October 18, 2001
New Trailer Appears to
Give Tolkien His Due
Forget about New Line Cinema's strategy to release "The Lord of the Rings" in three successive December installments beginning this year. After the first movie debuts Dec. 19, moviegoers will demand that the two other parts be released without delay.
A 30-minute preview of the trilogy, which invigorated an otherwise humdrum Cannes Film Festival in May, is making the U.S. media rounds now. Like last spring's 45-second movie trailer, it's clear that director Peter Jackson got it right.
Even those who never read J.R.R. Tolkien's epic fantasy will become addicted to this story of heroism and treachery through the movie's astonishing visuals and characters.
Those among us who know the story will find the realization on the screen as faithful as if Tolkien himself had directed. In fact, seeing the long preview was like being inside Tolkien's imagination and watching the story unfold through his very eyes.
The village of Hobbiton, where Bilbo Baggins holds his unexpected birthday party attended by the wizard, Gandalf, is realized with comfortable simplicity. The beautiful, cozy hobbit holes, nestled in bucolic landscapes and bathed in golden sunshine, provide a startling contrast to the filth and dread that confronts the nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring as they seek to destroy the One Ring of power that corrupts all life to evil.