Since I’ve been highlighting some real-life librarian style lately, as seen in the most recent post about my librarian-themed jewelry collection, let’s now revisit some reel librarian style! Back in 2016, I spotlighted stylish reel librarians in 2 posts, here and here, and it felt high time to revisit some of the style from reel librarians and archivists I’ve appreciated in the last few years… and add more variety to the list!
(And for a more in-depth, critical analysis of reel librarian style, be sure to check out this post, “Beauty, dress codes, and fashion: Examining twenty fictional White female librarians,” on Burkely Hermann’s Pop Culture Library Review site.)
“Amma” Treadeau in Beautiful Creatures (2013)
Viola Davis plays Amarie “Amma” Treadeau in Beautiful Creatures (2013), and her character in the movie merged two characters from the source novel: Amma Treadeau, a grandmotherly figure and Seer, and Marian Ashcroft, the local librarian (and librarian of the secret Caster libraries). Viola Davis is the best (or only?) reason to watch this middling film, as she gives it her all in a multi-faceted portrayal. She also gives it her all in the style department.
Here’s how I described Amma’s style in my first analysis post about the movie:
I love that her hairstyle, clothing, and jewelry all reflect her Black and African identity and culture. Amma comes across as very rooted in her personal identity, and that her culture — and her personal expression of that culture — help ground her. She experiments with patterns and colors, and her jewelry is always front-and-center. Amma is no wallflower reel librarian. As a Black woman in a South Carolina town that seems mostly full of White people (except at church), there’s no way she could visually blend in, even if she wanted to. And it’s clear she doesn’t want to blend in; rather, she seems to radiate joy and self-confidence in her personal appearance. I found myself looking for Amma in every scene, eagerly anticipating what amazing jewelry or pattern-mixing combination she would wear next.
Related post: A reel librarian’s multi-faceted role in ‘Beautiful Creatures’ (2013)
Lucienne in The Sandman (2022- )
I am a newcomer to The Sandman realm, and I live-tweeted my reactions last fall while watching the first season of The Sandman TV series adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s iconic series of graphic novels. I LOVED LOVED LOVED the character of Lucienne, the librarian of The Dreaming, played by Vivienne Acheampong, a British actress of Ghanaian heritage.
Here’s what I wrote in my recap reactions post:
Lucienne, the librarian of The Dreaming, played by Vivienne Acheampong. Loved EVERYTHING about this portrayal and character, the actor, the costume, the little elf ears, everything.
Lucienne’s style is very buttoned-up, very tailored, with collared shirts, black suit coat, and waistcoat. I liked the subtle bits of stylish touches like the watch chain on the waistcoat, the skinny little ties/cravats, the swirling swallowtails on the long coat, and the round eyeglasses. Plus, in at least one glorious episode, Lucienne wears a suit in a deep purple color!
Related post: My thoughts, reactions, and questions while watching ‘The Sandman’ TV series
All the librarians in A Winter Romance (2021)
A Winter Romance stars White actress Jessica Lowndes as reel librarian Taylor, and also features two Black women as library directors, Jenni Burke as Linda and Darlene Cooke as Joyce. Besides the love of research that Taylor demonstrates throughout this TV movie, the aspect I most enjoyed was the buffet of reel librarian style onscreen, with different kinds of librarian style, both professional and casual style, on different women and age ranges. Each reel librarian had their own distinctive style, which was a treat to see onscreen.
In fact, “These librarians have style” was #30 in my post featuring 31 thoughts and questions I had while watching this TV romance! See the full post below:
Related post: 31 thoughts and questions I had while watching ‘A Winter Romance’ (2021)
Adaline in The Age of Adaline (2015)
In late 2016, I watched The Age of Adaline (2015), starring Blake Lively in the title role. Adaline works in San Francisco Heritage Society’s library and archives. In my analysis post, I described her AMAZING style this way:
We also get introduced to the style of Adaline, who is in her prime — and dresses accordingly — through multiple decades. She has a classic style, which comes across as retro-inspired in the present day. She is a lady, and her clothing and hairstyles reflect that. I am definitely adding Adaline to my list of most stylish reel librarians!
