Over the years we have seen hundreds of films looking at famous people’s lives ranging from a single moment to the whole life, we have had scientist, musicians, sports stars, President and many more to pick from, but what is your favourite?
We are only have one more round this year which will be film set in space, which will be needed by 29th November 2015 so if you are interested email firstname.lastname@example.org
Darren – Movie Reviews 101
I personally could have picked so many different films here but I went for Rush because I do love Formula One and this provided a history lesson into one of the greatest rivalries of all time between James Hunt and Niki Lauda. The scenes are brilliantly intense and this film also showed that Chris Hemsworth isn’t just a pretty face with both himself and Daniel Bruhl giving Oscar worthy performances. Add in the director of Ron Howard’s caliber and you have a near perfect film.
Khalid – The Blazing Reel
The Social Network (2010)
The problem with most biopics is that…well, they’re boring. And that is the case when you’re trying to document a person’s entire life in a two-hour movie, no matter how famous they are. But with The Social Network, Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher were able to only do justice to one of the most important stories of the new millennium, but in the process, provide us with a gripping and thoroughly engrossing biopic. Powered by Sorkin’s spit-fire script, David Fincher’s flawless direction and two mesmerizing performances from Andrew Garfield and Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network is that rare biopic that goes past the tropes of the genre to deliver a riveting cinematic experience.
I made a real effort this year to watch some classic ‘must watch’ movies, and one of those was Schindler’s List. Not having much of an attention span for History in class, I thought I would struggle through it, but I was so wrong. Schindler’s List is a biograpgical movie about Oskar Schindler, who sets up a factory in Poland during World War II, creating hundreds of jobs and hope for the Jews that are seeking refuge there.
It’s such a difficult movie to discuss, because although I found it a fascinating watch, and despite it being my favourite biographical movie, it’s heartbreaking, and the pain lingers with you for a long time.
Summer – Serendipitous Anachronisms
Milos Forman’s screen version of the Peter Shaffer play Amadeus is my absolute favorite biographical pic. A dying Viennese court composer Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) recounts his brush with genius in the young composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce). Salieri leads a pious life, hoping God will grant genius in exchange for his devotion. But God does not grant Salieri genius, it is given to Mozart portrayed brilliantly as a cross between a frat – boy and Rockstar. While jealousy begins to grow, Salieri well placed in the Viennese court plots Mozart’s destruction.
This movie has incredible acting, gorgeous sets, costumes to die for, and is simultaneously hysterical, thought-provoking and tragic. Amadeus brilliantly enlivens two very dusty historical figures, it makes classical music exciting, and will make the viewer a lifelong Mozart and Salieri Fan.
Kim – Tranquil Dreams
My choices for biopics are rather limited. My favorite always goes back to Erin Brokovich. Julia Roberts does a stellar job at interpreting the role of Erin Brokovich with a lot of sass and attitude but also we can see that she is a compassionate person and willing to do anything for the right thing. The case is a sad and frustrating one about how big corporations give out false information and try to cover up their mess to not hurt their profits and don’t own up to the side effects they have caused to clueless civilians. It sends out a strong message and who comes out on top but a persistent Erin Brokovich. The person least likely to be who she is because she seems like an airhead and dresses unlike the normal lawyer office workers and who really lands the job and learns it by herself. Erin Brokovich defies the norms and comes out on top for a bunch of strangers fighting a giant corporation and that is a noble cause. Its a great story and one that deserves to be told and they did a great job at it.
S.G. Liput – Rhyme and Reason
Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980)
Musicians are a favorite subject of biographical films, and my favorite would have to be Coal Miner’s Daughter, the story of the rise of country music star Loretta Lynn. It’s a literal rags to riches tale that follows Lynn from her poor roots in the hollers of West Virginia to the musical campaign of her husband and agent Doo (Tommy Lee Jones) to the pressures of hard-won fame. Sissy Spacek won the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Loretta, and she seamlessly morphs from a young teenager to a mother and a superstar, never looking much different and yet conforming to each age perfectly. Spacek also sings all of her songs beautifully (as does Beverly D’Angelo as Patsy Cline). Coal Miner’s Daughter boasts a well-deserved 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and is a gold standard among musical biographies
That Other Critic
When crafting a biographical film, there is always a struggle between creating a compelling narrative (which most people’s lives don’t follow) and accurately representing the subject’s life. You don’t want your audience to be bored by the film, but you don’t want them complaining of vast unrealism, either. Few films can hit this sweet spot, tipping into either side. Luckily for us, Ben Affleck has crafted a tense, thrilling ride of a biopic in Argo.
Argo is a gripping and emotional story of the brilliantly unique extraction of the 1979 Tehran embassy refugees through the use of a fake sci-fi film as an excuse to “scout locations” in Iran. The film is, in the truest sense, an “edge of your seat” thrill ride. The film is remarkably intense from start to finish, and had my attention the whole way through. The cast is phenomenal, from Affleck to John Goodman to Alan Arkin to every single one of the refugees. The refugees all play their parts excellently, and stand out from each other.
Argo is the rare “spy movie” that is both actually realistic (sorry, Bourne, you’re just not) and terrifically entertaining, an award-worthy popcorn thriller.
The Elephant Man (1980)
This was a hard choice, but don’t I always say that? I chose The Elephant Man because it’s such a brilliant and unforgettable movie, despite being really, really sad. It tells the true (if slightly embellished – but only slightly) story of Joseph Merrick, who lived in 19th century London and is better known as the Elephant Man due to the defomaties he was born with. David Lynch made this film purposefully in black and white to really capture the atmosphere and with great leading performances by John Hurt and Anthony Hopkins, this haunting story will stay with you a long time.