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Martin Freeman: The perfect Bilbo Baggins for "The Hobbit"?

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(Read caption) Martin Freeman "should make a fine Bilbo Baggins" insists one "Hobbit" enthusiast.

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Is relief too strong a word to use? That seems to be the emotion that some fans are expressing after hearing that Martin Freeman – best known for his portrayal of Tim in the original version of "The Office" will fill the role of Bilbo Baggins in the upcoming New Line film version of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit."

"Freeman ... should make a fine Bilbo Baggins," opined Jen Chaney in The Washington Post. "One can just imagine [Freeman] bumgling around his hobbit hole happily, perhaps planning a light mid-morning snack of a cake or two to follow a delicious breakfast, and being most disgruntled by the arrival of a company of dwarves and a wizard intent on enrolling him in a rather uncomfortable adventure," cheered Ben Child in The Guardian. "Freeman does quintessentially English ordinariness like no-one else in the business."

Whenever a book as beloved as "The Hobbit" is cast as a movie, there is always consternation among its most loyal readers. How can a movie ever fairly capture what they love most about the work? And the fact that the relatively short (140-some pages) book will be split into two movies by director Peter Jackson is already been a cause for concern among many fans.

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