Popcorn time

You know what’s the only thing better than being a writer? Watching writers on tv. In honor of Labor Day, a holiday which demands either hard-core outdoor activity (camping!) or an escape to an air-conditioned home theater, here are my five favorite movies about writers.


5. Sophie’s Choice

Only the most depressing movie ever made about a writer and a mother and the Holocaust. For those days when you need to contemplate morality.


4. Misery

You want to write an unforgettable character? Annie Wilkes is an outstanding example. And here’s a great scene with her in action. It’s everything you really need to know about her, before we even see her break out the sledgehammer.


3. Gothic

Super-sexy Shelley and Byron romp. It might not be that great of a movie, but it’s Gabriel Byrne, so dig in.



(Ooooh, Gabriel Byrne … )


2. Little Women (1994)

It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry, it will make you want to be a writer. Oh, and did I mention Gabriel Byrne is in it? Dig in!

1. The Shining

Think of this one as a warning–and a reminder that it’s okay to take a movie break every now and again. After all, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Also, as a writer, you should take a careful look at this scene. The entire film is brilliant, but this moment is pure goose bump territory. Notice the tiny details–the sounds of the Big Wheel’s, the set of the boy’s shoulders, the way he cranks the back tire to really start it moving quickly again. And of course the skin-crawling music.


I am always looking for a great excuse to watch a movie, so please tell me some of your faves!

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  1. John Dewey Nakamura Remy
    28/08/2012 at 6:39 am Permalink

    The only fave writer movie that comes to mind at the moment is I Capture the Castle. The book is good, too!

  2. Wendy Wagner
    28/08/2012 at 8:34 pm Permalink

    I love the book, so I’m excited to hear that the movie is good, too!

  3. Eric VanNewkirk
    28/08/2012 at 8:07 am Permalink

    No mention of the Coen Brothers’ Barton Fink? John Turturro as a 1940s playwright struggling to break into Hollywood, stuck between writer’s block and the studio’s insistence he can work on capturing the inner turmoil of the average American once he’s done a nice wrestling picture or two. And John Mahoney quietly stealing scenes as William Faulkner-in-everything-but-the-name! Plus yet another brilliant turn by John Goodman in a Coens’ movie, showing you the life of the mind.

    Brilliant, tho’ admittedly it might be the most unabashedly weird film the Coens have made.

    Another recommendation with an obvious qualification: if you can separate Roman Polanski’s work from his disgusting personal and legal issues, The Ghost Writer, in which Ewan McGregor is an anonymous writer drafting a memoir for a disgraced British Prime Minister played by Pierce Brosnan, is a gorgeous piece of work. Not exactly about writing per se, though that’s the Macguffin that drives the plot. But beautiful cinematography and a damn fine cast and a kinda clever and twisty screenplay. Polanski may be a sleezebag, but he’s a helluva artist, unfortunately; again, if you can set his personal life aside, the movie’s well worth the rental.

  4. Wendy Wagner
    28/08/2012 at 6:07 pm Permalink

    I haven’t seen either of them! I’ll check them out for sure!

  5. Nicole Feldringer
    28/08/2012 at 3:49 pm Permalink

    Stranger Than Fiction!!

    Also, I watched the clip from The Shining and it totally creeped me out. Classic 🙂

  6. Sandra Wickham
    28/08/2012 at 4:26 pm Permalink

    My favourite is Secret Window!!! It haunts me every time I have a nap instead of writing…

  7. Patrick Swenson
    28/08/2012 at 7:40 pm Permalink

    Love Van Sant’s FINDING FORRESTER. Also a big shout to IL POSTINO.

  8. Elise
    28/08/2012 at 8:04 pm Permalink

    Stranger Than Fiction!!

  9. Tucker
    29/08/2012 at 6:40 am Permalink

    I shall have to check out Gothic. It’s either horrible, or horrible in a way that I will love it anyway. 🙂

    CROUPIER stars Clive Owen as a writer who’s working as a croupier in a London casino. The plot doesn’t entirely hold together but it’s worth it to watch the actors work.

  10. NewGuyDave
    02/09/2012 at 10:04 am Permalink

    Misery and the Shining are in my library. I’ll have to check out the others. Finding Forrester, Stranger Than Fiction, and Secret Window are also good ones. Lately, I’ve been watching Californication with David Duchovny. It allows me a 40-minute TV break and contains a single story, rather than watch a third of a movie (or waste 2 hours on an entire movie).