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The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

A meek Hobbit from the Shire and eight companions set out on a journey to destroy the powerful One Ring and save Middle-earth from the Dark Lord Sauron.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a 2001 epic fantasy adventure film directed by Peter Jackson from a screenplay by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Jackson, based on 1954’s The Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume of the novel The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. The film is the first installment in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

It features an ensemble cast including Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Sean Bean, Ian Holm, and Andy Serkis. Set in Middle-earth, the story tells of the Dark Lord Sauron, who seeks the One Ring, which contains part of his might, to return to power.

The Ring has found its way to the young hobbit Frodo Baggins. The fate of Middle-earth hangs in the balance as Frodo and eight companions (who form the Fellowship of the Ring) begin their journey to Mount Doom in the land of Mordor, the only place where the Ring can be destroyed.

The Fellowship of the Ring was financed and distributed by American studio New Line Cinema, but filmed and edited entirely in Jackson’s native New Zealand, concurrently with the other two parts of the trilogy. It premiered on 10 December 2001 at the Odeon Leicester Square in London and was theatrically released worldwide on 19 December 2001.

The film was acclaimed by critics and fans alike, who considered it to be a landmark in filmmaking and an achievement in the fantasy film genre. It received praise for its visual effects, performances, Jackson’s direction, screenplay, musical score, and faithfulness to the source material. It grossed $880 million worldwide in its initial release, making it the second highest-grossing film of 2001 and the fifth highest-grossing film of all time at the time of its release.[5] Following subsequent reissues, it has as of 2021 grossed over $897 million.

Like its successors, The Fellowship of the Ring is widely recognized as one of the greatest and most influential films ever made. The film received numerous accolades; at the 74th Academy Awards, it was nominated for thirteen awards, including Best Picture, winning for Best Cinematography, Best Makeup, Best Original Score, and Best Visual Effects.

In 2007, the American Film Institute named it one of the 100 greatest American films in history, being both the most recent film and the only film released in the 21st century to make it to the list. In 2021, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

The film was followed by The Two Towers in 2002, and by The Return of the King in 2003.

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The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Trailer

 

The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Reviews

We invest Hobbits with qualities that cannot be visualized. In my mind, they are good-hearted, bustling, chatty little creatures who live in twee houses or burrows, and dress like the merry men of Robin Hood–in smaller sizes, of course. They eat seven or eight times a day, like to take naps, have never been far from home and have eyes that grow wide at the sounds of the night. They are like children grown up or grown old, and when they rise to an occasion, it takes true heroism, for they are timid by nature and would rather avoid a fight.
Such notions about Hobbits can be found in “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” but the Hobbits themselves have been pushed off center stage. If the books are about brave little creatures who enlist powerful men and wizards to help them in a dangerous crusade, the movie is about powerful men and wizards who embark on a dangerous crusade, and take along the Hobbits. That is not true of every scene or episode, but by the end “Fellowship” adds up to more of a sword and sorcery epic than a realization of the more naive and guileless vision of J. R. R. Tolkien.The Ring Trilogy embodies the kind of innocence that belongs to an earlier, gentler time. The Hollywood that made “The Wizard of Oz” might have been equal to it. But “Fellowship” is a film that comes after “Gladiator” and “Matrix,” and it instinctively ramps up to the genre of the overwrought special-effects action picture. That it transcends this genre–that it is a well-crafted and sometimes stirring adventure–is to its credit. But a true visualization of Tolkien’s Middle-earth it is not.

Wondering if the trilogy could possibly be as action-packed as this film, I searched my memory for sustained action scenes and finally turned to the books themselves, which I had not read since the 1970s.

The chapter “The Bridge of Khazad-Dum” provides the basis for perhaps the most sensational action scene in the film, in which Gandalf the wizard stands on an unstable rock bridge over a chasm, and must engage in a deadly swordfight with the monstrous Balrog. This is an exciting scene, done with state-of-the-art special effects and sound that shakes the theater. In the book, I was not surprised to discover, the entire scene requires less than 500 words.

