Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Films about Writers

Have you seen some or all of these? Click on the photo to buy them on Amazon.

Shakespeare in Love

Let's start with one of the best. Fantasy fills in the blanks in the immortal Bard's less than perfectly documented history. 1999. Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush. Fab script by Marc Norman and playwright Tom Stoppard.

Becoming Jane

About Jane Austen - haven't seen this. Anyone else? 2006 Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy. I like him!

Wonder Boys

Michael Douglas as a failing writer on campus. Based on the novel by Michael Chabon. It's OK. Not great.

84 Charing Cross Road

Ann Bancroft, Anthony Hopkins, 1986. Based on a true story as a series of letters by Helen Hanff. Sweet decade-spanning period piece. I cried.

Finding Forrester

Sean Connery, Anna Paquin, 2000. Sean as a reclusive writer. Not re-watchable. More about American so-called classless society and race than writing.

Finding Neverland

Johnny Depp, Kate Winslett. Definitely rewatchable, Fantasy meets reality and small boys who aren't ready to grow up.


Phillip Seymour Hoffman, 2005. Haven't seen this either but would like to. I read Truman Copote very young and was hugely impressed. I'm scared to re-read it in case I don't think it's as good anymore.


Laugh a minute story of poet Sylvia Plath. Not. Gwyneth Paltrow, Daniel Craig, 2003.


About CS Lewis. ...a heart awakened to great love is also opened to great pain. Not my cup of tea, frankly. Anthony Hopkins, Debra Winger, 1993.

Barton Fink

Coen Brothers. Just watched this. Surreal but how close to Hollywood life is it? Super cast. John Goodman, John Turturro, 1991

There are also some classic films where a minor side plot is a character waiting to hear back from their agent. Very true to life.


Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, your one from Grey's Anatomy, 2004. Re-watching this now. Love the humour, the relationships, the Not Merlot, the publishing subplot.

Little Miss Sunshine

Abigail Breslin, Greg Kinnear. What's not to like? Disfunctional family travels in a disfunctional van from Albuquerque to California for a beauty pageant. Plus Greg Kinnear cannot get his book published.

Here's some more. Any glaring omissions or recommendations?


Anonymous said...

Great post! I love Capote. I'd also add Misery and The Ghost (though precious little writing gets done in either).

Máire T. Robinson said...

Interesting post! I haven't seen 'Capote' but I loved 'Infamous' which was also about Capote and weirdly came out around the same time. It focused on his writing of 'In Cold Blood' and his friendship with one of the murderers.

I'd also add Woody Allen's 'Deconstructing Harry' and Charlie Kaufman's 'Adaptation' to the list! It's difficult to portray the reality of the writing life on screen without boring the audience to tears, but both films manage to do so in a comical way. They also have interesting structures, and in different ways, both play with the conventions of the narrative form.

Emerging Writer said...

Thanks girls. I have read Ghost but not seen it. I feel another post coming on, maybe next month, and a marathon movie watching.

Emerging Writer said...

Actually, there are lots of novels about writers and the process of writing...