The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring review

:. Director: Peter Jackson
Starring: Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen
Running Time: 2:55
:. Year: 2001
:. Country: USA

With The Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson achieves what no filmmaker of the genre has been able to accomplish since Star Wars: create a saga that captures the imagination of the audience and keeps them in suspense.

An adaptation of the Tolkien's famous novel, this part of the trilogy awakens shivers of a sleeping youth by combining adventure film with an ardor and lyricism that haven't been seen in awhile.

Elijah Wood plays Frodo, the elected member in charge of destroying a diabolical ring with immense power. To do this, he embarks on a long and dangerous journey accompanied by a troop of warriors who will defend him against occult forces who try to get the ring back.

Though fans of the book will probably take offense at the small changes, the force of this film version is that it is addressed to everyone, from fervent lovers to neophytes, children and adults. You have no need to gulp down hundreds of pages of the book in order to be able to appreciate it.

One undoubtedly owes the success of the film to the choice of the director and the design. Peter Jackson creates a rhythmical film that has the force of a true epic: the scenery is grandiose, the special effects are convincing while the action scenes are perfectly orchestrated with unsweetened violence. Jackson is respected all the more for rather scrupulously following the book instead of giving in to easy clichés of action and adventure.

The other trump card of the project lies in the choice of actors. Rather than re-spinning the usual box office heroes like Tom Cruise, Ben Affleck, Harrison Ford or Arnold Schwarzenegger, we find talented actors more accustomed to smaller films that hold the principal and secondary roles. So around newcomer Elijah Wood one finds Ian McKellen (God& Monsters, X-Men), Viggo Mortensen (Sean Penn's The Indian Runner, A Perfect Murder), Ian Holm (Existenz, From Hell) as well as Cate Blanchett, Liv Tyler and Christopher Lee (Dracula).

By avoiding the traps of action and adventure film—in heroic fantasy in particular—generally associated with a succession of grotesque clichés and exhausting acting, those responsible for this project showed that they had the ambition to create a higher level of entertainment.

One could reproach the film for taking too much time to really get going as well as for the presence of the usual ridiculous duo of Disney-like sidekicks whose only role is to set off catastrophes.

A totally successful spectacle, The Lord of the Rings already shows itself to be a classic of the genre.

  Fred Thom

     The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
     The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
     read our Latest Movie Reviews
     Movie Reviews since 2012

  .: AFI Fest
  .: Cannes Festival
  .: COL COA
  .: LA Film Festival
  .: LA Latino Festival
  .: more Festivals
  .: Cult Classic
  .: Foreign
  .: U.S. Underground
  .: Musical Films
  .: Controversial Films
  .: Silent Films
  .: Italian Westerns
  .: Erotica
  .: Download Movies
  .: Movie Rentals
  .: Movie Trailer
| About Plume Noire | Contacts | Advertising | Submit for review | Help Wanted! | Privacy Policy | Questions/Comments |
| Work in Hollywood | Plume Noire en français [in French] |