Settling down with my book, the one-volume, 1969 India paper edition, I read or skimmed for an hour or so. It was as I remembered it. The trilogy is mostly about leaving places, going places, being places, and going on to other places, all amid fearful portents and speculations. There are a great many mountains, valleys, streams, villages, caves, residences, grottos, bowers, fields, high roads, low roads, and along them the Hobbits and their larger companions travel while paying great attention to mealtimes.

Landscapes are described with the faithful detail of a Victorian travel writer. The travelers meet strange and fascinating characters along the way, some of them friendly, some of them not, some of them of an order far above Hobbits or even men. Sometimes they must fight to defend themselves or to keep possession of the ring, but mostly the trilogy is an unfolding, a quest, a journey, told in an elevated, archaic, romantic prose style that tests our capacity for the declarative voice.

Reading it, I remembered why I liked it in the first place. It was reassuring. You could tell by holding the book in your hands that there were many pages to go, many sights to see, many adventures to share. I cherished the way it paused for songs and poems, which the movie has no time for.Like The Tale of Genji, which some say is the first novel, “The Lord of the Rings” is not about a narrative arc or the growth of the characters, but about a long series of episodes in which the essential nature of the characters is demonstrated again and again (and again). The ring, which provides the purpose for the journey, serves Tolkien as the ideal MacGuffin, motivating an epic quest while mostly staying right there on a chain around Frodo Baggins’ neck.

Peter Jackson, the New Zealand director who masterminded this film (and two more to follow, in a $300 million undertaking), has made a work for, and of, our times. It will be embraced, I suspect, by many Tolkien fans and take on aspects of a cult. It is a candidate for many Oscars.

It is an awesome production in its daring and breadth, and there are small touches that are just right; the Hobbits may not look like my idea of Hobbits (may, indeed, look like full-sized humans made to seem smaller through visual trickery), but they have the right combination of twinkle and pluck in their gaze–especially Elijah Wood as Frodo and Ian Holm as the worried Bilbo.

Yet the taller characters seem to stand astride the little Hobbit world and steal the story away. Gandalf the good wizard (Ian McKellen) and Saruman the treacherous wizard (Christopher Lee) and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), who is the warrior known as Strider, are so well-seen and acted, so fearsome in battle, that we can’t imagine the Hobbits getting anywhere without them.

The elf Arwen (Liv Tyler), the Elf Queen Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) and Arwen’s father, Elrond (Hugo Weaving), are not small like literary elves (“very tall they were,” the book tells us), and here they tower like Norse gods and goddesses, accompanied by so much dramatic sound and lighting that it’s a wonder they can think to speak, with all the distractions.

Jackson has used modern special effects to great purpose in several shots, especially one where a massive wall of water forms and reforms into the wraiths of charging stallions. I like the way he handles crowds of Orcs in the big battle scenes, wisely knowing that in a film of this kind, realism has to be tempered with a certain fanciful fudging. The film is remarkably well made.But it does go on, and on, and on–more vistas, more forests, more sounds in the night, more fearsome creatures, more prophecies, more visions, more dire warnings, more close calls, until we realize this sort of thing can continue indefinitely. “This tale grew in the telling,” Tolkien tells us in the famous first words of his foreword; it’s as if Tolkien, and now Jackson, grew so fond of the journey, they dreaded the destination.

That “Fellowship of the Ring” doesn’t match my imaginary vision of Middle-earth is my problem, not yours. Perhaps it will look exactly as you think it should. But some may regret that the Hobbits have been pushed out of the foreground and reduced to supporting characters.

And the movie depends on action scenes much more than Tolkien did. In a statement last week, Tolkien’s son Christopher, who is the “literary protector” of his father’s works, said, “My own position is that ‘The Lord of the Rings’ is peculiarly unsuitable to transformation into visual dramatic form.” That is probably true, and Jackson, instead of transforming it, has transmuted it, into a sword-and-sorcery epic in the modern style, containing many of the same characters and incidents.

 

  • Roger Ebert –  Roger Ebert
  • Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism.

