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Films with Writers as Protagonists
January 8, 2012 9:37 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for films that have writers as the protagonists. I find the films inspiring. My favorite thus far is The Tenants (2006), which stars Dylan McDermott and Snoop Dogg! Any ideas? Thanks in advance...

By the way, The Tenants is based on a just as entertaining novel by Bernard Malamud.
posted by lrnarabic to Writing & Language (35 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Barton Fink
Naked Lunch
posted by philip-random at 9:41 PM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


The plot of Adaptation ostensibly chronicles the writing of Adaptation, from the screenwriter's point of view.
posted by kengraham at 9:42 PM on January 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Finding Forster
Misery (maybe not particularly inspiring)
The Shining (ditto)

Wikipedia has a bunch.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 9:44 PM on January 8, 2012


Stranger Than Fiction
posted by hydrophonic at 9:45 PM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Synecdoche, NY also (also as in "also by Charlie Kaufman, like Adaptation"). Well, writer/director.
posted by neuromodulator at 9:49 PM on January 8, 2012


Until the End of the World
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:50 PM on January 8, 2012


Wonderboys
posted by one_bean at 9:52 PM on January 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


(sorry, two words: Wonder Boys)
posted by one_bean at 9:53 PM on January 8, 2012


He Died With a Felafel in His Hand. Don't expect a great examination of the process.
posted by Trivia Newton John at 9:54 PM on January 8, 2012


Shattered Glass
posted by holdkris99 at 9:55 PM on January 8, 2012


One of my favorites is Cross Creek about Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings - the author of "The Yearling" amongst other things.
posted by nightwood at 10:04 PM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pretty much anything adapted from Stephen King (some have been mentioned).

Stand By Me (The Body) is a good one.
posted by jimmythefish at 10:16 PM on January 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Off the top of my head:

Infamous (about Truman Capote) and/ or Capote (also about...Capote)
The Help
The Hours (although it's one of the most depressing movies I've seen)

Also I found this link to "20 Greatest Movies about Writers"


Also the tv show Bored to Death is about a would-be novelist and his writer buddies.
posted by costanza at 10:23 PM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Funny People"? Well, they're comedy writers. Lots of Woody Allen movies. "Deconstructing Harry" and "Midnight in Paris" for two.
posted by chrchr at 10:59 PM on January 8, 2012


Sunset Boulevard
In a Lonely Place
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 11:15 PM on January 8, 2012


I forgot a really good one "The Lives of Others" (originally Das Leben der Anderen). Seconding Midnight in Paris.
posted by costanza at 11:16 PM on January 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Ghost Writer (or - even better - the book it was based on).
posted by aqsakal at 11:51 PM on January 8, 2012


The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec's titular protagonist is a travel writer who tries to resurrect mummies to heal her sister. And yes, it's every bit as brilliant as that sounds.
posted by hnnrs at 12:22 AM on January 9, 2012


Breakfast at Tiffany's.
posted by tavegyl at 2:10 AM on January 9, 2012


Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Rum Diary
posted by neversummer at 3:14 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also see this older question asking for films about real female authors.
posted by taz at 3:17 AM on January 9, 2012


The Pillow Book
posted by unmake at 3:22 AM on January 9, 2012


84 Charing Cross Road
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 5:51 AM on January 9, 2012


In Sophie's Choice, the writer character is more of an observer than the protagonist, but he is pretty central to the story.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 5:52 AM on January 9, 2012


Wonder Boys
Secret Window (not the most inspiring!)
posted by Ziggy500 at 5:56 AM on January 9, 2012


Smoke (the William Hurt character)
posted by jbickers at 6:25 AM on January 9, 2012


World's Greatest Dad. Watched it on Netflix streaming last night. Although I wouldn't call it inspiring, I did like it.
posted by sabh at 7:16 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Woman of the Year - Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn are both journalists. Does that count? Great movie, anyway.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:05 AM on January 9, 2012


Moulin Rouge
Almost Famous
posted by SisterHavana at 10:00 AM on January 9, 2012


Croupier
posted by perhapses at 10:18 AM on January 9, 2012


In A Lonely Place (1950, Nicholas Ray) with Humphrey Bogart as a screenwriter / murderer (?) is excellent.

Amateur (1994, Hal Hartley) co-stars Isabelle Huppert as a former nun turned porno writer. Though the writing is mostly a side thing to the main plot, there are a couple of hilarious scenes between Huppert and her "editor" at the porno mag. And the film is great. Hartley's Henry Fool also has a writer in it, but I haven't seen it.

It isn't totally clear whether Jean-Pierre Léaud's character in Godard's Masculin, feminin is a writer, but he'd want you to think he was.

There are also a billion excellent films about journalists, especially from mid-century Hollywood. Standouts in this category include Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor & Park Row and Douglas Sirk's The Tarnished Angels (based on Faulkner's Pylon).

The Tenants sounds amazing, btw. Added to the list of "to see".
posted by bubukaba at 10:37 AM on January 9, 2012


I really enjoyed The Flower of My Secret.

One of my favorite films about writers is All the President's Men. I think it's fascinating, though I have no particular interest in either journalism or Watergate.

There are also the various films about Hunter S. Thompson (The Rum Diary, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Where the Buffalo Roam.)
posted by johnofjack at 10:56 AM on January 9, 2012


In Royal Tenenbaums, Margot, one of the siblings, is a playwright (also, it's an awesome movie). Oh, and Owen Wilson's character writes cowboy novels. And Bill Murray's character is a psychologist writing a book. Lots of writers of various types.
posted by ashirys at 12:09 PM on January 9, 2012


Atonement - It seems like the writer is not the central character, but it turns out they really are.

Doctor Zhivago - Zhivago is a poet as well as a physician.

The Quiet American - Main character is a journalist

The End of the Affair - Main character is a novelist
posted by philipy at 12:30 PM on January 9, 2012


The Hoax.
posted by pjern at 1:07 PM on January 9, 2012


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