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BACK AND BACK AGAIN: The film adaptation of The Hobbit, starring Martin Freeman as Bilbo, adds a lengthy backstory to pad out the drama.© 2012 WARNER BROS. PICTURES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Longing for home

"In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit.” With that sentence, J. R. R. Tolkien drew us straight into Bilbo Baggins’s home and into a Middle-earth in which home and the loved ones in it matter. The film The Hobbit, produced and directed by Peter Jackson, eventually quotes Tolkien’s opening sentence, but it takes some time to get to that point. It starts, instead, with Bilbo (played with tender humanity by Martin Freeman) recounting some prehistory to explain the expedition that will lead him to the dragon Smaug.

 

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