Bradley Cooper as Rory Jansen
Zoe Saldana as Dora Jansen
Jeremy Irons as The Old Man
Dennis Quaid as Clay Hammond
Olivia Wilde as Daniella
In theaters September 7
“We all make choices. The hardest part is to live with them.”
Rory Jansen (Cooper) is a young struggling author; struggling with trying to keep a roof over his head while still trying to follow his dream of writing a great novel. By day, he works for a publishing company and at night, he writes and writes and writes. He and his fiancé, Dora (Saldana), who loves him deeply and believes in his dream, get married. While on their honeymoon in Paris, Dora buys an antique valise for Rory to keep his pages in. It isn’t until long after they return home that Rory discovers a manuscript hidden in a compartment of the valise. When he reads it, the words fill him with awe, envy, and pain. He realizes that he will probably never reach the level of artistry that the author of these pages has. Guided by a creative drive to understand and to connect with what this author was feeling, by channeling, he begins to copy the manuscript hoping for that one instant something might rub off that will fuel his soul. What happens after that will ultimately change his life for better or for worse, forever.
That is just the tip of the emotional iceberg that is “The Words.” That is also the first layer in a complex patchwork of several stories that comprise this very compelling film. Another layer of this story sees successful author Clay Hammond (Quaid) reading excerpts of his bestselling book to an eager crowd, but we’re left to wonder what his real story and motivation for writing that work is. Literary student Daniella (Wilde) wants to get to know Clay a little better to get to that truth.
This movie is about the power of words and the power they have to change our lives; whether it’s to create or to destroy. Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana are heartwarming as a young couple so much in love, building their lives together. Their love is so palpable you can’t help but be swept up in it and feel Dora’s belief in Rory. Rory’s frustration at his craft is the constant growing elephant in his creative room. Solid performances all around from this fabulous cast of stars – each character rings true in this journey of creative angst and personal redemption.
It’s been ages since I have walked out of a film truly speechless. I really don’t want to give away any more of the plot and certainly not any of the plot twists, because I sincerely want you to see this film and be touched by it. I want you to be surprised and inspired, but most of all, touched by it. Please do yourself a great favor and see this film.