Saturday, December 10, 2011

Your Favorite Biopic

And it was not J. Edgar.

And I am certain I have asked this before but with new ones on Hoover, Thatcher and Monroe, it comes to mind.

MY LEFT FOOT with the fabulous, and too seldom seen, Daniel Day Lewis who stars as Christy Brown, a spastic quadriplegic born to a large, poor Irish family. His mother recognizes the intelligence in her son who everyone else regards as a vegetable. Eventually, Christy matures into a cantankerous writer who uses his only functional limb, his left foot, to write with. I had read him before seeing the movie but this one blew me away.

Biopics about rising over adversity win me over. And the authentic feel of every scene did too.

What's your favorite?

31 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - Oh, I'd forgotten about My Left Foot! Thanks for reminding me! It is a great film.

David Cranmer said...

I'm not sure I have a favorite, Patti. But I'm looking forward to what others mention.

Anonymous said...

That was an amazing performance. I had also read his story before.

COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER is a favorite. Loretta Lynn made the right choice when she picked Sissy Spacek to play her.

A lot of the best ones depend on one great (often Oscar-winning) performance. Another than comes to mind is RAY.


Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes, that's true. That's the essential thing. Will Meryl be able to make Margaret Thatcher into a human being. Interesting to watch.

George said...

Amadeus.

pattinase (abbott) said...

That was a dandy. What happened to Tom Hulce?

Mike Dennis said...

Would ELIZABETH (1998) count as a biopic? I liked that one a lot.

How about TOMBSTONE (1993)? Biopic? SPARTACUS (1960)?

In any case here are a few more of my favorites:

RAY (2004)
THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY (1978)
DILLINGER (1973)
SERGEANT YORK (1941)
BIRD (1988)
LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME (1955)
LENNY (1974)
THE JOLSON STORY (1946)
THE KRAYS (1990)
YOUNG MAN WITH A HORN (1950)

le0pard13 said...

For me, it's 'Lawrence of Arabia'.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Great ones. I am still waiting to see Lawrence on the big screen.

Dan_Luft said...

Not sure if it's technically a biopic but I think "In the Name of the Father" was fabulous.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Based on Gerry Conlan's memoir, I say it is and a great one.

Randy Johnson said...

It was only a TV movie, but BRIAN'S SONG moved me as no other film has ever done. My favorite James Caan role.


Great Balls of Fire was pretty good as well. For the music.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I can remember sobbing through that one! I liked the Johnny Cash and June Carter one too.

Anonymous said...

THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY was a goodie. I also liked WALK THE LINE (the Johnny Cash one).

I had a big problem with LENNY, namely the casting. The stage version was probably the single best performance I've ever seen by an actor. Cliff Gorman was (choose your own word) intense, magnetic, brilliant (all of the above) and deservedly won the Tony. Yet Bob Fosse cast Dustin Hoffman? Sorry, but WTF?

Gorman's thin compensation was a role in Fosse's ALL THAT JAZZ, hardly on the same level.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Never did see Lenny. Yes, he would lack Gorman's intensity, which practically seers your eyeball.s

Charles Gramlich said...

I couldn't think of many and then someone mentioned Brian's song. I did like that a lot.

Anonymous said...

BRIAN'S SONG was showing recently - still a good one. It definitely did NOT need the remake.

Not a movie per se, but Jackie says JOHN ADAMS on HBO.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Since Phil dislikes both John Adams and Paul Giamatti, we missed that one.

sandra seamans said...

I enjoyed IRIS, with the story told from the husband's memories of Iris Murdock as Alzheimer's stole her mind.

Anonymous said...

But IRIS was surely one of the most depressing things ever made, though wonderfully acted.

Jeff M.

Chris said...

It's really a documentary, but I am a fan of Herzog's Grizzly Man about Timothy Treadwell.

Deb said...

It's already been mentioned, but the first one that came into my head was COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER.

Todd Mason said...

It helps, when making a COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER or an IRIS, to have a Sissy Spacek or a Kate Winslet handy.

Or a Barbara Hershey...so A WORLD APART almost gets my vote at the moment...though I'm tempted to note (Hershey again) THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST and (Winslet) HEAVENLY CREATURES.

But it's gotta be BADLANDS, lightly fictionalized as it is. And how about that, Spacek again, augmented by Sheen, in some of the best performances in their impressive careers. Another slightly less lightly fictionalized biofilm, CITIZEN KANE, is the only other first film from a writer/director that comes to mind that can overshadow it.

Todd Mason said...

Though of course WALK HARD has its place...

Anders Engwall said...

THE ELEPHANT MAN still holds up very well.

As for biopics about musicians, I'd say BACKBEAT.

I really wanted to like 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE, but it turned out to be way too clever for its own good.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Not exactly a favourite but I think I've seen nearly every film on Jesse James including "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" and liked some too.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Sissy Spacek just shines in any part, including her brief one in THE HELP.
I have always meant to see that last Jesse James movie.
How about I WANT TO LIVE with Susan Hayward.

Cap'n Bob said...

All of the above are good choices. I'll say THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD, PATTON, BONNIE AND CLYDE, MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY.

Al Tucher said...

If BREACH counts as a biopic, that would be my choice. Chris Cooper is amazing as the turncoat FBI agent Robert Hanssen.

pattinase (abbott) said...

That was one terrific movie. Looking forward to the one coming out this month about Colby.

Dana C. Kabel said...

Raging Bull. Nuff said.