I didn’t really like the Hobbit. Like everyone else in the world, I loved the earlier Lord of the Rings.
I loved the book. I have memories of sitting on my father’s lap and listening with my brothers as dad read to us on the back patio in Skokie, Illinois on a warm summer night.
But the movie left me with one burning question:
Where are the women?
Do orcs, dwarves, hobbits, ogres reproduce through spawning? This movie was like Snow White and the Seven Dwarves without Snow White.
I know men rule the world, but really. Really?
No wonder Middle-earth is so violent. There are no women with whom to partner, make love, reason, journey alongside, learn from, share.
Last I checked women and girls made up half of the world’s population and half of the movie-going audiences. Why dis us this way?
The only woman in this film was the lovely Cate Blanchett who is really more of a spirit than a body. While the men can eat and travel and fight, her special talent is that she disappears. Perfect for this movie.
The movie was clearly made for and by men and boys. It unfolds like a video game — now that you’ve surpassed the scary tiger level, you move on to the orc level, and if you move on from that level, you may proceed to the next level. Blah. Blah. Blah.
I do like a subgenre of movies where the hero (always male) doubts himself and then finds he has within him what he needed all along. (Like Glory! An all-male movie too, but brilliant!) And I guess this journey towards courage in the face of self-doubt motif happens for Baggins on his journey. But I was hoping for something more.
Even Skyfall had a few juicy women characters like Dame Judi Dench and Naomie Harris.
If you are looking for a holiday blockbuster, go to see Les Misérables, a fun adventure for girls and boys, men and women.