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The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (movie)

Warning: Wikipedia contains spoilers.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a film, released in late 2001, directed by Peter Jackson. It retells the adventures of the members of the "Fellowship of the Ring" that is contained in the The Fellowship of the Ring, the first part of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic fantasy The Lord of the Rings. The screenplay was written by Fran Walsh[?], Philippa Boyens[?] and Peter Jackson. It was produced as the first of three films based on the novel, filmed simultaneously on location in New Zealand with a budget of U.S. $180 million. with principal photography taking 14 months and postproduction continuing long after that.

Table of contents

The Cast

Synopsis

Sauron has awakened and threatens to conquer Middle-earth. To stop this ancient evil once and for all, Frodo Baggins must destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom. Men, Hobbits, a Wizard, an Elf and a Dwarf form a fellowship to help him on his quest.

Special Effects

The Fellowship of the Ring makes extensive use of digital, practical and makeup special effects throughout. One noticeable effect that appears in almost every scene involves setting a proper scale so that the characters are all the proper height. Elijah Wood, who plays Frodo, is 5' 6" tall in real life; but the character of Frodo Baggins is barely four feet tall. Many simple tricks were used to cast the hobbits (and Gimli the Dwarf) as diminutive. Stunt doubles were used in certain scenes, while entire duplicates of certain sets (especially Bag End in Hobbiton) were built at two different scales, so that the characters would appear to be the appropriate size. Perspective tricks used by stage magicians were also employed, so that it would look as though the short hobbits were interacting with taller Men and Elves.

For the battle between the Last Alliance and the forces of Sauron that begins the film, an elaborate CGI animation system was developed that would allow thousands of individual animated "characters" in the program to act differently. This helped give the illusion of realism to the battle sequences.

Differences from the Novel

A small but vocal minority of admirers of the original book raised some concerns when the film was released, complaining that the movie's screenplay made a number of changes to Tolkien's story. Many of these protests seemed to be rather minor concerns, and were largely ignored by general movie going audiences. However, more than a few people expressed surprise when the movie's plot diverged from that of the book in what might be considered more fundemental ways.

The Hobbits' adventures with Tom Bombadil, which occupy three chapters of the novel, are completely absent from the film. The greater role given to the character of Arwen Evenstar, and her replacement of the character of Glorfindel from the novel, raised the ire of many dedicated Tolkien fans. Some also felt that movie producers missed the linguistic basis of the work (as Tolkien invented the world to bring his languages alive and not the other way around). In particular, Galadriel's lament in Lorien, the poem beginning "Ai! laurie lantar lassi surinen", did not appear in the movie, although Tolkien considered it one of the highest points of The Fellowship of the Ring.

Awards

In 2002 it won four Academy Awards out of 13 nominations. The winning categories were for Best Cinematography, Best Effects, Visual Effects, Best Makeup and Best Music, Original Score. The nominated categories were Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Ian McKellen), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Music, Song (Enya, Nicky Ryan[?] and Roma Ryan[?] for May It Be), Best Picture, Best Sound and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published.

As of January 22, 2003, it was listed as the fifth highest grossing film during its theatrical run, with takings of $860,200,000 USA dollars from world-wide theatrical box office receipts (movie ticket sales). (As the movie may still be in general release, or re-released to coincide with other Lord of the Rings movie releases, this figure is an estimate and is likely to change.) (Source: IMDB Top Movies Chart (http://us.imdb.com/Charts/worldtopmovies)).

The movie has also been released on videotape and DVD, with some editions having additional footage and commentary not included in the theatrical release edition. Notable among the restored scenes is additional footage of a smiling Galadriel bestowing gifts on the members of the fellowship. In the theatrical version, she appeared dark and brooding.

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Other things yet to be covered in this article include:

  • Plot variations from novel - to be discussed.
  • Faithfulness of adaptation to the spirit of the work - opinions required.
  • Production and release history, gross takings, and locations used in filming.
  • Special effects, costumes, research of medieval clothing, etc.
  • Anacronisms, editing oversights, unanticipated scenery/flora and other "trivia".

External Links

Internet Movie Database listing for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (http://us.imdb.com/Title?0120737)



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