Mary has had a love of poetic verse since she was very young, and always finds a way to thrive on in-depth inspiration that is everywhere.
Get The Verve Back
Every writer knows that life has a beautiful way of intervening and thwarting all the plans that involve sitting at the desk and writing your heart out. Writer's block, lack of inspiration, lack of motivation, and many other struggles that a writer goes through puts a bleak outlook on the written word. Luckily, as with any problem, there is a possible soulution. These seven movies can be that solution to fan the flames of your wordsmith heart and have you writing in bliss in no time, if you so let them.
1) Persuasion (2007)
The 2007 movie adaptation of novel "Persuasion" by Jane Austen has such a rich dialogue that gets into your bones. If you are not faliliar with the story, it follows character Anne Elliot's thoughts and feelings as an unmarried 27 year old woman, who finds out that the family that is to rent her family's home is, in fact, the sister and brother-in-law of Capitan Fredric Wentworth, her formerly betrothed.
Throughout the movie, she is put in situation after situation with this man she still has a deep love for, accompanied by her deep regret for doing the Victorian version of breaking up: calling off their engagement. The words she is seen writing in her journal are not only narrated with the diction of the Victorian era, but also the painful realisation that she had betrayed the one she loved by listening to the advice of others, instead of her own heart. Adding to the intensity, both her and Wentworth are extremely observant of eachother but dare not express their feelings directly, because it was seemingly improper to do so in the company of others in that era. The agonized words of a regretful heart and the expression of longing they both possess, completed by Wentworth's own narration of a personal letter, has the viewer thinking and questioning life in this in-depth, victorian way, spurring to life the flame that feeds the writer's heart.
2) Dead Poets Society (1989)
One well known movie in the writer/poet community is "Dead Poets Society". This story takes place at Welton Academy, a traditional, conservative, boarding school for young men and boys. At the start of the new year, a particular group of students, and the new kid, get introduced to their new passionate Literature teacher Mr. Peter Weir. He not only teaches literature through the passions of poetry, but he also inspires these boys to strive for greatness, a greatness that is completely out of the comfort zone of the conservative boarding school they are restricted to.
Not only do you get to relish in the delight of having poetry be spoken in such a profound way, out loud by one of the greatest actors to have lived, but you also have the comparative look at the rigid traditions imbedded in their school that seeks to squelch the flaw of the young poet's passionate mind. This unshaken mindset is also shown in the family of one of the young men in Mr. Weir's Literature class, and how this simple but negative thought process causes a tragedy of the ultimate kind. It is this happenstance in the movie that causes the viewer to be overwhelmed by the fervency of speaking out against such injustice. This goes further like salt in a wound when the Mr. Weir is fired from his job, forcing all the students he inspired the most to, quite literally, stand up for what they believe in.
The intellectual and individual battle of the passionate heart versus a cold traditional mind is what the viewer can't help but feel, as it possesses an extraordinary ability to insight verse one's heart and head. This passion for poetry and deep emotion of the film imprints the viewer so much, that the compulsion to write is too strong to fight.
3) Mansfield Park (1999)
Another rendition of Jane Austen's Classics, the 1999 movie "Mansfield Park", is a movie that centers around the intellectual mind and nonsensical stories from young Fanny Price and how she deals with living with relatives that not only see her as less than, but who also have vices that they attempt to shroud in this idea propriety that all of "good breeding" are expected to have. Of course, with all things of such nature, there needs to be catalyst to light the truth. For them, this comes in the form of an advantageous brother and sister, Henry and Mary Crawford, as they set their greedy sights upon the family.
Once again we are brought to the lovely diction of the era, this time it is spoken by a highly opinionated intellectual woman who is breaking out of her shell. The issues of adultery, slavery, marriage, and poverty are experienced by the viewer through Fanny's eyes, this young woman who has a passion for writing about history to highlight it's ridiculousness, but has, also, that innocence of not being around such things at a constant. Within this struggle to understand these thing's, in Fanny's world, she, of course, has too much of an understanding of her heart and how much she truly loves Edmund, her cousin. The in-depth connection that is forged between the viewer and the main character brings forth a desire for one to take a look around at their own life, put that defiant pen to paper, and to let things be shown as they truly are with a tone that is filled with sarcasm.
4) Northanger Abbey
The last period drama featured on this list is "Northanger Abbey", another 2007 film adaptation of a Jane Austen novel. In this story you see life through the eyes of Catherine Morlan, a young woman of humble origin, who is given to flights of fanciful thought and always has her head in the gothic novels. Soon she is brought into society by well-off family friends and not long after, a whole mess of drama unfolds. She meets a lovely young man by the name of Henry Tilney who's strict father is the victim of rumors regarding the death of his wife.
All through out the movie, the viewer witnesses the thoughts of this extremely imaginative young woman, which any writer can relate to, because any writer has to be also a reader. Her dramatic scenes of fancy include scandalous matters of the heart, kidnappings, swordfight, and rescuing the damsels in destress. The viewer is also sucked in to this overactive imagination, as she tries to figure out if the rumor's of Henry's father actually have root in truth. The dramatic flair of this young woman's thoughts as they are played out on the screen are enough to light any writers imaginative flame by bringing forth a relatable fantastical mindset.
