Best movies with characters who are writers

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Artists, writers, poets. People want to be them, but there’s a stigma attached to being creative. Whether it’s the starving artist or the pampered heir who decides writing is his or her true calling, there’s no denying that there’s a particular appeal to those who see the world a little differently. And, perhaps, that’s why movies have turned to making their protagonists writers again and again because they can take their story and rewrite it before the eyes of the viewer.

Indeed, these tortured creative types also have something special: unlike a normal office job, they tend to go where inspiration and creativity strike. While the writing itself might not be the goal, having your main character be a creative writer is a pretty bold move. Make them a journalist (à la The French Dispatch) changes the tone and plot of a movie – someone who is a nurse or a lawyer doesn’t exude the same creative energy. These are the best movies where the characters are writers.

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8 Dead Poets Society


Uniformed boys stand at desks.
Touchstone Images

Dead Poets Society may not be the best representation of writers and literary critics in the film world, but it defines a central concept behind many films and works of literature: making the ordinary beautiful. Perhaps that’s why the film is considered a Gen Z favorite, making it an emblem of the Dark Academia subculture. While the film offers more about the superficial love of literature, it allows young boys living in a rigid structure to learn more about themselves and their interests, especially in a closed world that cuts off creativity.


seven Certified copy


The man and the woman sit together on the steps.
MK2

Iranian author Abbas Kiarostami returned in 2010 with the French film Certified copy, in which the lead actress, Juliette Binoche, would win the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for her role. In Tuscany, a British writer (William Shimell) came to discuss his latest book on authenticity in the art world. A French antique dealer (Juliette Binoche) comes to the author’s discussion with her eleven-year-old son to have books signed, and she later falls into a strange relationship with the writer. Certified copy is surprisingly authentic and a breath of fresh air.

6 In a lonely place


Men and women, well dressed, are seated at a table.
Santana Productions

1950 by Humphrey Bogart In a lonely place casts him as a troubled screenwriter, Dixon Steele, who hasn’t had success in Hollywood since World War II. In a lonely place is considered one of the greatest film noir of all time and one of Bogart’s finest performances as an actor. Steele falls in love with a new tenant in the building, Laurel Gray (Gloria Grahame), who is afraid of him after seeing the extent of his temper. The film is unique in its tone and themes for the genre, allowing it to be a solid film that refuses to bend to the conventions and tropes of film noir.


5 the brilliant


The man peeks through the crack in the door, smiling maniacally.
Warner Bros.

the brilliant is a cult classic, but do you remember that the protagonist, Jack Torrance, was a writer? Jack accepts a job at the Overlook Hotel and moves his family out in hopes of turning his life around and revitalizing his writing career, but things soon go awry. Stephen King might have been upset to the film and his portrayal of Jack, but if there aren’t any other characters to embody the stereotype of a writer driven mad, then the brilliant comes first with Jack.

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4 Little woman


1800s girls stand together with picnic baskets.
Pictures of Colombia

At Louisa May Alcott’s Little woman regularly receives a new update every few generations, and Greta Gerwig took on the task in 2019 of readjusting Little woman with a feminist touch. Jo March (Saoirse Ronan) is the woman writer the 1800s need; she’s smart, refuses to settle down with a man when her childhood best friend (Timothée Chalamet) begs her to marry him, and she wants to write about women. As her sisters move beyond the plays they performed as children and discover different paths of femininity, their story is clearly both modern and timeless.


3 Poetry


The woman holds the apple in front of her.
pine house film

2010 film by Lee Chang-dong Poetry is devastating, a quiet tour de force that touches on literature, aging and mutual empathy between women. Its protagonist is Mi-ja, a woman in her sixties who has Alzheimer’s disease and is slowly losing her memory. She enrolls in a poetry class to try to remember the words she forgets, but she lacks the creative inspiration to write a real poem. But, at the same time, the grandson she’s caring for has committed a crime against a local schoolgirl, dragging Mi-ja into a tangled mess she may not be able to escape.

2 Barton Fink


A man in a tween blazer and large circle glasses puts his finger to his temple in the crowd.
Working title films

Barton Fink was a box office bomb when it was initially released in 1991, although it won the Palme d’Or, Best Director, and Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival. New York playwright Barton Fink (John Turturro) has just signed a contract to write scripts for a Hollywood studio and is moving into a hotel in Los Angeles. Barton Fink is a complex film, as a stubborn theatrical artist (Fink) attempts to enter an entirely new world of filmmaking, and he refuses to assimilate or conform.


1 sunset boulevard


The man looks at the woman in the spotlight, who has her hand outstretched.
Paramount Pictures

The year 1950 was clearly rich in movies about writers, especially movies that were critical of society and Hollywood itself. Like In a lonely place, sunset boulevard stars William Holden as a struggling screenwriter in the business. His glory days are behind him, but when he meets former silent film star Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), she becomes obsessed with him. sunset boulevard refuses to stay superficial and continues the narrative that Hollywood is all glitter and diamonds, and instead shows the dark side of fame and the industry.


The members of the Fantastic Four 2005.
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