Movies About Writers

Here's a list of nine movies about writers, incluidng films about real and fictional characters. Dig in and get to watching!

Movies About Writers
Are you in the mood to watch a movie about the writing life? // Image by: Louis (IG @suisonnet)
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I know what it’s like to look for writer stuff. I’m always looking for writer YouTube channels, podcasts, events, etc. And I’m sure some of you do the same, so here’s a list of movies about writers and the writing life.

1) The Ghost Writer is a political thriller about a writer hired to complete the memoirs of a former prime minister after the initial writer mysteriously drowned.

Shortly after the ghostwriter lands this multi-million dollar gig, the prime minister is accused of authorizing the seizure of terrorists and handing them over for torture. As the ghostwriter digs into the man’s story, he finds himself trapped in a web of political and sexual intrigue, and he discovers secrets that threaten international relations.

Watch The Ghost Writer

2) Capote is a biographical movie about Truman Capote that focuses on the years the author and playwright spent researching and writing In Cold Blood, a book considered the first non-fiction novel.

A newspaper article about an unsolved murder in a Kansas town inspires Capote to write an article about it for The New Yorker. To prepare, Capote goes to Kansas to interview those involved. Meanwhile, the murder suspects are caught and Capote forms an attachment to one of them and decides to expand the project into a book, extending his relationship with the murderer.

Watch Capote

3) Quills is a historical drama about the demise of Marquis de Sade. Although this account is fictional, the man was real, a writer who was considered insane and a sexual deviant.

The film begins in Paris during the Reign of Terror and leads through de Sade’s final years smuggling manuscripts from an insane asylum. It delves into the battles that ensue between free speech and censorship as well as between love and lust.

Watch Quills

4) Julie & Julia is based on the true story of a New York call center worker named Julie Powell who grows discontent with her job. She decides to cook the hundred of recipes in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking  in a single year.

She also decides to blog her way through the journey, and her blog gains a following that leads to new opportunities but it weighs on her marriage.

This movie jumps between Powell’s life and that of famed cookbook writer Child.

She goes to Paris with her husband, who is diplomat, and starts collaborating on a book about French cooking. As she and her fellow writers are looking toward publication, Child’s husband notifies her he’s preparing to be reassigned. But before that happens, an unexpected event changes plans for the royalty arrangement between the writers.

Watch Julie & Julia

5) Trumbo is based on the biography of Dalton Trumbo, a story about a Hollywood screenwriter who is a member of the Communist party.

After a disastrous appearance before the U.S. House Committee on Un-American Activities, he goes to prison and is blacklisted for his political views. This leads to strain on his finances and family and Trumbo starts ghostwriting, but over time suspicion grows that he’s behind the work.

Watch Trumbo

6) The Help is a period drama set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement. A white woman, Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan, returns from college to find her friends starting families but she wants to be a writer.

She starts out writing a column but the discomfort with racism in her circle is met with a growing desire to be a bonafide journalist, so she decides to write a book from the point of view of black maids in Mississippi.

Watch The Help

7) Spotlight is an award-winning drama named after an investigative journalism unit for the Boston Globe.  It’s based on the true story of how the investigation into child abuse allegations against one member of the Catholic Church deepens to expose a much broader scandal, which impacts the journalists’ lives.

Watch Spotlight

8) Before Night Falls is a biopic about the exiled Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas and the intersections between his turbulent life as an openly gay man and writer in an increasingly dangerous political climate. The journey follows Arenas through stints in prison and his attempts to get out of Cuba.

Watch Before Night Falls

9) Burkowski: Born Into This is a documentary about the infamous, alcoholic poet and writer Charles Burkowski.

The film splices together interviews with fans, friends, and his ex-wife. It has comic strips portraying him as a sex-crazed maniac mixed footage from his poetry reading and splashes of his poetry on the screen, showing though he was troubled there is a reason why remains respected for his talent.

Watch Burkowski: Born Into This

Keep this list of movies about writers going by adding your favorites in the comment section.

Also Read: 14 Wild & Risque Writing Quotes

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7 Comments

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  1. 4
    Jaya Avendel

    I love films about writers if the director does not go through lengths to create stereotypes. The Help sounds like something I want to watch. One movie about a writer I loved was Tolkien. 🙂

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