paperback copies (good old Ballantine Books!), I read them once or twice a year for probably ten years. I have followed the various attempts to make LOTR movies and in general been vastly disappointed (and in one case, disgusted).

I am hopeful about this attempt. I do not expect perfection, and I do not expect a one-to-one exact reading of these books as they are translated to a screen epic (and I don't mean that in a derogatory manner). We all pretty much know it can't be done. (Even something like a 12-hour TV miniseries couldn't do it, and I wouldn't want that anyway because these books demand the big screen and besides, who wants commercial breaks!) But it seems to me that what we will get is a good set of movies that in general will do a good to perhaps powerfully wonderful job of bringing these stories to an even wider audience.

As for the casting, I think there are some excellent choices here. I got very excited when I heard Christopher Lee was cast as Saruman. I can't wait to see him! And Ian McKellan as Gandalf, also a good choice. I'm not terribly familiar with some of the others, but I suspect they will work. My only worry is Liv as Arwen. She may be too youthful. Arwen should be beautiful, but she should have a sense of wisdom and age, and I am not sure Liv can bring this off. And of course, I am a bit worried about just how "active" Arwen will be. On the other hand, I can understand the choice to make her a more active character, because it is Aragorn's love for her, and hers for him, that is part of what drives him. It's a "romance point" if you will, a hook to grab more of the general audiences. And no matter how large Tolkien fandom is, for these movies to be successful, I think they have to have some general appeal.

It had been several years (ten or more) since I last sat down to read the books. However, I am doing so now, but with a different approach: I am reading them aloud to my husband (I like to read aloud). He, like me, is a long time science fiction and fantasy fan. Yet he has never read Tolkien. He only knows about the books indirectly, through fantasy role playing games. So I figured he needed to be "educated." ;-) We're into The Return of The King, now, so we will be finished way before the first movie is out. It's going to be fun seeing the movies together: me as an long-time Tolkien fan, one of oldies, and him as a newbie. How will our views and reactions to the movies differ? It should be interesting!