In the pantheon of fantasy writers, no diety is treated with greater reverence than J.R.R. Tolkien, who is regarded by most readers as the Father of Modern Fantasy. During the past three decades, the fantasy area in bookstores has expanded from a minor subsection of science fiction to a major category in its own right. A couple dozen titles have been replaced by hundreds.

Fantasy has gone from being a cult genre to entering the mainstream. This would not have happened without the popularity and influence of Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Nearly every published fantasy author acknowledges having read and been inspired by Tolkien’s canon, and, while The Lord of the Rings may not be the longest or most complex fantasy series to date, it remains the standard against which all similar works are measured. It is the epic fantasy series.

When Tolkien began writing The Hobbit in the 1930s, he was unaware that he was essentially defining a genre. Tolkien was not the first author to write what would eventually be labeled as “fantasy”, but his synthesis of elements – mythology, stories of larger-than-life heroism, the supernatural, and fairy tales – was unique. Nothing on the scale or scope of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings had previously been seen – not even the legends of King Arthur, Merlin, and Camelot were as well developed or executed.

The Hobbit, the prequel to The Lord of the Rings, was first published in 1937. The first two volumes of The Lord of the RingsThe Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, were released in 1954. The final book, The Return of the King, reached British bookstores in 1955. It was another ten years before Ballantine Books published the four novels in the United States – and that’s when the series’ popularity took off. By the time of his death in 1973, Tolkien, although not a household name, was certainly well-known.

In 1978, Rankin-Bass, taking advantage of the growing Tolkien-mania, produced a poorly-animated TV version of The Hobbit, featuring the voices of John Huston and Orson Bean. Later that year, Ralph Bakshi’s ill-fated cinematic animated adaptation of the first half of The Lord of the Rings trilogy bombed at the box office, killing Bakshi’s hopes of making a second film. In 1980, Rankin-Bass entered the breach left by Baski’s incomplete work, making The Return of the King in the same style as The Hobbit, and once again featuring Huston and Bean.

So, with the exception of the second half of The Two Towers, all of Tolkien’s four-book saga has been brought to the screen in one form or another. Yet, the story gaps, inconsistencies, and poor quality of animation have always rankled Tolkien fans.

In the late 1990s, New Zealand-based director Peter Jackson (Heavenly Creatures) had two projects on the drawing board – a remake of King Kong and an ambitious, three-film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. For a while, it looked like King Kong would get the go-ahead, but the project was squashed in the wake of the failure of Sony’s Godzilla and Disney’s Mighty Joe Young.

So, Jackson turned his attention to The Lord of the Rings. After briefly being courted and jilted by Miramax Films, Jackson found a backer in New Line Cinema. The Time-Warner company invested nearly $300 million for the package deal of all three movies, which were filmed back-to-back-to-back. (Including publicity and marketing, the overall price tag will approach $500 million.)

To say that fantasy movies have not been a big draw at the box office is to understate the matter. A lot of this has had to do with the poor quality of the product. Consider the evidence: titles like Willow, Dragonheart, and Dungeons and Dragons. Finally, 2001 has seen the belated emergence of fantasy as a legitimate cinematic genre.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was one of the year’s most anticipated releases and, by the end of December, it will be one of the top money-makers of the past 12 months. Now, along comes The Lord of the Rings, as anticipated for 30-50 year olds and Harry Potter was for their children.

As entertaining as Harry Potter may be, it cannot hold a candle to The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. With this production, Jackson has used The Lord of the Rings to re-invent fantasy for the cinema in the same way that the novel provided the blueprint for the written word.

This astounding movie accomplishes what no other fantasy film has been able to do: transport viewers to an entirely different reality, immerse them in it, and maroon them there for nearly three hours. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring brings Middle Earth to glorious life. From the first moment of the first reel, I was there.

The Fellowship of the Ring begins in the quiet countryside of the Shire, where Bilbo Baggins of Bag End (Ian Holm), a hobbit, is celebrating his 111th birthday. In attendance, among other people, are Bilbo’s young heir, Frodo (Elijah Wood), and the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellan). Gandalf informs Bilbo that the time has come for him to leave Bag End and go on a journey. To Frodo, he leaves his home and his most beloved possession, a magical ring that turns the wearer invisible.

