June 14, 2001
Evidently, some of us are a little up at arms over the
movies' casting; some of us are concerned about their rating. I think it all fits together
when we look at the commercial aspects of the project.
I have no objections to the casting of the hobbits. Elijah Wood will do a great job, and I
can't wait to see Sean Astin's Sam. The other two are unknowns, but seem a decent bit like
their characters. Give Mr. Jackson a little slack on the appearances of the CGI reduced
characters; I'm not sure any director has attempted anything so ambitious as filling five
rather large roles in this way. The effects for Star Wars weren't perfect either.
As for Liv Taylor...there's nothing to be done for it now, and I sincerely hope she did a
good job, though I don't think Mr. Jackson is doing himself any favors by messing around
with Arwen's part. I'd love it if Miranda Otto steals the show with her Eowyn. She may not
be young, but who says that Eowyn was? The implication is that she took care of Theoden
for some time. In any case, the quality of the acting is most important to me. As for
Viggo Mortenson, he didn't seem like a pretty face at all to me. He's certainly not
classically handsome. Maybe a little young, but not bad. Aragorn may be sixty-something by
this time, but it makes sense that he wouldn't look that old if he's expected to live a
very long life. (As Elijah Wood doesn't seem too young to me; Frodo stopped aging when he
got the Ring at what would be the human equivalent of perhaps eighteen or twenty, and the
other hobbits were younger to start with.) And I think Aragorn has to clean up all right
to make the right stately impression in a visua
What worries me is the rating. Forget Disneyesque; I think we all know by now that Jackson
is not that kind of director. Nor does the story itself accommodate a G rating, though we
don't have to be R-type graphic to convey the horrors of war. Real war is far nastier than
R anyway. PG, or a mild PG-13 sounds good to me. LOTR doesn't focus on violence. But
Jackson seems to want to take the PG-13 rating about as far as it will go, and that
doesn't seem quite right. Trying to play both sides of the line, which may not satisfy
anyone. Either make it R and take your chances (if you really feel you have to show
everything) or find ways to put across your point, as Tolkien did, without describing the
gore. I can see why the PG-13 is required; R is too much for fans like me, no matter how
appealing the movies look, and the more Jackson pushes the boundary, the less comfortable
I'll be watching these movies.
In any case, here's crossing my fingers!