Writers are some of the most fascinating subjects for biopics. Some of the best writers are solitary, alcoholic, disturbed, and gifted, and the writers on this list definitely run the full spectrum. Although their stories have the power to grip readers and not let go, sometimes the story behind the author is the most fascinating part. The best writer biopics tell the stories of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into writing a novel, journalistic piece, academic journal, or poem.
What are the best writer biopics? Capote might top your list. Starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote, this biopic tells the story of the mysterious author who was so obsessed with the gruesome murder of the Cutter family in rural Kansas. The film chronicles Capote’s life as he composes his magnum opus, In Cold Blood. It won Hoffman an Academy Award for his performance. On this list, you’ll also find Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a drug fueled romp based on the life and work of Hunter S. Thompson, the gonzo New Journalism hero portrayed by Johnny Depp. This list also includes writers from bygone eras, including William Shakespeare, as seen in Shakespeare in Love: a moving tale of theatre, love, and betrayal set in Elizabethan England.
We also included Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen’s delightful time-traveling tale set in Roaring '20s Paris. Although the story is mostly about Owen Wilson’s character figuring out who he is, the film features hilarious and delightful portrayals of many legendary authors including Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein.
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