I’m pretty sure I share this with virtually everyone in the planet: I love movies. And while for me the activity of watching movies started out as mere entertainment, I started to realize how I particularly enjoy some movies with a certain vibe, which I can’t figure out until lately. One day I decided that it’s time for me make a list of my favorite movies, partly because I think that’s a fun thing to do, and partly because I think I’ll save it for bad days (while actually I did watch them on a regular basis over and over again).
Then I found a significant amount of creative pursuit movies on my list. In almost all my favorite movies, the main characters are professional creatives or have some kind of a creative endeavours: as a writer, singer, creator, actor, or dancer. And you know what, it feels awesome to know yourself a little better. I’ve been watching more creative pursuit movies since, and here are my favorite:
Entertaining Creative Pursuit Movies
The Help (2011)
The story took place during the civil right movements in the 1960s, about an aspiring author, Skeeter (Emma Stone) who decides to write a tell-all book about African American maids. This movie is heartwarming in so many ways as it captures the lives and hardships faced by “the help” (Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer), but also their warmth and kindness. I was amazed by Skeeter’s bold and tireless (and creative!) efforts to represent the diminished voice of the maids.
Begin Again (2013)
Dan (Mark Ruffalo) met Gretta (Keira Knightley), an independent singer-songwriter, when he was struggling with his record label company. The movie captures the two musicians’ creative journey making music in the outdoors of New York City. I enjoy the movie’s original soundtrack, especially Coming Up Roses (performed by Keira Knightley) and Lost Stars (performed by Adam Levine, also starring as Gretta’s ex-boyfriend).
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
As an aspiring journalist, at first Andrea (Anne Hathaway) wasn’t very fond of the job she landed as a second assistant to Runway fashion magazine’s editor-in-chief, Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep). She didn’t enjoy any of the company culture of high fashion and lifestyle, but put up with the job anyway with the hopes that the experience could help her find another job later. The story follows Andrea’s journey reinventing herself in the job (and in Paris!).
Joy Mangano (Jennifer Lawrence) is a terrific businesswoman alright. She was known for her business empire that made her millions. But she’s also a creative; Joy creates things. She invented the self-wringing Miracle Mop through a process that would not be less than a creative process. I like how the movie captures her creative approach to things and her struggling journey to market what she created.
Grace of Monaco (2014)
Grace Kelly sure had many impressive aspects of identity that makes her so iconic. She was the Princess of Monaco. She was also an activist, and a sensational actress in her time. Even though the movie focuses on Grace’s life after she married the Prince of Monaco and left her acting career, the plot follows her strive to take the main role offered by Hitchcock for the film Marnie in 1962. Grace (Nicole Kidman) struggled to get approval while continue learning to become a better actress and princess and woman.
Ruby Sparks (2012)
Calvin (Paul Dano) is an introverted young novelist, who one day decided to write about a girl he once had a dream about. Conflict arise when the fictional girl that he named Ruby (Zoe Kazan) somehow came to life, perfectly matching not only the description but also the narration he had wrote about the girl’s life. Things got crazy when Calvin, who had decided to stop writing about Ruby and pursue a real relationship with her, got jealous and finally revealed how she’s just a product of his writing.
Obvious Child (2014)
Donna Stern (Jenny Slate) is a stand-up comedian who got dumped in the bathroom after performing, had a one-night stand with Max (Jake Lacy), got pregnant, and have to schedule her abortion on Valentine’s Day. I love how this movie portrays the character’s tragedies in such a comical way that’s so interesting and intriguing to watch.
Apartment Troubles (2014)
Nicole (Jess Weixler) and Olivia (Jennifer Prediger) are two roommates struggling to make money out of their artistic endeavors. On the verge of eviction, the two embark on a journey to ask help from Nicole’s wealthy aunt, who later suggest them to audition at a TV talent show she produced. The two then faced with the mainstream audience’s rather singular taste on art and talent, and failed the audition. Jess Weixler and Jennifer Prediger who played the two main characters also wrote and directed the movie. The film itself is an impressive creative pursuit!
Black Swan (2010)
This movie portrays a complicated creative process experienced by Nina (Natalie Portman), a professional dancer who strive to get the lead role in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. While her portrayal of the White Swan was impeccable, Nina struggled to elaborate her dark side for Black Swan before she found herself lost in it.
What’s your favorite movies about creative pursuits? What movies do you think I should watch next? I would love to know your recommendations!