Nerdanel writes: “I saw TTT last night at a screening for the Los Angeles Film Critics (of whom my spouse is one). As I pretty much agree with every word of both of Sarumann’s reviews, I write to add only a few additional comments.
“TTT is a remarkable achievement in two very different ways. The first has already been commented on extensively–the battle scenes are spectacularly done. I’m no fan of war movies, but the Battle of Helms Deep is well paced, suspenseful, and remarkably easy to follow–I must admit that I’ve never been entirely sure what exactly was going on in that part of the book, or where the Glittering Caves might be relative to the Deep, but the film made all that quite clear. At the same time, we get caught up in the fortunes of Gimli, Aragorn, Legolas, Eowyn,Theoden and others and are able to follow these separate threads as they weave through the larger tapestry of the battle.
“The second great feature of TTT is the way many of the characters from the book are actually deepened and humanized in the movie. Eowyn, to take one example, already the closest thing to a breathing female anywhere in LotR, is really brought to life by Miranda Otto in her scenes with Aragorn and Gimli, and leads me to have high hopes for her role in RotK. Aragorn, too, continues the complex character development begun in FotR but largely missing from the books–his interaction with Eowyn is both sympathetic and subtle and provides a fine counterpoint to the unfolding and (to me) still not entirely convincing Aragorn/Arwen story. I also join the crowd completely blown away by Gollum–not just a great effect but a truly great performance, probably the best in the film. (Can a CGI effect be awarded best supporting actor?) Elijah Wood’s portrayal of Frodo benefits considerably from juxtaposition with this richly detailed rendering of Gollum, which makes it clear both to Frodo and to the audience what Frodo is in real danger of becoming.”
Oh, by the way, I loved it. Can’t believe I have to wait over 2 weeks to see it again.