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The Writer In A Knight's Tale and Moulin Rouge
April 14, 2003

A Knight’s Tale and Moulin Rouge are two movies that depict the writer.

It’s been a while since I laughed so hard at a scene in a movie.  What is this scene?  Possibly, you, too, laughed when you saw this same scene.

It is in the latter opening segment of A Knights Tale.  The writer, Chaucer, walks in stark naked, nonchalant, going on about his business, on his journey to whatever or wherever.  The actor is Paul Bettany.  Because I was familiar with him in A Beautiful Mind and will see him again in Master and Commander, I felt empathy for his penniless state, the kind where there is nothing else to do but laugh.  He was without a care in the world because what else is there to lose when the shirt off your back has been taken?

This image of the writer is reiterated in Moulin Rouge.  Ewan McGregor’s character is in France.  He is a starving and aspiring writer who becomes entangled in the world of Nicole Kidman’s character.  Fortunately, the movie shows how the writer, in the end, triumphs in some small way.

Bettany’s character has a gambling problem.  McGregor’s character falls in love with Kidman.  With these two characters combined, you have a writer who knows his writing is a gamble, but at the same time he knows his writing is an art that gives him experiences and passions in life, real or imagined.

 

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