But this isn’t just any magical ring – it is the One Ring, forged by the Dark Lord, Sauron, and capable of corrupting the wearer. Sauron’s servants, the Ring Wraiths, are scouring Middle Earth for it, since, when it is returned to their master, nothing will be able to stop him. All of the world is about to be plunged into war, and the only way to stop the evil will be to destroy the ring by casting it into the fire where it was forged – in Mordor, on the Dark Lord’s doorstep. That unenviable task falls to Frodo, the ring bearer.

Frodo starts his journey in the company of three other hobbits – his faithful servant, Sam (Sean Astin), and his cousins, Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd). Later, as the dangers mount and Frodo faces even greater challenges, others join his company: the humans Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and Boromir (Sean Bean), the wizard Gandalf, the elf Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and the dwarf Gimli (John Rhys-Davies).

Together, these nine individuals must face ring wraiths, orcs, and worse; travel through strange lands and the dreaded mines of Moria; and face mistrust within their fellowship. And this is all just the first of three cinematic chapters…

Lord of the Rings devotees will be delighted to learn that the motion picture adaptation is as faithful as one could imagine possible (and, consequently, is nearly three hours in length). Jackson and his co-screenwriters (Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens) do an excellent job condensing more than five hundred pages of text into a script that never feels choppy, uneven, or rushed.

The Fellowship of the Ring moves fluidly and, in the process, exhilarates. Certain scenes have been cut or condensed in the name of pacing, and the role of one character (Arwen) has been expanded to enhance a romantic angle, something that was largely absent from Tolkien’s work.

First and foremost, The Lord of the Rings is an adventure, and, in that, it is relentlessly successful. One does not need to have read the books to appreciate the movie. The background is explained concisely in a voiceover prologue, and the action proceeds in a straightforward manner. As long as one enjoys a well-crafted adventure yarn set against the backdrop of a mythical clash between good and evil, The Lord of the Rings will satisfy.

Like all great movies of this sort, this one is characterized by tremendous action scenes punctuated by moments of rest and reflection. So, we have the flight from the Shire, followed by the council at Rivendell, followed by the hazardous trek through Moria (the movie’s high point), followed by the encounter with Galadriel, followed by the sundering of the fellowship. Along the way, there is triumph, sorrow, and a little philosophical depth. The Lord of the Rings emphasizes two themes: the importance of brotherhood and the need for true strength to come from within.

In crafting his vision of Middle Earth, Jackson has employed all of the tricks available to him: miniatures, deceptive camera angles, location shooting, impressive set design, and matte paintings. He has also made use of computer graphics, but not to the extent that another director might have.

Thus, The Lord of the Rings has a less artificial appearance than might have been the case if Jackson had relied too heavily on CGI technology. Andrew Lesnie’s camerawork has the grand scope expected in an epic motion picture, and Howard Shore’s score, which is at times heroic and at times thoughtful, compliments the visuals without ever calling attention to itself.

The Lord of the Rings is not an actors’ movie, but each member of the cast acquits himself or herself well. Of special note are Ian McKellan, who presents Gandalf as a vulnerable and sympathetic figure; Ian Holm, whose Bilbo Baggins is a weary and tortured individual; and Elijah Wood, who shows the gradual changes in Frodo as he is transformed from a carefree hobbit to the person upon whom the fate of the world rests.

Some recognizable names fill small roles – Liv Tyler is surprisingly good as Arwen; Cate Blanchett is cool and regal as Galadriel; and Christopher Lee brings his chilling presence to the part of the treacherous, traitorous Sauruman.

The strength of Jackson’s vision as depicted in The Fellowship of the Ring gives movie-goers cause to hope that we may be in the midst of a cinematic achievement. If The Two Towers and The Return of the King live up to the standard set by this film, The Lord of the Rings will become a milestone not only for its genre, but for motion pictures in general. But, regardless of what the future brings, the single movie we now have before us stands out as one of the most rousing examples of entertainment to reach multiplexes in a long time.

