23 Best Movies About Writers and Authors to Watch Today

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Interested in learning more about your favorite author?

Do you ever wonder what went on in their head and where the ideas for an amazing story came from?

Perhaps it’s the writing process you’re interested in? You might want to know how writers create their own kind of magic through pen, keyboard, or old-fashioned typewriter.

For today’s article, we’ve rounded up movies about writers that may provide answers to things you’re interested to know about of your favorite author and give you a basic understanding of the writing process.

In addition, whether you’re a writer or not, these movies can inspire you to overcome a creative block and motivate you to embrace your own creativity.

So, sit back, relax, reach for your bowl of popcorn, and check out what we’ve got in store for you.

1. Little Women (2019)

This 2019 adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s 1868 novel recounts the story of sisters Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March in 19th century Massachusetts.

Although we get to know the triumphs and struggles of each sister, the spotlight is on Jo. She is a novelist whose first novel, Little Women, is a chronicle of her coming of age in the midst of the American Civil War, of discovering love, and of coming into her own as a person.

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2. Miss Potter (2006)

Some of you may have grown up reading stories of Peter Rabbit and his adventures. Miss Potter is a biographical film about the author and illustrator of children’s books, including stories of Peter Rabbit.

In this film, viewers get to know Beatrix Potter, a young woman who went against the wishes of her parents to pursue a career as an author and artist. We watch her struggle to have her book published and witness her success in the literary world.

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3. Midnight in Paris (2011)

This fantasy comedy won the Best Screenplay award at the 2012 Academy Awards. It is about an aspiring novelist who travels back in time at exactly midnight every night in Paris.

Vacationing with his fiancée in Paris, Gil Pender tours the city by himself and gets transported back in time to the 1920s. While there, he meets several members of the “Lost Generation.” Gil’s solo excursions around the city give him several realizations that change his life drastically.

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4. Finding Forrester (2000)

This film tells the story of a unique friendship between a reclusive author and a gifted young man who is hesitant to accept his own talents. Both of their lives are enriched by the friendship. Through Forrester, Wallace can finally reconcile within himself the path he must choose in life. Meanwhile, Wallace gives Forrester the gift of hope.

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5. Shakespeare in Love (1998)

This movie depicts a fictional interlude in the Bard’s life when he searches for a new muse to be his inspiration while writing a new play. In his search, he also stumbles upon the truth and nature of love.

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6. Adaptation (2002)

In this comedy drama, viewers are introduced to Charlie Kaufman, a screenwriter who is struggling with social anxiety and depression.

Throughout the film, Kaufman (who is the actual screenwriter of this movie) struggles to overcome a huge writer’s block while attempting to adapt The Orchid Thief, a non-fiction book written by Susan Orleans. This movie gives us a glimpse of the struggles writers face in their vocation.

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7. Genius (2016)

This film isn’t mainly about writers. Instead, the main character is real-life editor Maxwell Perkins, who is acknowledged for launching Ernest Hemingway, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, and others to literary fame. In this movie, he discovers and collaborates with Thomas Wolfe.

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8. Before Sunset (2004)

As the second installment in the Before trilogy, this movie reunites protagonists Jesse and Céline nine years after their first encounter in Paris. This time, the two are in their 30s.

Jesse is a writer and has just recently launched a book that was inspired by his meeting with Céline. During a reading of his book in Paris, Jesse encounters Céline and they again decide to spend part of the day together.

In this movie, viewers witness how love isn’t affected by the passage of time.

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9. Impromptu (1991)

Set in the early 19th century and featuring Bohemian artists of that period, this movie focuses on George Sand (actually the pet name of Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin de Francueil), a popular novelist during that time. She pursues the composer Frederic Chopin, who is her romantic interest.

This movie depicts the lives of creatives who lived in Paris during this period. We witness their romances, jealousies, and competitiveness.

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10. My Brilliant Career (1979)

In this movie, viewers get to know Sybylla Melvyn, a highly creative and independent young woman who lives in the Australian outback with her grandmother and aunt during the late 19th century. Sybylla defies her family and the social expectations for a young woman at that time to follow her dream of having a career as a writer or performing artist.

