The success of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy was certainly a sign of encouragement -- that an adaptation of the works of Catholic author J.R.R. Tolkien could have such an impact was gratifying, though the Christian morality contained in the books was not easily apparent to many contemporary film audiences. Still, it was a respite from that which passes for entertainment these days.
It was most discouraging, however, to see what's happening with the riches director Peter Jackson and producer Fran Walsh collected from their Academy Award winning efforts. They're giving more than $300,000 to the University of California at Irvine to fund human embryonic stem cell research -- research that relies upon the destruction of living human beings -- an act robustly condemned by Tolkien's Catholic Church.
They made movies from Tolkien's books, and they seem to have done so without reading them. I doubt very seriously if the author would approve of their donation. I certainly do not. The two movie makers are now set to produce a film version of a book called "The Lovely Bones." As for me, I think I'll skip that one. And I won't be buying my grandkids copies of the "Lord of the Rings" DVDs, either.