In honor of the New Year, and your one last day to do absolutely whatever you want, here are eight wonderful movies about famous writers for New Year’s Day binge-watching that are both entertaining and inspirational.
From Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Oscar-winning turn as Truman Capote to Jane Campion’s subtly beautiful film on the love affair between John Keats and Fanny Bryce to Nicole Kidman’s prosthetic nose in The Hours, these films will get your year off to a great start and help to expand your reading list in 2016.
This 2005 film starring Philip Seymour Hoffman follows the story of Truman Capote’s true crime “novel” In Cold Blood, from the genesis of the idea to Capote’s harrowing experience falling in with the perpetrators and the truth behind one of the most senseless, notorious crimes in American History.
Recommended Reading: In Cold Blood
In this simply gorgeous film director Jane Campion explores the little-known love affair between poet John Keats (Ben Winshaw) and Fanny Bryce (Abbie Cornish), a true love story that would never come to fruition due to Keats poor health and premature death at the age of 25.
Recommended Reading: The Collected Poems of John Keats
This Oscar winning film, based on the novel by Michael Cunningham, stars Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, and Meryl Streep in a series of intertwined stories all revolving around Virginia Woolf’s 1925 novel, Mrs. Dalloway, and the struggles of mental illness and how the creative temperament effects each woman and their respective families.
Though Gwyneth Paltrow was met with criticism as the choice to play mega-poet Sylvia Plath in this 2003 biopic, the truth is, the movie isn’t all that bad, and neither is Paltrow. With Daniel Craig as the brooding Yorkshire poet (and Plath’s husband) Ted Hughes, this beautiful but tragic movie has its moments, and will make you crack open your college edition of Plath’s poems again.
Recommended Reading: The Collected Poems of Sylvia Plath
Kate Winslet and Judi Dench star respectively as the Irish novelist Iris Murdoch in this fantastic film that tells of her tragic decline into Alzheimer’s Disease, and her relationship with her husband John Bayley. The film is based on Bayley’s memoir, Elegy for Iris, but if you haven’t read Iris Murdoch, there’s no time like the present. She was the author of over 20 spectacular novels.
Recommended Reading: The Sea, The Sea
The End of the Tour
David Foster Wallace is a much beloved, cult figure in the literary community, mostly for his monolithic novel Infinite Jest. The End of the Tour is based on the true story of a writer (played by Jesse Eisenberg)’s journey to interview Wallace (played, surprisingly well by the comedic actor Jason Segel) for Rolling Stone.
The true story of Oscar Wilde’s despicable treatment at the hands of the British government, being tried and imprisoned for sodomy (due to his affair with Lord Alfred Douglas, or Bosie, as Wilde called him) is the tragic story behind this film, with star performances by Stephen Fry who plays Wilde, and a very young Jude Law as Bosie.
Anne Hathaway takes on Jane Austen in this rather silly, but charming 2007 film. Though Hathaway was met with disapproval for daring to be American and play Austen, the chemistry between her and James McAvoy, who plays Austen’s love interest, is delightful, and leaves you wanting to know more about Austen’s life outside of her genius novels.
Recommended Reading: Persuasion