I would rather read than watch a movie; but my wife, the lovely Robin, is a lover of movies. So I’ve seen more than a few. I lean toward comedy and away from fantasy. And far away from horror. And I especially enjoy an occasional movie about a writer or the writing life. So, since I know that some readers of this blog have nothing else to do with their time, I’d like to offer a Top Ten List of my favorite “writer” movies.
10. The Shining
I know I said I lean far away from horror; but I had to include this adaptation of the Stephen King novel because, well, it’s a cautionary tale, right? Writing (and isolation) really can drive you crazy.
9. Funny Farm
It’s not about writing, per se, but it includes some funny bits in which Chevy Chase portrays what it’s like to be a writer.
8. Dead Poets Society
A brilliant film about an English teacher who inspires a love of poetry in his students. The film earned Robin Williams a best actor nomination, but he lost to Daniel Day Lewis (My Left Foot).
Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep star in this film, in which Cage’s character struggles to adapt a novel for the screen. It could make you feel less alone … or swear off writing forever.
6. Midnight in Paris
I’m not a Woody Allen fan, but I am an Owen Wilson fan. This fantasy in which Owen’s frustrated-writer character meets literary (and other) giants of Paris’s past was a lot of fun.
5. The Help
Emma Stone plays aspiring journalist/”Skeeter/”Phelan in this film based on a bestselling book. She’s the writer in the story, but Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer steal the show.
4. Stranger Than Fiction
I’m not a Will Ferrell fan, but this movie in which he is (somehow) a character in a novel being written by Emma Thompson is delightful.
3. Finding Neverland
A best-picture winner about J. M. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan. Have a tissue handy.
2. All Is True
Kenneth Branagh wrote this fictional account of William Shakespeare’s “retirement” in Stratford-on-Avon. A warning to any writer.
1. Shakespeare in Love
Yes, I’m a Shakespeare nut. Want to make something of it? This Oscar winner imagines a romance that inspired some of the Bard’s greatest work.
Yes, I know, I could’ve mentioned Misery (but I haven’t seen it). Or Finding Forrester, which I loved. But that’s my top ten, and I’m sticking with it. But I’m also looking forward to comments that offer different opinions and new ideas.