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September 2014

Get inspired to learn English with these linguistics-filled films!

10 Films to Watch that Will Inspire Your English

Screenwriting is an art, and some films are better than others when it comes to tight and well-written scripts. The right film brings out the best in the English language and can inspire students with an understanding of the heights of the language’s potential. Today we take a look at 10 films to watch that will inspire your English (in no particular order).

Dead Poets Society

The recent passing of the talented Robin Williams has brought back to light his impressive filmography. Of his many great movies, one of the most inspiring is Dead Poets Society, the story of an English professor who teaches his students the inspiring power of poetry while they all learn lessons in life in the process.

Shakespeare in Love

No one mastered the English language better than William Shakespeare. The seven-Oscar-winning film Shakespeare in Love depicts the playwright in his youth, poor and longing for ideas, until he meets and falls in love with his muse who ultimately inspires his greatest play, Romeo and Juliet.

Bright Star

Bright Star tells the story of the legendary 19th-century poet John Keats and his relationship with a woman named Fanny Brawne, to whom he wrote many letters. The love story inspires with its romance and based-on-real-events retelling of one of literature's greatest figures.

Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen’s fanciful film, Midnight in Paris, is a 1920s literature fan’s dream. Featuring the Lost Generation’s greatest masters such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, T.S. Elliot, and notable patrons and artists like Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso, and Salvador Dalí, the film follows a young writer’s journey through both Paris and time itself. It’s also a great film for those who find themselves transfixed and longing for times past.


Howl follows Allen Ginsberg as he writes his most famous poem by the same name. Featuring an obscenity trial for his being a free-minded writer in a more conservative time, the film features also notable Beat Generation writers like Jack Kerouac.

Finding Neverland

One of history’s most beloved stories is J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, and who better to star as the imaginative author than Johnny Depp? The Oscar-winning film, Finding Neverland, shows the inspiration behind Barrie’s story through his interactions with a family.

Ruby Sparks

What if your literary creations came true? This is exactly what happens in Ruby Sparks, the story of how a young novelist with writer's block finds romance in one of his own female characters somehow brought to life. Complications ensue, of course, especially when he thinks he can write his way out of his problems.


A masterpiece by writer Charlie Kaufman and director Spike Jonze, Adaptation is the telling of a fictionalized version of Charlie Kaufman as he attempts to write a screenplay written by a fictionalized version of New Yorker author Susan Orlean. The clever and intricately woven tale breaks conventions of what a script can be, making the story jump to life in remarkable ways.

Stranger Than Fiction

Stranger Than Fiction follows the story of an IRS auditor who discovers that a novelist is actually writing his life, as he begins to hear her voice narrating everything. Complications arise when he learns of her ultimate plan of leading him to his death. In an attempt to stop his fatal conclusion, he rushes off to find her and change his ending.

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

Written and directed by legendary British playwright Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead follows two of the side characters in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The humorous portrayal paired with the excellent acting abilities of Gary Oldman and Tim Roth give this behind-the-scenes look at the tragic king’s story a big boost.

What English films do you find most inspiring? Let us know on Facebook and be sure to “like” TELC English for more articles on language learning and culture!