Showing posts with label jennifer connelly. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jennifer connelly. Show all posts

8 November 2013

Literary Genius - Writers in Movies

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Stuck in Love is a tale of complicated relationships, headed by divorced couple Bill and Erica, played by stars Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Connelly. Bill is a writer suffering from a block since his wife left him for a younger man, but through his love of novels, his teenage children (Lily Collins and Natt Wolf) begin to find success in the industry. Here, we take a look at films which feature characters whose novelist skills mould the film they are in.

Ruby Sparks (2012)

Paul Dano plays Calvin Weir-Fields, a young novelist struggling to recreate the success of his first novel. Upon an assignment from his therapist, Calvin begins creating a female character named Ruby Sparks who he admits he’s falling in love with. One day he returns home to find Ruby alive and in his kitchen. Directed by duo Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (the couple behind 2006’s Little Miss Sunshine), Ruby Sparks is an original idea showcasing a novelist’s obsession with creating the perfect character.

Barton Fink (1991)

The Coen Brothers’ audacious mind-bender follows John Turturro’s New York City playwright who is hired to write film scripts in Hollywood; plagued by strange goings-on quite probably fuelled by the insurance salesman next door (played by Coen stalwart, John Goodman), Barton Fink encapsulates a writer’s frustration and downward spiral into a studio system that dictates what you can and can’t write.

The Player (1992)

Robert Altman’s satire follows Hollywood executive Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins) who murders an aspiring screenwriter - played by Vincent D’Onofrio - he believes to have been sending him death threats. Perhaps most renowned for its opening sequence shot lasting 7 minutes (and 47 seconds, to be precise), The Player is a homage to the Hollywood studio system and the paranoia it may cause.

Misery (1990)

Look at most Stephen King adaptations and it’s a pretty good bet your lead character is a novelist; perhaps the most memorable however is Rob Reiner’s Misery, one of the tensest film-watching experiences on offer. James Caan plays the author Paul Sheldon, most famous for creating a series of novels featuring the heroine Misery Chastain. Pulled into safety following a car crash by ‘number one fan’ Annie Wilkes (an Oscar-winning Kathy Bates), Sheldon’s survival turns into a nightmare when Annie is none-too-pleased with the author’s decision to kill off Misery in the new novel. With both legs broken, Paul is forced to re-write a version to the liking of his captor.

Midnight in Paris (2011)

Many of Woody Allen’s films feature a central character who is, in one way or another, a writer; whether he’s a comedian or a biographer, Allen loves to focus on characters with a taste for the literal. None more so than in Midnight in Paris in which Owen Wilson’s screenwriter Gil Pender is thrown back to the 1920s at the stroke of midnight during a visit to Paris with his pressurising fiancĂ©, Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her overbearing parents. Whilst there, he encounters his literary influences - ranging from F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleston), Cole Porter (Yves Heck) and Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll) whom agrees to take a look at his novel.

Adaptation (2002)

Spike Jonze’s bizarre semi-autobiographical film about screenwriter Charlie Kaufman’s struggle to bring non-fiction story The Orchid Thief to the big-screen is the offbeat meta-film you’d expect from the blending of these two talents. Played by an on-form Nicolas Cage, Kaufman (and his fictional twin brother) is struck with writers block - heightened by his brother’s latest success in selling his script for six figures. Adaptation is a fulfilling yet surreal experience that gives you the impression of witnessing events as they are being written, such is the strange nature of this story.

Capote (2005)

We couldn’t write this list without including a biographical portrayal of a famous author, and we settled for Capote, then factual depiction of events that occurred in the lead-up to Truman Capote’s novel In Cold Blood. Oscar-winning Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the softly-spoken effeminate writer who is captivated by the news story he reads in The New York Times of a family friend finding the bodies of a family murdered in Kansas. Amongst other things, Bennett Miller’s film showcases the friendship between Capote and To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee.

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

This 1950s film noir stars William Holden as unsuccessful screenwriter Joe Gillis and Gloria Swanson as faded silent movie actress Norma Desmond, who draws him into a fantasy world where she dreams of making a triumphant return to the big screen. Beginning with his death, Gillis narrates the events that led up to this moment.

Wonder Boys (2000)

This critically-acclaimed film from Curtis Hanson features Michael Douglas as a creative writing university teacher; bogged down by his new-found single lifestyle when his young wife leaves him, Grady Tripp is suffering from a serious bout of writer’s block. Things get worse when his editor (Robert Downey, Jr.) arrives in town to read his latest novel but express interest in one of his students (Tobey Maguire). A flop upon release, Wonder Boys has found love since and is a critical achievement.

Stuck In Love is out now on Digital Platforms and released on Blu-ray and DVD on 18th November 2013 from Koch Media