For more on this film:
- Northanger Abbey (TV Movie 2007) - IMDb
Directed by Jon Jones. With Geraldine James, Michael Judd, Julia Dearden, Gerry O'Brien. A young woman's penchant for sensational Gothic novels leads to misunderstandings in the matters of the heart.
5) Freedom Writers (2007)
"Freedom Writers" brings out the reflective tool every writer possesses, as it shows how one teacher seeks to teach students who are subjected to extreme amounts of violence every day. Based on a true story, this 2007 movie shows the challenges Erin Gruwell puts on herself and her students to, not only prove wrong the other instructors' final opinion on her kids, but to, more importantly, show her students that they can aspire for a better future than what they think.
As this change in thought process is taking root for each student, the viewer is taken with Mrs. Guwell as she glimpses into the lives of a few students in her class through their journal entries. Each student's similar life story about how they are basically surviving life, in the different gangs in Long Beach, urges Mrs. Gruwell to teach them with material that they can can actually relate to and, in doing so, manages to connect with them in a meaningful way. This shows them that she recognizes their struggle, and that there is hope in them striving to become more than what is expected of them: to end up dead before 18.
This movie is quite a tear-jerker and by the end has the viewer not only reflecting on their own experiences and struggles but also about what struggles others might be going through as well.
6) Tamara Drew (2010)
"Tamara Drew" is one of those films where chaos is occuring, but all with, quite literally, a writer's flare. In the peaceful english countryside is the peaceful writer's retreit run by sweet Beth Hardiment, with the help of Andy Cobb. Beth's husband is famous writer Nicholas Hardiment, an author know for his best selling crime novels, but also known for his cheating ways. Soon, this peaceful setting is uprooted by the return of Journalist Tamara Drew, who seems to not only have gotten a nose job, but also had roots in everyone's past except for sweet Glen, of course, who is in love with the beautiful land and it's beautiful keeper, Beth.
Instantly, in the movie's opening, you are witness to not only gorgeous, hard working Andy Cobb, but also the inner dialogue of the writers on the retreat. From that point on, it starts to highlight the things that every writer can relate to, like the deep desire to be published, the road blocks we hit in our writing, readability, those who support and inspire us, as well as how life can take us away from the word for a while. This also has a moral theme that flows through the actions of every main character, bringing out a meaningful message about what not to do and why. It shows the way change is ushered into a stagnant setting, as chaos gives to a build, a climactic peak, and then a gradual dip where all falls into place.
The impactful bit of crazy happenstance and writer drama has the viewer wondering, with awe at how such a mess could be solved without fate and change somehow taking the reins. This element also brings to a writer's mind a question the purpose certain changes come into our life.
7) Not Another Happy Ending
"Not Another Happy Ending" is about new best selling author, Jane Lockhart and her struggling publisher Tom Duval and how he tries his best to free Jane from her writer's block by making her as miserable as she was when she wrote her first novel. Meanwhile, Jane is seeing the main character of her book, Darcy, who won't leaver her alone until she finishes the last chapter.
Not only does this movie illustrate the unique little quirks that every writer has, but also offers the visual of Jane actually having her hands on the keys, typing away. This visual stimuli is the perfect way to get that itch in your fingers to write. The underlining love story also brings the understanding of the dynamic partnership between Tom and Jane. His attention to detail allows her intense emotions to grace the page with every bit of beauty. His understanding of her is more profound because he loves her and can see who she really is, especially when she writes. Jane is also not ignorant to this because it was her character, Darcy, that pointed out that the reason she was blocked was because of the thought of never seeing Tom again. Both of these characters are stubborn and and constantly clash, but when their collaboration is finalized, it is always a master piece and a testament to their love for each other.
This glimpse into their dynamic ralationship and the visual of writing makes for a movie that inspires one to go into the more complex interactions of people with eachother. In doing so, it is recognized that people are more complex beings than what we may think, and the expression of such only deserves the depth of one who knows this to be true, as writer's do.
Remember Your Tools
All these movies I have watched and loved from the beginning for their inspiration and the desire for the written word that they bring out of me. Sometimes all it takes is for me to watch a scene where Jane Lockhart is typing away at her keys intensely, or hear the impassioned pain in Anne Eliot's words as she watches the man she loves, seemingly, become "quite attached to another". Either way, these movies are great tools to get you out of writer's block, inspire the verse right out of your heart, and/or just remind you why it is you have a writer's heart in the first place. Never give up on yourself or the passion you have for the written word, and stay inspired my friends.
Mary Spotted Eagle Woman Roberts (author) from Albuquerque on December 02, 2016:
I'm glad to hear it Kathleen! These movies are pretty much my guilty pleasure as well and I hope you enjoy every one. Each has impacted me in a very profound way and I hope they do the same for you. :)
Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on December 02, 2016:
I recently read some advice for writers that included watching your favorite movies and TV shows to learn how to write dialogue. Gave me the green light for one of my guilty pleasures. I'll add these gems to my to-watch list.