Pain is not required to create art, nor does all pain result in art. But there is an in between – a Middle Earth? – where imagination distilled through pain yields a hard-earned magic. J.R.R. Tolkien was able to somehow filter boyhood fantasy through the gruesomeness of war to create one of the most memorable series of fantasy stories ever written. “Tolkien” (2019) imagines us back through that process, and in so doing becomes a bit of poetry in and of itself. While its told-in-flashback style is becoming overused by filmmakers these days, Tolkien’s personal story is well worth hearing and seeing.