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Monday, 3 December, 2001, 08:49 GMT
'Passionate' Rings praised above Potter
The Fellowship of the Ring
"Real passion": The Fellowship of the Ring
One of the first reviews of the first Lord of the Rings film says it has real passion, and rates it above the Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Critic David Ansen, in Newsweek, says The Fellowship of the Ring has "real emotion, real terror and a tactile sense of evil that is missing in that other long current movie dealing with wizards, wonders and wickedness.

Director Peter Jackson's "fierce, headlong movie takes high-flying risks", he says.

"It wears its earnestness, and its heart, on its muddy, blood-streaked sleeve."


He also praises the adaptation of the first of JRR Tolkein's classic fantasy trilogy for having dared to take a number of risks.

He says Jackson has the characters utter oaths to one another in a "quasi-Shakespearean language" that could have sounded ludicrous.

The actors look into each others eyes and swear oaths in quasi-Shakespearean language that could, were it not for the utter conviction with which it is played, topple over into the ludicrous

David Ansen

Jackson's camera work is said to fly like a hawk, "swooping and plunging into breathtaking scenes of blood and destruction".

However, Ansen warns that the film's heroes, including Gandalf the wizard, played in a "playfully magisterial" manner by Sir Ian McKellen, are less well drawn than its evil characters.

Cate Blanchett's golden-locked elven queen is dismissed as art nouveau kitsch and being "like pre-Raphaelite calendar art".

The film is also said to be too violent for young children.

In the UK, the British Board of Film Classification has taken the unusual step of ruling that the PG film must carry a special warning to the effect that children under eight may find it disturbing.

The Fellowship of the Ring has its world premiere in London on 10 December.

The Lord of the Rings
The film must carry a warning for under-eights in the UK

It is to be released on both sides of the Atlantic on 19 December, and is widely expected to compare with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone for its ability to fill cinemas.

A pair of tickets to the world première sold for £4,293 at an internet auction on Monday.

The total budget for the three films - which are virtually complete - was £300m, making the project the biggest in history for any film studio.

The scale of the undertaking meant there were seven camera crews working at once on different scenes.

Three entire months were spent filming a battle set at night.

The BBC's Rosie Millard
talks to Peter Jackson
See also:

15 May 01 | Film
Cannes preview for Rings
02 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Hobbit soldiers 'not exploited'
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