Biopics are probably one of the best genres in movies. It is a great way to pay tribute to someone’s life. These biographical films feature anyone – from celebrities to scientists to even a historical figure. While a majority of these films do not accurately portray someone, it’s still able to lend insight in a person’s life. His choices, his experiences, and the values he upholds. A documentary is where the storytelling is more factual, and usually focuses on a particular period of a person’s life. On the other hand, a biopic is made for the audience to understand these people better, and to help us remember the best parts of that person’s life.
Here are some of our favorite biopics that you will want to watch!
The Miracle Worker
The Miracle Worker is a 2000 biographic film based on the life of the author Helen Keller. The story was adapted from Helen Keller’s autobiography in 1903 which portrayed the struggles of living as a deaf, mute, and blind child in those times. Another major character in the film is Anne Sullivan, Helen’s teacher and lifelong companion. It is an inspiring television film that portrays the relationship of two people – a teacher who gradually helps a child to live beyond her disabilities. In real life, Helen Keller grew up to be an author, activist, and lecturer. She was also the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor’s degree – an amazing feat during those times.
Like The Miracle Worker, Temple Grandin is another inspiring film of someone succeeding despite the challenges in life. As its title says, the 2010 biopic film tells the story of Temple Grandin, an autistic woman who revolutionized the way of handling livestock through humane innovations. What’s great about this film is that it shows the audience how Temple took inspiration from her surroundings and experience and turn that into something revolutionary. Today, Temple Grandin has published over 60 papers on animal behavior and is also a consultant in the industry.
Her film has gained praise and even got nominated for – and won – several awards from the Golden Globes, Screen Actors’ Guild, and more.
Rather than being famous for being a biopic, The Revenant which stars Leonardo Di Caprio, is famous for its amazing cinematography and outstanding acting from one of the best actors today. The film was based off of a 2002 novel of the same name – which was based off of a 1915 poem titled, The Song of Hugh Glass. Hugh Glass is an American frontiersman, explorer, and hunter who lived in late 1700s to the early 1800s. The Revenant focuses on a particular period of his life – in 1823 – which was when he was attacked by a grizzly bear and was abandoned by his group. Leonardo excellently delivers in this movie, plus the movie and the people involved in the movie received numerous awards for their work.
Frida Kahlo is an amazing artist and one of the best feminist icons that deserve a biopic. Fortunately, a 2002 film titled Frida exists with Salma Hayek acting as Frida Kahlo. The film itself portrays Frida’s life: both as a surrealist painter and her personal life. The biopic takes on a unique way of telling her story. Paying tribute to Frida Kahlo as a surrealist painter, the scenes in the film starts as a painting which gradually turns to a real-life setting with real actors.
If we’re going to talk about best biopics, the 1993 Schindler’s List with Steven Spielberg as its director is at the top of the list. This haunting film follows the story of a Oskar Schindler, with his wife, who manages to save thousands of Polish-Jewish people from World War II’s Holocaust. It’s a historical movie that relives the horrors of the war then, but also the small glimpses of humanity in people during that time. The film has won several awards, including Academy Award’s Best Picture, and has even received the gratitude of the Jewish community.
Theory of Everything
Eddie Redmayne spectacularly portrays theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking in the 2014 film, Theory of Everything. The film itself is an adaptation of Stephen Hawking’s wife, Jane Hawking’s 2007 memoir, Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen. This is why Theory of Everything follows Stephen’s story from his time in university to his diagnosis to his professional career. All of this intertwined with his personal relationships, most especially with Jane Hawking. Just like other films mentioned earlier, it is a story of person rising despite adversities. However, it is also an amazing film which portrays Stephen Hawking as a normal person, and not just a genius physicist (though he is also that).
Another great biopic that is making the rounds recently is Radioactive which premiered during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. The film also focuses on one of the greatest scientists we know today, Marie Curie. Marie Curie is famous for her discovery of the elements, polonium and radium. Radioactive especially highlights her personal relationships, her career as a scientist, and her struggles as a woman in a male-dominated field.
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