Hollywood has never fallen short of great films, drawing inspirations from various quarters. After comics, book adaptations, sequels, trilogy and franchises, the latest trend focuses on onscreen portrayal of the lives of those whose names have gone down in history.
There’s no shortage of great biopics churned out of Hollywood, but making a good biographical movie is a tricky thing in itself. To make a perfect biopic, there are few must-have aspects, which the director must strictly adhere to. It includes a memorable personality with an influential role in history; historical accuracy and an apt creative fudging of events to blend perfectly with the person’s larger and already known life. It is very rare that directors can tick on all the aforementioned aspects.
“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.” ~ Mark Twain
Though most biographical movies have come really close, there is rarely one truly unbiased biopic. It’s almost impossible for the directors to create something completely objective. It is Truth alone that makes a biopic a genre that often receives top honors and critical acclaim.
From a hippie-turned-CEO, to the finest President, to exemplary musicians — several biopics have made it to the big screen and several others are on their way.
A few recently released or upcoming biopics include:
Based on: Linda Boreman a.k.a Linda Lovelace
Played by: Amanda Seyfried
‘Lovelace’ starring superstar Amanda Seyfried was an onscreen portrayed of the life of the legendary porn star, Linda Boreman a.k.a Linda Lovelace. Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, the movie showcases the life of Linda – how she was pulled into the world of porn, the abuses inflicted on her, both physical and psychological by the porn industry, how she denounced her pornography career, and became a spokesperson for the anti-pornography movement. No matter how promiscuous she was with her onscreen portrayal, Amanda is a real good girl in real life!
Movie: Behind the Candelabra
Based on: WladziuValentino Liberace a.k.a Liberace
Played by: Michael Douglas
With the disheveled wig and the 1970s retro wardrobe, Michael Douglas is the perfect dead-ringer for the late ’70s famous pianist, WladziuValentino Liberace a.k.a Liberace. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, ‘Behind The Candelabra’ follows the ill-fated love affair of Liberace with Scott Thorson, played by the Bourne series star, Matt Damon.
Based on: Steve Jobs
Played by: Ashton Kutcher
The popular 34 year-old TV prankster, Ashton Kutcher took the role of the late Apple CEO, Steve Jobs very seriously. The "That ’70s Show", "Two and a Half Men" and "Punk’d" fame star portrayed the tech Guru in the biopic, ‘JOBS’ that traced Steve Jobs’ journey from a hippie to a dynamic entrepreneur. Isn’t he the spitting image of the late Apple icon?
Based on: Princess Diana
Played by: Naomi Watts
Naomi Watts is the latest actress to join the league of doppelganger. She aped the very look of late Princess Diana for her new movie, ‘Diana’. The 44 year-old actress’s eerily perfect short and blond Diana’s signature hairstyle, evening dresses, makeup and the pearls completed the look. Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, the movie showcases the last two years of Diana’s life and concentrates on her relationships with the Pakistani heart surgeon Dr. Hasnat Khan and Dodi Al-Fayed before her death in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997.
Movie: Saving Mr. Banks
Based on: Walt Disney
Played by: Tom Hanks
Legendary actor, Tom Hanks will soon be seen on the 70 mm screen portraying the character of Walt Disney who brought several animated characters to life. This biographical drama movie directed by John Lee Hancock follows the life of the author P. L. Travers (Emma Thompson) and her negotiation to the filmmaker Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) in Los Angeles as she is persuaded by him in his attempts to obtain the screen rights to her novel. I need not say anything more when the iconic actor personifies the renowned filmmaker. There couldn’t have been any other perfect spitting image for Walt Disney!
Watching biographical films is a totally different experience in itself, which often takes the audience on a fulfilling journey. Biographical movies take people beyond the realm of what was considered possible.
I know there are several phenomenal biopics out there that I’ve not mentioned. But would love to hear from you about the best biopics you have seen till date. Go ahead, the comment box is waiting for more interesting names!