The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a perfect adaptation, and I don’t envy the person who has to write something interesting about it.
(Looks in the mirror.) Dammit.
The fact that this movie has aged so well in the past 19 years is remarkable, and not at all what happens to most fantasy/“genre” entertainment. Its success is attributable to — among other things — director Peter Jackson’s mastery of classical adventure filmmaking techniques, a script that doesn’t dumb down J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic lore, and an uber-talented cast that treats his material with the utmost seriousness. Bringing together Ian McKellan, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, and about a dozen more brilliant actors was a miraculous feat of casting, the likes of which I don’t think we’ve seen again in the past two decades.
When I think about this movie, I think of the sweeping shots of New Zealand-as-Middle Earth, like everyone, but it’s no mistake that “LOTR memes
” are a thriving internet phenomenon. When adults make fantasy stories for other adults, those stories become Petri dishes for our imaginations, encouraging us to twist and mutate those stories and apply them throughout our lives. The Fellowship of the Ring is so confident in its own merits that no amount of internet mockery can sap its power. Highly recommended. ★★★★★