Top 5 biographical movies that Hollywood has churned out
Biographical movies often draw viewers due to their no-holds-barred approach, strong thematic elements, and honest character portrayals. They also make for quality cinema because they breathe life into the journeys of several esteemed personalities from all walks of life, chronicling their paths right from the beginning. Today, let's take a look at five poignant Hollywood movies which correctly captured the biographical essence.
Before he was Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. was Charlie Chaplin. Directed by Hollywood legend Richard Attenborough, the film recreated the life of polymath and comedy pioneer Charlie Chaplin, covering his life from his impoverished roots in London to the triumphant global acclaim of his silent films. Chaplin's daughter Geraldine Chaplin also starred in the film released on the Little Tramp's 15th death anniversary.
A cult classic, it narrated the gut-wrenching story of Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist who tried to stop the persecution of his Jewish employees. Liam Neeson knocked it out of the park in this one, while Ben Kingsley and Ralph Fiennes also shone in this Steven Spielberg directorial. Based on the novel Schindler's Ark, it was the recipient of seven Academy Awards in 1994.
A biographical musical drama film and perhaps Andrew Garfield's career-best performance, it earned him an Oscar nomination. Directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, it's a peek into the life of musician Jonathan Larson, who had performed a real-life rock monologue in 1992, chronicling the story of his artistic struggle. The film, however, made some changes and omitted the parts about his tragic death in 1996.
Emile Hirsch played the protagonist in this biographical adventure film written, directed, and co-produced by Sean Penn. It derives its plot from Jon Krakauer's nonfiction book about Christopher McCandless, famous for hiking across North America, into the heart of the Alaskan wilderness. The film was a critical and commercial hit and bagged two Oscar nominations in the Best Editing and Best Supporting Actor categories.
Director Michael Gracey's debut film, the musical portrayed the life of showman PT Barnum, who rose to prominence in the mid-19th century and founded the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Starring Hugh Jackman in the lead role, it also featured Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Zendaya, and Rebecca Ferguson. Jackman's performance bagged a nomination for the Best Actor-Musical or Comedy at the 75th Golden Globes.