At last, someone has figured out how to do an epic fantasy justice on the big screen.

  • A movie review by James Berardinelli

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The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Credits

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring movie poster

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Rated PG-13 For Epic Battle Sequences and Some Scary Images

178 minutes

Cast

Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn

Sean Astin as Sam

Ian Holm as Bilbo

Ian McKellen as Gandalf

Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins

Christopher Lee as Saruman

Liv Tyler as Arwen

Directed by

  • Peter Jackson

Written by

  • Philippa Boyens
  • Jackson
  • Frances Walsh

Based On The Novel by

  • J.R.R. Tolkien

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The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Plot

In the Second Age of Middle-earth, the lords of Elves, Dwarves, and Men are given Rings of Power. Unbeknownst to them, the Dark Lord Sauron forges the One Ring in Mount Doom, instilling into it a great part of his power, to dominate the other Rings so he might conquer Middle-earth. A final alliance of Men and Elves battles Sauron’s forces in Mordor. Isildur of Gondor severs Sauron’s finger and the Ring with it, thereby vanquishing Sauron and returning him to spirit form.

With Sauron’s first defeat, the Third Age of Middle-earth begins. The Ring’s influence corrupts Isildur, who takes it for himself and is later killed by Orcs. The Ring is lost in a river for 2,500 years until it is found by Gollum, who owns it for over four and a half centuries. The ring abandons Gollum and it is subsequently found by a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins, who is unaware of its history.

Sixty years later, Bilbo celebrates his 111th birthday in the Shire, reuniting with his old friend, the wizard Gandalf the Grey. Bilbo departs the Shire for one last adventure, and he leaves his inheritance, including the Ring, to his nephew Frodo.

Gandalf investigates the Ring, discovers its true nature, and learns that Gollum was captured and tortured by Sauron’s Orcs, revealing two words during his interrogation: “Shire” and “Baggins.” Gandalf returns and warns Frodo to leave the Shire. As Frodo departs with his friend, gardener Samwise Gamgee, Gandalf rides to Isengard to meet with the wizard Saruman, but discovers his alliance with Sauron, who has dispatched his nine undead Nazgûl servants to find Frodo.

Frodo and Sam are joined by fellow hobbits Merry and Pippin, and they evade the Nazgûl before arriving in Bree, where they are meant to meet Gandalf. However, Gandalf never arrives, having been taken prisoner by Saruman. The hobbits are then aided by a Ranger named Strider, who promises to escort them to Rivendell; however, they are ambushed by the Nazgûl on Weathertop, and their leader, the Witch-King, stabs Frodo with a Morgul blade.

Arwen, an Elf and Strider’s beloved, locates Strider and rescues Frodo, summoning flood-waters that sweep the Nazgûl away. She takes him to Rivendell, where he is healed by the Elves. Frodo meets with Gandalf, who escaped Isengard on a Great Eagle. That night, Strider reunites with Arwen, and they affirm their love for each other.

Facing the threat of both Sauron and Saruman, Arwen’s father, Lord Elrond, decides against keeping the Ring in Rivendell. He holds a council of Elves, Men, and Dwarves, also attended by Frodo and Gandalf, that decides the Ring must be destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom.

Frodo volunteers to take the Ring, accompanied by Gandalf, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Elf Legolas, Dwarf Gimli, Boromir of Gondor, and Strider—who is actually Aragorn, Isildur’s heir and the rightful King of Gondor. Bilbo, now living in Rivendell, gives Frodo his sword Sting, and a chainmail shirt made of mithril.

The Fellowship of the Ring makes for the Gap of Rohan, but discover it is being watched by Saruman’s spies. They instead set off over the mountain pass of Caradhras, but Saruman summons a storm that forces them to travel through the Mines of Moria. After finding the Dwarves of Moria dead, the Fellowship is attacked by Orcs and a cave troll. They hold them off but are confronted by Durin’s Bane: a Balrog residing within the mines.

