The 15 Best Movies About Writers

8. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Gonzo journalism: the one that makes the journalist a fundamental character of a reported event. That’s it. Terry Gilliam delivered the pursuit of something to write about from the view of a drug addict-journalist and his drug addict-lawyer. Quite a couple played by Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro. You can’t get bored in Las Vegas they say.

This is a bad trip of acid, cocaine, alcohol, you name it. Trash the hotel? Sure. Break every law in the state? Done. Order expensive things and don’t pay for them? You bet. There’s a time for writing and a time for fun. Bad luck for the journalist that mixed them both and did none.

Later is just as good time to work as any other. If you ever find yourself procrastinating, don’t feel bad, you’re not the only one. “Fear and Loathing” is the title and that’s what you get.


7. Capote (2005)


Great stories aren’t likely to be found in common places and Truman Capote knew it, that’s why it took him five long years to complete the book that would change writing for the generations to come. A non-fiction novel, he called it. Journalism would never be the same.

Every possible way of evil sleeps in prison, a frightening place to be. And there Capote, played by the correct Philip Seymour Hoffman, spoke with one responsible for the true killing of a wealthy family in Kansas. The film shows the emotional struggles Capote had to go through, in order to finish his most acclaimed non-fictional work. How wrong is it to befriend a monster? How twisted is it to love him?

So much is right here, the actors, the direction, the feeling of despair… You don’t know if you like better the writer or the murderer, until the end of the film. A film worth watching.


6. The Hours (2002)

The Hours

This is a feature film based on a real character: Virginia Woolf. Writing can be a hard thing to do. Not because of grammar or a matter of style, but for the emotions that flow through the writer at once. The novel Mrs. Dalloway affects and connects the lives of other two women from different times.

The characters went through some hard moments that made them give meaning to the other things around them. Nothing can be taken for granted. The sequence where Virginia reads the last letter that she wrote for her husband, before committing suicide, is powerful: she explains that she cannot live in illness anymore and, even though they loved each other, Mr. Woolf would have to go on without her.

Nicole Kidman won an Oscar for playing the tormented soul of Virginia Woolf. The hours may pass slow or fast, depending on what you’re feeling or what you’re doing. Drama at its best, this is just a peak at the life and work of an important person.


5. Sideways (2004)


Paul Giamatti becomes a writer under the emotional direction of Alexander Payne. Take a frustrated novelist, a divorce and a taste for wine and what do you get? That’s right, drama and comedy. Payne and Jim Taylor won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay back in 2004.

You take a journey along with the forty-something Miles and Jack. The first one is depressed and the other’s about to get married. They meet two women to spend time with and Miles’ future seems to be changing right in front of him.

A little wine can help clear the mind and bring new ideas, too much wine is bound to help you make disaster and ruin your escape trip. The acting was much celebrated and turned Giamatti into a star.


4. Adaptation (2002)

Adaptation (2002)

One of the best films starring Nicolas Cage. Here he reminds us, he can act well. However, the thing that shines is the script written by Charlie Kaufman about a successful Charlie Kaufman trying to make a good cinematic adaptation of a book. He’s insecure, worried that his work won’t be at the same level of his acclaimed past movie: Being John Malkovich. Of course, this is no ordinary story.

We’ve seen before that Hollywood can be harsh. If you are no good to it, why should it be good to you? Naturally, screen writers are in constant pressure to make something that goes well in the box office. Nobody cares if the writer spends the nights dreaming of work or if he goes sweating through the day without typing a single word. The finished product is all that counts. Kaufman knows it.

Spike Jonze was in charge to bring this work to life. Just like everything that’s worth your time; this will accept no distractions from you and will show you one of many tragic lives.


3. Midnight in Paris (2011)


Which people of history would you like to meet? Which writers? Like all beautiful cities, Paris becomes an important part in the lives of many. Hemingway, Picasso, the Fitzgeralds…

The past may appear to be a better time than the present and, often, the lives of others seem to be way more interesting than the one we live. But is it true? Everything has its own charm and that’s what Woody Allen shows us in this, one of his most beloved films of the recent years.

We travel back to the 1920’s and see artists like there haven’t been in a long while. We see glamour and hear fine talks; there is beauty, magic and inspiration. Can that be compared with the modern days?


2. The Shining (1980)

The Shining

A great cinematic work directed by Stanley Kubrick. There’s not much to say about this, so let’s put it simply as a must-see. It’s often said that writers confine themselves in solitude, in a calm, pacific place to think and write in peace. However, it’s known that too much of work and stress can drive someone crazy. Add this to a hotel full of past stories and the ghosts of those memories. Writers, they always have to look for trouble.

What comes to mind when thinking about The Shining? There is a lot to remember: the blood, the twins, the words, the violence, the snow… Simple plot, simple scenarios, clean execution. This original story comes from the mind of Stephen King and it’s considered to be one of the scariest movies of all times, always with the lights on.

This is Kubrick all the way: shots planned carefully, the right colors to set the mood, genuine fear from the actors and, well, Jack Nicholson.


1. Sunset Boulevard (1950)


Creepy and weird are words that describe this story about an old and forgotten Hollywood star and a bad, unemployed screen writer. He doesn’t have a penny, she sleeps in a bed of gold; she needs company, he will do anything for money. So, they begin a twisted relationship that won’t end in a happy situation.

We see the incredibly hard task that is trying to be someone in the movie scene, even for the little recognized writers. Things got even harder when cinema got all noisy with those dialogues.

The star of the film, Gloria Swanson, started her career in 1915, so she went from silent to noisy, first hand. And you can tell, but her exaggerated movements were not entirely a consequence of her early work; she was conscious, which made her receive an Oscar nomination for her great acting.

Author Bio: Linda Ponce thinks imagination makes us free and movies are full of it. She’s studying Communication in Mexico City to share her mind with the whole world. She writes here and there and spends hours reading all kinds of comments.