Monday, September 28, 2015

Movie Monday 9/28 - The Words

Last week, I started this new feature with weekly movie reviews. My husband was out of town last week, so I chose a movie with absolutely no action, shooting, or car chases. This movie is perfect for book lovers, readers, and writers:

I watched The Words, an intricate story within a story within a story. The film opens with Dennis Quaid as Clay Hammond, an acclaimed author reading from his latest novel at a posh event in NYC. The action then shifts to the story that Hammond is reading, about a struggling young writer named Rory Jansen, played by Bradley Cooper, and his beautiful longtime girlfriend Dora, played by Zoe Saldana. Rory wants to be a novelist, but his father is urging him to join the family business or at least "get a real job" so he can support himself. Rory spends years working away at a literary novel and finally sends it out. It is rejected by every agent in NY, though one agent calls him into his office to explain that it's a beautiful piece of writing but won't sell. Rory finally gets a ground-level job as mail boy at a large literary agency and asks Dora to marry him. They honeymoon in Paris, where Rory admires an old leather briefcase in an antique shop, so Dora buys it for him. After returning home, Rory discovers a manuscript hidden in the old case, about a WWII American soldier stationed in Paris who fell in love with a young French woman - and at that point, the action switches again to that story, as Rory reads about the young man and woman in Paris and is brought to tears by the beautifully written story. Frustrated that he can't seem to write anything himself, Rory starts to retype the old manuscript in his computer, just to feel the perfectly written story come through his fingertips. Dora finds the file the next day, assumes that he wrote it, and urges him to submit it. The novel is published and both it and Rory became a huge success. He tries to forget his guilt over copying the manuscript, until he meets an old man who claims that he wrote the story, back in Paris decades ago.

This is a story told in layers, as Clay narrates his novel about Rory and Rory copies the story about the then-young man in Paris. But mostly, it is a story about an ethical dilemma and the aftermath of ignoring your conscience. Though its main topic is plagiarism, this movie isn't just for writers. It's about life and dreams, decisions and consequences. The acting is all top-notch, as you might have guessed from the all-star cast, and the plot is unique and intricate. Though I set out to choose a movie different from the thrillers we usually watch, The Words has its own kind of suspense, as you wonder whether Rory will get away with his crime, how he'll fix things with the old man, and what Clay's own story is. It kept me riveted - and guessing - right up until the end.

Have you seen any good movies lately?

4 comments:

  1. As a writer, I loved this film for two reasons: books and Bradley Cooper! Great review!

    http://thewhisperbox.com

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    1. Me, too, Dana! This is an especially good movie for writers :)

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  2. I am so glad I found your post because I've wanted to see this movie for a while! I am a huge fan of Zoe & Bradley. Great post & can't wait to watch! Thank you for linking up with Small Victories Sunday linkup!

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    1. Great! Hope you enjoy it!

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