While the others escape, Gandalf fends off the Balrog and casts it into a vast chasm, but the Balrog drags Gandalf down into the darkness with him. The devastated Fellowship reaches Lothlórien, ruled by the Elf-queen Galadriel, who privately informs Frodo that only he can complete the quest and that one of his friends in the Fellowship will try to take the Ring. Meanwhile, Saruman creates an army of Uruk-hai in Isengard to find and kill the Fellowship.

The Fellowship travels by river to Parth Galen. Frodo wanders off and is confronted by Boromir, who tries to take the Ring as Lady Galadriel had predicted. Uruk-hai scouts then ambush the Fellowship; their leader, Lurtz, mortally wounds Boromir as he fails to stop them from taking Merry and Pippin as prisoners. Aragorn arrives and kills Lurtz before comforting Boromir as he dies, promising to help the people of Gondor in the coming conflict.

Fearing the Ring will corrupt his friends, Frodo decides to travel to Mordor alone, but allows Sam to come along, recalling his promise to Gandalf to look after him. As Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli set out to rescue Merry and Pippin, Frodo and Sam make their way down the mountain pass of Emyn Muil, journeying on to Mordor.

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The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Box office

On its opening day, it grossed $18.2 million in the United States and Canada from 3,359 cinemas and $11.5 million in 13 countries, including $3 million from 466 screens in the United Kingdom. It grossed $75.1 million in its first five days in the United States and Canada, including $47.2 million on its opening weekend, placing it at number one at the US box office, setting a December opening record, beating Ocean’s Eleven.

The film also opened at number one in 29 international markets and remained there for a second week in all but the Netherlands. It set a record opening day gross in Australia with $2.09 million from 405 screens, beating the record $1.3 million set by Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. It had a record opening weekend in Germany with 1.5 million admissions and in Spain with a gross of $5.3 million from 395 screens. It also grossed a record $2.5 million in 15 days in New Zealand.

This record would last for less than a decade before being surpassed by Avatar. In its first 15 days, it had grossed $183.5 million internationally and $178.7 million in the United States and Canada for a worldwide total of $362.2 million.

In its initial release, it went on to gross $313.4 million in the United States and Canada and $547.2 million in the rest of the world for a worldwide total of $860.5 million. Box Office Mojo estimates that the film sold over 54 million tickets in the US and Canada in its initial theatrical run. Following subsequent reissues, the film has grossed $315.7 million in the United States and Canada and $581.9 million in the rest of the world for a worldwide total of $897.7 million.

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The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Critical Response

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 91% based on 236 reviews, with an average rating of 8.20/10. The website’s critics consensus reads, “Full of eye-popping special effects, and featuring a pitch-perfect cast, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring brings J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic to vivid life.” Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 92 out of 100 based on 34 critics, indicating “universal acclaim”. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of “A−” on an A+ to F scale.

The Fellowship of the Ring was released to universal critical acclaim. Colin Kennedy for Empire gave the film five stars out of five, writing “Brooking no argument, history should quickly regard Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring as the first instalment of the best fantasy epic in motion picture history… Putting formula blockbusters to shame, Fellowship is impeccably cast and constructed with both care and passion: this is a labour of love that never feels laboured.

Emotional range and character depth ultimately take us beyond genre limitations…” Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three out of four stars and stating that while it is not “a true visualization of Tolkien’s Middle-earth”, it is “a work for, and of, our times. It will be embraced, I suspect, by many Tolkien fans and take on aspects of a cult. It is a candidate for many Oscars. It is an awesome production in its daring and breadth, and there are small touches that are just right”.

USA Today also gave the film three out of four stars and wrote, “this movie version of a beloved book should please devotees as well as the uninitiated”. In his review for The New York Times, Elvis Mitchell wrote, “The playful spookiness of Mr. Jackson’s direction provides a lively, light touch, a gesture that doesn’t normally come to mind when Tolkien’s name is mentioned”.

