Beloved Films, Beloved Authors

Films about the lives of authors are always intriguing!  Here we have five films about some of the most beloved authors.

William Shakespeare
Anonymous (2011), directed by Ronald Emmerich, 47% on Rotten Tomatoes, Rhys Ifans as the Earl of Oxford/Rafe Spall as William Shakespeare

This film explores the less-than-popular theory that Shakepeare’s plays were actually written by the Earl of Oxford, who hid behind Shakespeare to remain anonymous.  Whether or not you take the theory seriously, the film can be an interesting one to watch and even spark conversation.


Jane Austen
Becoming Jane (2007), directed by Julian Jarrold, 57% on Rotten Tomatoes, Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen

This film takes a look at Austen’s personal and romantic life, centering on her relationship with Tom Lefroy.  Some audiences really enjoy the romantic focus, while others would prefer a take on Austen that focuses more on her literary accomplishments.


Beatrix Potter
Miss Potter (2006), directed by Chris Noonan, 66% on Rotten Tomatoes, Renee Zellweger as Beatrix Potter

This film about a female author does center on her literary accomplishments, rather than a romantic relationship.  There is an important relationship in the story, but the film is ultimately about Potter’s career and how she works toward her dreams.


P.L. Travers
Saving Mr. Banks (2013), directed by John Lee Hancock, 80% on Rotten Tomatoes, Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers

This film starts “at the very beginning” – showing flashbacks of Travers’ life throughout the film, and ending with the release of Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins (1964).  The movie gives audiences a sense of Travers’ difficulties with turning her beloved nanny into a “cavorting, and twinkling” one.


J.M. Barrie
Finding Neverland (2004), directed by Marc Forster, 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, Johnny Depp as J.M. Barrie

This film highlights Barrie’s controversial relationship with the Llewelyn Davies family, and its impact on his famous Peter Pan.  Sequences that take the audience into Barrie’s imagination add just the right amount of fantasy.