50 Best Films About Writers, Ranked

Hollywood is famous for its treatment of writers. They are the low man on the totem pole, the person banned from the set, the guy who wrote the Great American novel drinking himself to death in Los Angeles, rewriting dumb scripts. It’s funny, as Hollywood — along with movies around the world — is obsessed with portraying “writers” on screen, which is a weird profession to lionize as writing is the least visually pleasing job of all.

There are a lot of bad movies about writers out there. At Flavorwire, we wanted to make the definitive list of the 50 Best Films About Writers of all time, with the requisite mix of biopics, book adaptations (what’s up Stephen King and John Irving), foreign films that actually feature female writers, po-mo meta surrealist studies of madness (very frequent), and the works of Woody Allen. (A thank you to writer Alexander Chee, whose lament about writers’ movies served as the inspiration.) Punch the keys and read this list:


Photo by Focus/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

50. Sylvia (2003), directed by Christine Jeffs

Sylvia Plath deserves a better biopic. As they didn’t get the rights to her poetry, Paltrow’s version of the doomed poetess is the most annoying girl in your class, the one who’s always reciting whole swaths of arcane poetry just to prove how smart she is. Daniel Craig, also, is far too short to believably have any of Ted Hughes’ physicality. The mood is right, and the scenery is beautiful, and the occasional Boston Brahmin accents are annoying, and if you are a girl who had a Plath phase, you may find this film to have a goofy camp appeal.