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11. Misery (1990)

This movie is based on one of Stephen King’s novels of the same title. We get to know Paul Sheldon, a popular author of Victorian romance novels who becomes captive of an obsessive fan. He must use everything he knows about human nature in order to escape.

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12. Becoming Jane (2007)

What could have inspired Jane Austen to produce such enduring books on romance? This movie depicts the early life of the famed British author, the man she loved, her blossoming as a writer, and the process of choosing a path that a few women took during her time.

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13. Secret Window (2004)

This psychological thriller is adapted from Stephen King’s novella Secret Window, Secret Garden.

In the film, mystery writer Mort Rainey is in the midst of a painful divorce. He seeks solitude at his lakeside cabin, where a man shows up and accuses Rainey of plagiarizing the man’s short story. This story explores ways dissociative identity disorder can manifest.

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14. Wonder Boys (2000)

Grady Tripp is a professor of creative writing, as well as a novelist suffering from writer’s block. He struggles with various problems in his life, such as troubled students, his wife’s departure, and his lover’s pregnancy. He tries to do the right thing while guiding others along their paths.

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15. Margot at the Wedding (2007)

Margot is a self-absorbed writer who causes family strife when she decides to visit and express her disapproval over her estranged sister’s life choices before her wedding. Will there ever be a chance for the family to reconcile after everything that’s been said and done?

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16. Whisper of the Heart (1995)

This is an animated film from Studio Ghibli about a teenage girl whose main pleasures in life are writing her own stories and reading books. She befriends a boy who dreams of becoming a highly skilled luthier.

This movie portrays the challenge of balancing what we think we desire right now and what we envision for our future.

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17. Tolkien (2019)

This biographical film is about the early life of one of the greatest fantasy writers of the 20th century. J. R. R. Tolkien’s works still inspires countless fantasy aficionados today.

In this film, we witness how Tolkien finds friendship among fellow outcasts, discovers love with Edith Bratt, and unlocks creative inspiration that will serve as the foundation for the books for which he becomes famous.

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18. Deconstructing Harry (1997)

In this movie, we get to know Harry Block, a novelist who takes the liberty of using details from the lives of people close to him in his books. He gets invited to his former university to a ceremony honoring his achievements as a writer.

On the way to the ceremony, Block has flashbacks of events from his past and gets confronted by people—both real and fictional—who took offense at what he did.

This movie is a revelation that there are people who function well as artists, but who have difficulty living as a person with integrity.

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19. Capote (2006)

Truman Capote was already an established novelist when came across the story of the murder of a family in Kansas. Although he initially planned to write only an article about the tragedy, Capote was able to do extensive interviews with the suspects. These interviews became the springboard for his non-fiction novel In Cold Blood. During this period of Capote’s life, he formed a bond with Perry Smith, one of the suspects in the killings.

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20. Mary Shelley (2017)

Mary Shelley was the author of Frankenstein, one of the earliest known works of science fiction. This biopic is about the period of Mary’s life when she first met the poet Percy Shelley and the events that served as inspiration for her to write her masterpiece.

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21. Before Night Falls (2000)

Reinaldo Aranas was a Cuban author who was critical of the Cuban government while it was under Fidel Castro’s regime. This film is based on his autobiography and shows the persecution he received in Cuba because of his sexuality and profession up to the time of his exile and death while in the United States.

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22. Shadowlands (1993)

One of the best-loved works of C. S. Lewis is The Chronicles of Narnia series. In this movie, we get to know the respected professor from Oxford, who lives contentedly as a bachelor. However, a divorced American woman enters his life and inspires him to step out of his comfort zone and finally find the courage to love.

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23. Shirley (2020)

Author Shirley Jackson wrote the horror short story The Lottery. In this fictionalized movie about her life, Jackson discovers a new source of inspiration for her next book when a young couple unexpectedly comes to live with them.

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Final Thoughts on Movies About Writers

The movies featured in this collection show that those who are capable of creating masterpieces also undergo the struggles, pains, triumphs, and joys we all experience.

They remind us that our human experiences are the source of inspiration for creating great things, and that we can also apply them in our own work, creative or otherwise.

Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed this collection of movies about writers. May they inspire you to explore the meaning of life and even raise some philosophical questions that encourage you to discover your own life’s purpose.

See more posts about unique movie themed collections:

movies about writers | films about authors | writing movies