Lisa Schwarzbaum for Entertainment Weekly gave the film an A grade and wrote “The cast take to their roles with becoming modesty, certainly, but Jackson also makes it easy for them: His Fellowship flows, never lingering for the sake of admiring its own beauty … Every detail of which engrossed me. I may have never turned a page of Tolkien, but I know enchantment when I see it”.

In his review for the BBC, Nev Pierce gave the film four stars out of five, describing it as “Funny, scary, and totally involving”, and wrote that Jackson turned “the book’s least screen-worthy volume into a gripping and powerful adventure movie”.

In his review for The Guardian, Xan Brooks wrote “Rather than a stand-alone holiday blockbuster, The Fellowship of the Ring offers an epic act one”, and commented that the ending was “closer in spirit to an art-house film than a popcorn holiday romp”.

In his review for the New York Post, Lou Lumenick gave the film four stars out of four, praising Jackson’s direction, the casting, the sets, and the score, and describing the film as “the three most exciting hours we’ve seen on a movie screen in years” and “easily one of the year’s best movies”.

In her review for The Washington Post, Rita Kempley gave the film five stars out of five, and praised the cast, in particular, “Mortensen, as Strider, is a revelation, not to mention downright gorgeous. And McKellen, carrying the burden of thousands of years’ worth of the fight against evil, is positively Merlinesque”.

Time magazine’s Richard Corliss praised Jackson’s work: “His movie achieves what the best fairy tales do: the creation of an alternate world, plausible and persuasive, where the young — and not only the young — can lose themselves. And perhaps, in identifying with the little Hobbit that could, find their better selves”.

In his review for The Village Voice, J. Hoberman wrote, “Peter Jackson’s adaptation is certainly successful on its own terms”. Rolling Stone magazine’s Peter Travers wrote, “It’s emotion that makes Fellowship stick hard in the memory… Jackson deserves to revel in his success. He’s made a three-hour film that leaves you wanting more”.

A mixed review was written by Peter Bradshaw. Writing for The Guardian, he lauded the art direction and the visual look of the film, but he also commented “there is a strange paucity of plot complication, an absence of anything unfolding, all the more disconcerting because of the clotted and indigestible mythic back story that we have to wade through before anything happens at all”.

Overall, Bradshaw found the tone of the film too serious and self-important, and wrote “signing up to the movie’s whole hobbity-elvish universe requires a leap of faith… It’s a leap I didn’t feel much like making – and, with two more movie episodes like this on the way, the credibility gap looks wider than ever.”

Jonathan Rosenbaum was also less positive about The Fellowship of the Ring: in his review for the Chicago Reader, he granted that the film was “full of scenic splendors with a fine sense of scale”, but he commented that its narrative thrust seemed “relatively pro forma”, and that he found the battle scenes boring.

 

The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Accolades

In 2002, the film won four Academy Awards from thirteen nominations. The winning categories were for Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, Best Makeup, and Best Original Score. It was also nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Ian McKellen), Best Art Direction, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Original Song (Enya, Nicky Ryan and Roma Ryan for “May It Be”), Best Picture, Best Sound (Christopher Boyes, Michael Semanick, Gethin Creagh and Hammond Peek), Best Costume Design and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The film won the 2002 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. It also won Empire readers’ Best Film award, as well as five BAFTAs, including Best Film, the David Lean Award for Best Direction, the Audience Award (voted for by the public), Best Special Effects, and Best Make-up. The film was nominated for an MTV Movie Award for Best Fight between Gandalf and Saruman.

In June 2008, AFI revealed its “10 Top 10″—the ten best films in ten “classic” American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community. The Fellowship of the Ring was acknowledged as the second best film in the fantasy genre. The film was also listed as the 50th best film in the 2007 list AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition).

 

The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Movie Info

The future of civilization rests in the fate of the One Ring, which has been lost for centuries. Powerful forces are unrelenting in their search for it. But fate has placed it in the hands of a young Hobbit named Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), who inherits the Ring and steps into legend. A daunting task lies ahead for Frodo when he becomes the Ringbearer – to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom where it was forged.

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