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Sheila O’Malley’s “Desolation of Smaug” Brings a Tear of Joy

In response to Sheila O'Malley’s 1049‑word review of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug on RogerEbert.com 

http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-hobbit-the-desolation-of-smaug-2013

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Sheila O’Malley’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is a thoughtful work of art that offers inspiration as much as it does insight for the audience. This splendid example of film critique is well worth spending time with.

Starting her review with a quote from Tolkien himself is a revelation. The way she then ties it in with her critique of the film is an example of reviewing at its best. Then, beautifully, even lovingly, she goes from there, referencing the original novel several times in a way that only enhances her analysis of the movie. This is something not all critics pull off effectively; she does it with the ease and style of a real pro.

The critic takes the time to emphasize certain scenes and certain performances, including shining a light on one performance in particular that is basically a cameo. This is an observant craftsman who does not miss a thing.

She is certainly not above criticizing the film where criticism is due (such as when she points out that the film is a half hour too long). But it’s also clear that the original novel has a special place in her heart, and where she connects novel and film in this piece are often very moving.

Audiences should flock to read O’Malley’s The Desolation of Smaug.  It will bring a tear of joy to all lovers of great film review.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation