This week I don’t any new relevant topics, that are bothering me to philosophize about. Plus, I really enjoy writing lighter stuff, about things that I love or that inspire me. This post belongs to both of these categories, and it is: movies about writers, books and old England.
Besides fantasy and science fiction, one of my favorite genres is drama/biography about different authors or artists. As a creative person myself, I adore watching the paths of writers/artists of different times, because it inspires me a lot. Watching and learning their lives, seeing how they manage to stay true to themselves, not trading their passions for something else, despite all the difficulties and problems they were struggling with, the judging society, hardships of those times, lack of money and support, truly is a motivational boost.
I don’t know why, but I’ve always noticed so many similarities between me and those “heroes“, always the strange one, the “white crow” of the society, living in their own world, being different and weird. Maybe that’s why it’s so pleasant for me to watch them, because they’re some kind of solace for me. Also don’t get me started about the England of 18-19-20th centuries, the architecture of little towns and cities, the breathtaking sceneries of nature, manner of talking, the Victorian and Edwardian styles, gothic elements, mysticism and just the general atmosphere, all are just perfect.
So if you like all those things, here are some movies that you’ll definitely enjoy.
1. Becoming Jane (2006). The movie is about a famous English writer Jane Austen (18-19th centuries). She’s one of my favorite authors. I’ve read all of her works, and even though after a while, you start noticing lots of similarities and it gets kind of boring, I still consider her to be one of the most prominent writers of those times in the romantic genre. The movie shows her life and unhappy love, the decency and social rules, how she refused to follow along the standards of those times, didn’t get married just to “be married” and pursued her dream to be a writer. The beautiful nature, amazing soundtracks, balls and dances, beautiful style and great acting of Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy add more greatness to the movie and I’ve rewatched it quite a lot to be honest.
2. Miss Potter (2006). The movie represents life of Helen Beatrix Potter (19-20th centuries). Beatrix is a writer and illustrator, most known for creating Peter Rabbit, one of the famous character in children’s literature. The movie itself is like a fairy tale, so kind and magical, something that makes you instantly feel better and inspired. You see how her life wasn’t always easy, but again, she stayed true to herself and made a success. You understand that doing something “childish” isn’t always bad, and that no matter what others say, you should not be ashamed of what you do and who you are. And I can clearly see why these authors wrote such masterpieces, because those sceneries are just wonderful. I’m not a jealous person in general, but watching this movie, gotta admit I was pretty jealous.
3. Tolkien (2019). The movie is about J.R.R Tolkien (19-20th centuries), writer of Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. To be honest this is probably my least favorite movie from this list, but still it was totally worth watching. It’s really amazing that writers of those times had so many difficulties, like in this case loosing parents, surviving war, loosing friends, but still managing to stay strong and not collapsing. What I loved the most in this film, was the portrayal of studying years of Tolkien, the amazing atmosphere of Oxford, both university and town, the big libraries, his friendships and T.C.B.S club, and just the student life in general. After that movie I seriously considered applying to Oxford.
3. Mary Shelley (2017), about the author of famous Frankenstein (18-19th centuries). The movie differs from the others from this list with its gothic and mysterious vibes which I just adore. The nature and ancient castle in Scotland, graveyard, the gloomy weather just make me love the movie just for its aesthetics. And it’s interesting to see how Mary was trying to find her own voice and style among the many ones that she read, which, lots of aspiring writers will agree with me, can be quite complicated and challenging. It shows how the famous monster was created and how her life and her relationships had an impact on creation of the book. And I think Elle Fanning was perfect for the role of Mary, she has a great deal of aristocracy and grace in her manners.
5. Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017). This one was particularly important for me, because Winnie the Pooh is my favorite childhood book and later cartoon. The movie shows the life of A.A. Milne (19-20th centuries) and his son Billy, who is portrayed in his books as Christopher Robin. After watching the movie, I really changed my attitude towards my childhood favorite hero, as I saw how difficult it was for a little boy to share his own friend with the rest of the world. I, like many other kids, considered Winnie to be “mine“, and I felt really bad for him, as I imagined myself in his shoes, and I could totally see me getting mad if someone took my friend as their own. The movie shows the process of creating the books, the relationships of Milne with his family, particularly with his son, and growing Billy, and how the fame affected all of them.
6. The Bookshop (2017). These last two movies are not biographies but are book adaptations. This one is about a widow, who follows her dream, moves to a little town and and opens a bookshop. She starts selling lots of books, including forbidden ones, and the society of the town doesn’t take it well. For the first time in my life I saw that living in a little city has its disadvantages, as people can be a lot more conservative and hostile to anything or anyone new. The movie was interesting to watch as it felt quite “real“, the characters and mindset of those times were really plausible, I even thought it was also a biography while watching it.
7. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018), which is also based on a book. This is the movie that inspired me writing this post. It takes place during and after WW2, as it shows the present with flashbacks of events during the war. An author, Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a man, who found her book during war and later organized a book club, as it was the only entertainment allowed in the little town. She instantly felt connected to the club and decided to visit it and to write an article about it. But the longer she stays, the more she gets involved in the lives of these people, for whom the war never ended. And by helping them, she also helps herself follow the right path of life.
I’m pretty sure there are many other amazing movies, that I haven’t watched yet, or watched and forgot to include. But I sincerely enjoyed making this post, as writing about these films, re-reading their plots in order not to forget anything important, finding their photos, making collages made me dive into these wonderful worlds once again, in a little town, a few centuries ago, where life seemed to be more enjoyable despite all the difficulties. And if you didn’t get that warm feeling of books, authors and old English atmosphere, here are some photos I found in pinterest that will convey the aesthetic of those periods. Enjoy!