Here are some great biographical movies. Outstanding performances of the actors in the role of the musicians.
Control is a 2007 British biographical film about t
he tragically short life of Joy Division’s lead singer Ian Curtis.
It is the first feature film directed by Anton Corbijn, who previously worked as a photographer for the band.
The screenplay by Matt Greenhalgh was based on the biography Touching from a Distance by Curtis’ widow Deborah, who served as a co-producer alongside Tony Wilson, who released Joy Division’s records through his Factory Records label.
The Black and white movie that stars Sam Riley and Samantha Morton as Ian and Deborah Curtis, won 5 British Independent Film Awards, including Best Film, Best Director for Corbijn, Most Promising Newcomer for Riley, and Best Supporting Actor for Tony Kebbell. Greenhalgh received the Carl Foreman award for outstanding achievement in his first feature film.
Love & Mercy (2014)
Love & Mercy is a 2014 American biographical drama movie directed and co-produced by Bill Pohlad, co-produced by Claire Rudnick-Polstein and John Wells and written by Michael Alan Lerner and Oren Moveman.
The film is based on the life of musician-songwriter Brian Wilson, co-founder of surf-rock band the Beach Boys.
Actor Paul Dano stars as the young Wilson, giving an impressive performance; Brian Wilson himself commented: “As a matter of fact, I hadn’t remembered some things until I saw the movie. Then I remembered what I went through. It was rough. It was tough.”
Nowhere Boy (2009)
Nowhere Boy is a 2009 British musical biographical drama film about John Lennon’s adolescence, based on a biography written by Lennon’s half-sister, Julia Baird.
The movie stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson as John Lennon and it was the directorial debut of conceptual artist/photographer Sam Taylor-Johnson. The screenplay was written by Matt Greenhalgh, who also wrote Control.
The runaways (2010)
The Runaways is a 2010 American drama film about the homonymous rock band, written and directed by Floria Sigismondi and based on the book Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway by the lead singer Cherrie Currie.
The film stars Dakota Fanning as Cherrie and Kirsten Stewart as music icon Joan Jett, guitarist, vocalist of the band she co-founded.
Walk the line (2005)
Walk the Line is a 2005 American biographical drama film directed by James Mangold and based on the early life and career of Johnny Cash. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix as Cash, Reese Withersopoon – who won the Academy Award for Best Actress – as June Carter, Ginnifer Goodwin as Cash’s first wife and Robert Patrick as Ray Cash, Johnny’s father.
Ray is a 2004 independently produced musical biographical film that focuses on the life of musician Ray Charles. It was written, produced and directed by Taylo Hackford.
Charles’ role is played by Jamie Foxx, who received an Academy Award for Best Actor, the Golden Globe, BAFTA, Screen Actors Guild and Critics’ Choice awards, becoming the second actor to win all five major lead actor awards for the same performance.
The doors (1991)
The 1991 American biographical film is based on the 1960-70s rock band The Doors, with a focus on the lead singer, songwriter and poet Jim Morrison. Directed by Oliver Stone, this cult movie stars Val Kilmer as Jim and Meg Ryan as Pam, Jim’s companion.
La Vie en Rose (2007)
La Vie en Rose is a 2007 French biographical film about the life of Edith Piaf, a cabaret singer, songwriter and actress who became one of France’s greatest international stars.
The film, co-written and directed by Oliver Dahan, starred Marion Cotillard as Edith.
Marion’s performance is superb, and the actress, indeed, won the Academy Award for Best Actress: first time that an Oscar had been given for a French-language role.
Last days (2005)
Last Days is a 2005 American drama directed, produced and written by Gus Van Sant. The movie recounts the last days of Blake, a grunge rocker escaped from rehab, whose character is clearly based on Kurt Cobain, even if it contradicts the factual evidence of Cobain’s final days.
The plot is nothing special, but actor Michael Pitt, here in the role of Blake, never disappoints.