"Well, first of all, you have to understand that Tolkien is a jerk"
He follows this up with "just kidding", but that has all the effect of a smiley emoticon tacked on at the end of an email designed to start a flame war, especially because he continues
"He [Tolkien] didn't really have the capacity
to enjoy what Lewis was doing
and wasn't interested in . . .
. . . it wasn't what made him tick"
I'm not familiar with Metaxas's work (he's identified onscreen as "Author and Broadcaster"), but the name was vaguely familiar. Turns out the reason for this is that when I bought McGrath's new bio of CSL a week or so ago, Metaxas' new work was beside it on the shelf: 7 MEN, which apparently covers seven great Xians Metaxas admires. His selection criteria seem bizarre, ranging from true greats like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Wm Wilberforce, through George Washington (who was not a Xian), to Jackie Robinson (a great man, but not a religious figure) and Chuck Colson (Nixon's goon). He apparently has his own show on talk radio called BreakPoint, which he seems to have inherited from Colson when the latter died. It's not clear to me from any of this where he gets the gravitas to diss Tolkien.
In any case, while the commentary didn't add anything of value to Tolkien and Lewis's disagreement over Narnia, I enjoyed the three re-enactments featuring Tolkien this documentary included. I must say while the actor they've got to play Older Tolkien (who's shown as by far the oldest among the Inklings) doesn't particularly look like Tolkien, he's got the eyebrows down perfect.
Next post: Ward's theory, as presented in this documentary.
*yes, I know the Inklings didn't read manuscripts to each other in the pub. The filmmakers probably know that too, or at least I wd hope so, but have conflated the Thursday evening manuscript readings with the Tuesday morning Eagle and Child sessions, prob. as dramatic license.
**The actual lines go like this:
'Tolkien' "No no no Jack it really won't do."
'Tolkien': "Santa Claus? and a talking lion? in the same book? It's like . . . "
Actually, as Janice pointed out, the real problem is in having a character called "Father Christmas" in a world where no one has ever heard the name "Christ" (he being known under another name altogether there).
***they consider every possible explanation except the obvious one: Tolkien was right.