Writing is seen as a mysterious art, one undertaken by reclusive creative types shut up in their studies, writing the next amazing novel. However, writing isn’t always as romantic as this. The movies do a surprisingly good job of describing just what the writing process is like. I’ve asked bloggers and writers from UK Writings what their favorite movies about writing here. Here are the films they suggested.
When this movie came out, a lot was made of the fact that the main character Mavis, played by Charlize Theron, was an unlikeable person. This was a bold move, but in fact, the movie also depicted a realistic take on what it’s like to be a writer. As the writer of a popular teen book series, Mavis knows how to get the voices of her characters right. She’s shown eavesdropping on some teenage girls in Target, and weaving that conversation into her book.
This semi-autobiographical story focuses on William Miller, played by Patrick Fugit. He dreams of becoming a music journalist, so he talks the Rolling Stone magazine into sending him on tour with a famous rock group, so he can write about them. He gets an eye-opening view into life on the road and becomes close to professional groupie Penny Lane, played by Kate Hudson.
This movie focuses on the story of Truman Capote, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, as he goes to research what’s known as the first non-fiction novel, ‘In Cold Blood’. He struggles to connect to the people he’s interviewing, and instead becomes fascinated with the life story of one of the murderers. What’s also interesting about this movie is that it includes another writer, Harper Lee, played by Catherine Keener. She came along with Truman in order to help him research his novel after she completed her best-selling novel To Kill A Mockingbird.
What list about movie writers would be complete without this film? It centers on Jack Torrance, played by Jack Nicholson, and his family, as he takes a job as the winter caretaker of a remote hotel. A recovering alcoholic, he uses the opportunity to work on his novel, but the evil forces at work in the hotel have other ideas.
Shakespeare In Love
This fictionalized account of Shakespeare’s life follows the writer, played by Ralph Fiennes, as he struggles to find his place in the world as a writer. In his work, he comes across Viola De Lesseps, played by Gwyneth Paltrow. Viola is so desperate to become an actress in a time where women weren’t allowed on stage, that she dresses as a man in order to get parts. The story follows the two as they fall in love.
Set in 1960’s Mississippi, Emma Stone’s character Skeeter comes home from college ready to embark on a career as a writer. She takes a job writing a cleaning column for the local newspaper, but becomes more interested in how the upper-class homes are treating ‘the help’. She begins to write about their plight, just as the civil rights movement is taking place.
Julie And Julia
This movie, oddly enough, is about the writing of a cookbook. It follows Julia Child as she writes ‘Mastering The Art Of French Cooking’, and Julie Powell, who decides to work her way through the book and write about the experience.
So this list also includes some of dissertation writing authors’ finest picks for writing themed movies. Are there any you can think of that were missed off? Hollywood is enamored with the writing process, so there’s plenty to pick from.