Movies based on books are plentiful of course, but movies about books, bookstores and booksellers, in the broader sense are fewer and far between. A few of our favorite movies and videos with book themes – [old books, rare books, bookstores, booksellers, book mysteries, etc.] are listed below. When you’re not reading a book, these are good entertainment!
A delightful creation from Type Bookstore in Toronto Canada – what happens in the bookstore after everyone has gone home. Sort of a Toy Story with books making use of stop animation and a tight soundtrack to pull off an original production. I love how the books rearrange themselves by color and also the part where the little book reads the big book. Definitely a fun one for the whole family to watch.
Just nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short. The Louisiana based production company Moonbot Studios created this 15 minute gem. It conveys the magical power of books in a way I haven’t seen captured before. I love the scene where the main character performs surgery on an old book – just charming. Hopefully this one wins the Oscar!
“Their love for books became a love for each other.” This 1987 movie features Anthony Hopkins as a British bookseller and Anne Bancroft as an American writer. They fall in love via their letters to each, but alas they never meet. So you can imagine it is a rather restrained and subtle work. It’s serious and authentic to the book trade, unlike many elements of the next two.
Movies featuring booksellers or set in bookstores are a little harder to choose from. I’m not thrilled with all of them in their entirety (maybe movie about books make for better short films, such as the above, which is ironic of course given how long a real book can hold your attention!) There are high points and low points in this movie directed by Roman Polanski and starring Johnny Depp. It’s about a rare book dealer hired by a bibliophile to validate his copy of a demonic text.
The polar opposite of the dark and gloomy Ninth Gate is this happy romantic comedy from Nora Ephron. Starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan as competing booksellers (Tom Hanks = big corporate evil bookseller and Meg Ryan = small independent struggling to survive) who are having a secret (unbeknownst to them) online e-mail relationship. The whole AOL inspired title seems dated but the bookseller war of big vs. small, continues . . .
Before there was e-mail in You’ve Got Mail, there was real mail! The Love Letter stars Kate Capshaw as a bookstore owner in New England. Through a chain of events tied together by a mysterious love letter of unknown origin, a romance unfolds. Based on a novel of the same name by Cathleen Schine, the movie and the book are entertaining and romantic without flashy effects.
I’ll have to return to this post or write up a new one to include my deep thoughts on Pamela Anderson as a bookseller in Stacked!