Hitting up Netflix or putting on a DVD may seem like the ultimate form of procrastination, but sometimes movies can be a resource of inspiration as a writer. Here are my picks of movies about writing and stories, or just movies that are inspiring all the same.
Little Women (1994) The only adaptation of the book I have seen, and I had a furious pre-teen crush on this whole movie. Wynona Ryder stars as Jo March, and maybe my love for this film is because Jo reminds me of young me. This story of four sisters growing up and apart in civil war era Massachusetts is also about Jo finding her voice as a writer.
Amelie (2001) This movie has nothing to with writing in the least, but the story and characters are so original and whimsical. Shy dreamer Amelie finds her life changed when she finds a long lost trinket and returns it to its owner. The simple act leads her to doing anonymous acts of kindness to those around her. As she watches the world from a far, she finds a kindred spirit in the odd collector Nino, but lacks the courage to speak to him.
Dead Poets Society (1989) This film is every English teacher’s best friend. Set at an elite boarding school in the 1950’s, a group of boys are inspired by their English teacher Mr Keating, who teaches them to seize the day and look at things from a different perspective. The boys resurect the Dead Poets Society, which Keating and his friends had formed in his school days. Together, they learn about the importance of words and stories and discover how to live the lives they want, not the ones chosen for them.
Whisper of the Heart (1995) While often overlooked because it wasn’t directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Whisper of the Heart features a screenplay written by the Japanese director. Shizuku is a fourteen year old girl in the midst of exams, but can’t stop herself from reading fairytales when she should be working. When a cat leads her to an antique store, she sees a beautiful cat statue that she can’t forget. The shop owner’s grandson Seiji, is a hardworking boy her own age, who inspires Shizuku to work hard towards her own passion, which is writing.
Finding Neverland (2004) A biopic about J.M. Barrie and the writing of Peter Plan, inspired by the Llewelyn Davies children and his adventures with them. The film explores the life of the real boy who never grew up; Barrie himself.
Julie & Julia (2009) Wait, isn’t this movie about food, not writing? The film is inspired by Julia Child’s life in France and her discovery of cooking, as well as Julie Powell’s blog about cooking every recipe in Child’s cookbook. The film follows Julia’s quest to write and publish her cook book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and Julie’s blog project that leads to her writing a book. When I first saw this movie, it got me excited about blogging, although I had a slow start to actually doing it. This movie has double inspiration, with two women achieving their dreams.