Originally, I hadn't planned to cap this sequence from the "Get off the Road" scene, because I thought there were several very nice caps already available at screencap galleries. But, last night as I paused my way through it, I sighed, resigned: they were too beautiful. I had to have them.
In this sequence, Frodo is just beginning to sense something as the other hobbits are grubbing happily for mushrooms. He isn't yet frightened, but he ... "smells something" -- just as the Rider will seem to smell him. It is as if he were a deer, suddenly catching the faint scent of a predator....
Actually, I have read several fanfics in which Frodo is compared to a deer. I read a lovely drabble once in which Bilbo saw newly orphaned Frodo standing before him like a fawn, very still, tentative, as if poised for flight.
These screencaps amplify a deer's attitude of alertness, of sensing, of listening. Not only is the attitude much like a deer's, the sort of beauty his face exhibits reminds me of a deer's in these screencaps: the planes of his face strong and clean from the good bones underneath, the finely-delineated musculature covering it, the very large, very intelligent eyes and long dark lashes, as well as the broad forehead. And, in these 3/4 views, Elijah Wood's jaw, which is notably wide and square from the front, is obscured so that the "deer-like" look of his face is enhanced even more. The resulting triangle-shape of his head makes his eyes and brow look that much more prominent, the nose that much more delineated -- all tapering down to the chiseled chin at the triangle's apex.
Can you tell I've spent a lot of time looking at these? Yes, I think they are exquisite and he is exquisite in them.
How can a face look so delicately made and yet so strong at the same time? How can a character be so fine and yet endure so much?
In "The Faculty" thread at K-D, I once compared film-Frodo to bone china. Bone china is beautiful, and very finely made. It is so thin it is almost translucent -- light passes through it. Yet it is able to take a beating other sorts of table ware cannot. My own handed-down bone china has been repeatedly whacked and dropped, yet it remains unscathed, still glossy and beautiful. A sort of patina of fine lines has formed on the surface from years of use, but it only adds to the china's beauty. My cheaper, coarser stuff, which looks sturdier, simply can't take that sort of punishment. Eventually it is chipped or cracked or broken.
The "quality stuff," however, just keeps on going.
~ Frodo in the 'Get-off-the-road' scene, just beginning to sense that "something wicked this way comes" -- from the theatrical full-screen version of The Fellowship of the Ring:
Mews wrote in a comment below, He looks so fragile, but he's strong as tempered steel. This made me go back through "Frodo screencaps" tags to find the entry I made a few months ago, in which I posted the half-dozen frames that come right after this set, when Frodo suggests they get off the road.
Because they are so much a part of this series, I am re-posting them here. These frames exhibit that "tempered steel" sort of strength. You can sense it gathering itself under the beautiful surface.
Click HERE for table of Frodo and Elijah Wood Screencaps.