I admit it, I’ve rewatched The Age of Adaline just for the swoonworthy style!
Related post: A reel librarian for the ages in ‘The Age of Adaline’
Delores Rodriguez in Just Cause (1995)
The thriller Just Cause (1995) stars Sean Connery, Laurence Fishburne, Blair Underwood, Kate Capshaw, and Ed Harris, and also features Emmy-nominated comedian Liz Torres as newspaper archivist Delores Rodriguez.
Although this film itself has major issues — not least of which that Delores is the ONLY LATINX PERSON in a film set in and around Miami and southern Florida, yeah righhhhhhhhhht — let’s for now just enjoy Delores’s fun, colorful style and accessories:
You can read my entire post below:
Related post: ‘Just Cause’ to re-examine a Latina newspaper archivist portrayal
Deborah and Evelyn in All About Evil (2010)
Indie horror film All About Evil (2010) was finallllllllly released on Blu-Ray last year, so I was finally able to see this cult classic movie that stars two reel librarians: Natasha Lyonne as Deborah Tennis, and Mink Stole as Evelyn. Deb’s style really evolves AFTER she quits the public library to run her late father’s movie theater; her style, hair, and makeup reflect stylish screen icons, such as Clara Bow and Joan Crawford. Evelyn, the director of a public library branch in San Francisco, also shows a bit of personality in her bold colors, printed tops, and costume jewelry.
Enjoy more librarian style and shenanigans here in my analysis post for All About Evil:
Related post: All about the reel librarians in ‘All About Evil’ (2010)
Any favorites of yours here? Do you have more stylish reel librarians to add to the list? Please leave a comment and share!
- The Age of Adaline. Dir. Lee Toland Krieger. Perf. Blake Lively, Michiel Huisman, Harrison Ford, Ellen Burstyn. Lionsgate, 2015.
- All About Evil. Dir. Joshua Grannell. Perf. Natasha Lyonne, Mink Stole, Thomas Dekker, Cassandra Peterson. Severin Films, 2010.
- Beautiful Creatures. Dir. Richard LaGravenese. Perf. Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, Emma Thompson. Summit, 2013. Based on the 2009 novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.
- Just Cause. Dir. Arne Glimcher. Perf. Sean Connery, Laurence Fishburne, Blair Underwood, Kate Capshaw, Ed Harris. Warner Bros., 1995.
- The Sandman. Created by Neil Gaiman, David S. Goyer, and Allan Heinberg. Perf. Tom Sturridge, Vivienne Acheampong, Boyd Holbrook, David Thewlis, Jenna Coleman, Gwendolyn Christie, Kirby Howell-Baptiste. Netflix, 2022. Based on the graphic novel series by Neil Gaiman.
- A Winter Romance (aka Colors of Love, An Autumn Romance). Dir. Bradley Walsh. Perf. Jessica Lowndes, Chad Michael Murray, Dennis Andres. Hideaway Pictures via Amazon Prime Video, 2021. Based on the novel The Tycoon’s Kiss by Jane Porter.
2 thoughts on “More stylish reel librarians + archivists”
Thanks for the mention here! Its always great to write in-depth, critical analysis of reel librarian style, for sure, and would love to do more on librarian style at some point in the future. I just wrote about fictional librarians and hair buns (and some that don’t have them, especially librarians in anime) and that may be of interest. I also have four posts I published in February about Black librarians, or another in December about librarians of color and their fictional depictions. In any case, I have not watched any of these films, but I might have to at some point, as this post is making my intrigued at watching these films.
Thanks, Burkely! Yes, you’ve written a lot of really good, in-depth posts that relate to aspects of style and appearance for fictional depictions of librarians in different media. 🙂
Here are some more of your post links for folx to enjoy: