Monday, September 28, 2015

Movie Monday 9/28: The Words

Here I am again on Monday, apologizing for not writing on the blog much last week! I thought last week would be better, finally, and I did improve a little bit at the start of the week, but I hit bottom again by Thursday night. In case you haven't been keeping track (I have!), that's a full month now of being housebound and mostly incapacitated. Despite being at the end of my 2nd round of antibiotics, I still have some bronchitis symptoms, though much milder now. I did actually feel a little better this morning after an awful weekend, but I'm afraid to sound too hopeful after last week!

Anyway, not much writing time/energy last week, but I had plenty of time for reading and watching TV & movies again! My husband was out of town, so I chose a movie with absolutely no action, shooting, or car chases:

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?

P.S. If you like to read, head over to my book blog's Monday post to see what we are reading this week!


Not anymore said...

I saw watch a lot of movies too in the evening. I saw The physician on netflix, and I'm currently watching the white queen series on amazon prime. I love love love Reign, and Galerias Velvet (a spanish language period show), I also like the midwife. I've had chronic fatigue too but I'm hoping I'm getting better now.

Sue Jackson said...

I haven't heard of most of those, Heather, so thanks for sharing them! I also write TV reviews on Tuesdays so you might be interested in those too.

I keep hearing great things about The Midwife - I need to check that one out. Thanks!