Would you steal another writer’s work?

Put - The - Manuscript - Down - Bradley!
Put – The – Manuscript – Down – Bradley!

The Words is a 2012 movie written by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, which pretty much went under the radar.  Well, under my radar anyway – which is highly unusual because it stars the not-so-bad-looking Bradley Cooper (who also happens to be a pretty brilliant actor :))  and it’s about a struggling author, trying to get his manuscript published (ring any bells?) I was intrigued by the premise; an author who keeps having his work rejected, stumbles across a leather portfolio in an antique shop in Paris (as you do) which only happens to contain the most amazing manuscript he’s ever read.  And therein lies the conflict; what should he do?  There is no name on the manuscript, and it is so old that the author is probably dead by now.  Would anyone ever know if he passed the writing off as his own?

  This is a fantastic movie for writers, as it gives a great insight into the publishing world and what lengths authors will go to, to have their work published.  We all hear how important it is to create an ‘author platform’ and one wonders if publishers put this ‘platform’ above the actual writing.  Cooper is perfect for this role, as he embodies that whole romantic notion of what being a writer is.  He acts as though the world owes him a living and really cannot cope when things don’t work out as he had planned.  And bless him, he always looks so guilty, which isn’t a good look for a literary thief!   Jeremy Irons brings a sense of gravitas to the historical aspects of the film and delivers the great line,

“Do you think you can steal a man’s life and expect there’ll be no price to pay?”

The plot was so thoroughly engaging, so very thought-provoking that I’ve watched it several times since. Plagiarism is a huge issue at the moment and I think this film raises a lot of interesting questions.  I won’t give away anymore of the plot, so as not to hinder your enjoyment, but here is the blurb just to whet your appetite 🙂

The Words follows young writer Rory Jansen who finally achieves long sought after literary success after publishing the next great American novel. There’s only one catch – he didn’t write it. As the past comes back to haunt him and his literary star continues to rise, Jansen is forced to confront the steep price that must be paid for stealing another man’s work and for placing ambition and success above life’s most fundamental three words. (CBS Film)

You can read my 100% original novels here, but please don’t copy them 🙂 : The Mysterious Bakery On Rue de Paris (7) - Copy Amazon US   Amazon UK   Barnes & Noble   iTunes  Kobo

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2 thoughts on “Would you steal another writer’s work?

  1. I saw it too and it provoked interesting post-viewing conversation between myself and my husband (a screenwriter).
    I just kept wanting him to put his arse on the seat and just write…but then there’d have been no movie 🙂

    1. You’re just like me – I keep arguing against plots and then realise that’s what makes the story! An interesting point is when the publisher reveals that his own subsequent work wouldn’t have been good enough without ‘The Words’ that got his foot in the door. Ouch 😦 Poor old Bradders!

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