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Let’s talk about biopics (baby)

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    String Cheese Theory
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    #1204721936

    There are a LOT of people grumbling about the number of biopics represented among today’s SAG noms and BAFTA longlists, particularly in the acting categories. It seems the number is increasing every year.

    I just finished watching Being the Ricardos and found is serviceable, fine, watchable, but I have no need to watch it again. Biopics, to me, feel like homework (often with a hefty dose of revisionism) and they have little reason to pay a repeat viewing.

    Are there any biopics that you can go back to watch again and again?

    Best Supporting Actress - Kathryn Hunter, Ann Dowd, Martha Plimpton, Judi Dench, Ruth Negga
    Best Supporting Actor - Troy Katsur, Ciarán Hinds, Alex Hassell, Bertie Carvel
    Best Actress - Tessa Thompson
    The Tragedy of Macbeth in Directing, Production Design, Cinematography and thee Kathryn Hunter
    Mass in Original Screenplay

    The Great - Elle Fanning, Nicholas Hoult and comedy writing

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    RIDLEY SCOTT
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    Dec 12th, 2020
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    #1204722082

    There are a LOT of people grumbling about the number of biopics represented among today’s SAG noms and BAFTA longlists, particularly in the acting categories. It seems the number is increasing every year. I just finished watching Being the Ricardos and found is serviceable, fine, watchable, but I have no need to watch it again. Biopics, to me, feel like homework (often with a hefty dose of revisionism) and they have little reason to pay a repeat viewing. Are there any biopics that you can go back to watch again and again?

    Bohemian Rhapsody but only the 20 final minutes. And All people told me that. Bohemian Rhapsody is Awful but Everybody loved and still love the 20 final minutes

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    Ben Affleck Fan
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    Nov 10th, 2021
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    #1204722119

    Biopics are nice and I love some that go under the surface.

    FYC Oscars 2022

    Best Supporting Actor: Ben Affleck

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    SN
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    #1204722145

    I have no problem with biopics as long as they serve, which is not the case for any biopic in contention this year.

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    Cosmia
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    #1204722198

    I’m not inherently against biopics. They can be creative, fascinating, and rewarding in their own rights. The problem is that so many biopics are resoundingly mediocre. This is partially because they usually don’t get made without the blessing of the subject or their estate, which means they can’t go as deep as they should. It’s also because they’re usually swings for the Oscar fences that rarely ring true. In any case, they’re not going away anytime soon.

    But seriously, in our post Walk Hard world, why do we still have movies like Respect?

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    RIDLEY SCOTT
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    #1204722245

    Bohemian Rhapsody but only the 20 final minutes. And All people told me that. Bohemian Rhapsody is Awful but Everybody loved and still love the 20 final minutes

    And I like(almost love) The Greatest Showman. That was a biopic I suppose because it was based in a real life man

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    Vera Baxter
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    #1204722275

    Generally, most Hollywood biopics are insufferable because they attempt to craft an overly broad and easily consumable “narrative” as opposed to allowing the audience to tap into the emotional experiences of the character portrayed. I get that it’s impossible to condense someone’s life into a film, but these films generally lie so squarely in the realm of broad, symbolic representation as opposed to trying to subvert the very language with which society as a whole tends to craft these trite and useless narratives regarding famous figures, so they’re inherently limited in that regard.

    If we’re referring to performances that transcend the shitty films within which they are contained, Judy Davis in Life With Judy Garland is the gold standard. She actually had the balls to give us an authoritative “take” on Garland that allowed us an emotional experience that could not have possibly been gleaned from a more symbolic view of Garland; the sexual hunger and primal isolation of someone painted into a corner with our her consent. I doubt that most actors would dare to go outside of the prescribed narratives given to them regarding these figures, but Davis’ method is fascinating in the way it actively subverts these narratives instead of merely using them in order to speak for the character.

    Otherwise, I often blank when asked to name films that fit certain criteria so I’m probably forgetting a few, but Schrader’s Mishima biopic is probably the best “traditional” biopic that I can think of that I’ve seen.

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    Cocastique
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    #1204722287

    If I want to learn about someone, I’ll just go check their Wikipedia page.

    Biopics are mostly uninteresting, uninventive and with absolutely zero aesthetic value.

    But to give credit where credit is due : Black Venus and Benedetta are great. Judas and the Black Messiah and Marie-Antoinette were pretty good. I disliked At Eternity’s Gate but it was an interesting film.

    FYC

    Best Picture : The Worst Person in the World, Benedetta, Dune

    Best Director : Denis Villeneuve

    Best Actress : Renate Reinsve, Agathe Rousselle, Penélope Cruz

    Best Supporting Actress : Charlotte Rampling, Jessie Buckley

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    String Cheese Theory
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    #1204722369

    I finally thought of one.

    I’m Not There

    It’s not even a proper biopic.

    Best Supporting Actress - Kathryn Hunter, Ann Dowd, Martha Plimpton, Judi Dench, Ruth Negga
    Best Supporting Actor - Troy Katsur, Ciarán Hinds, Alex Hassell, Bertie Carvel
    Best Actress - Tessa Thompson
    The Tragedy of Macbeth in Directing, Production Design, Cinematography and thee Kathryn Hunter
    Mass in Original Screenplay

    The Great - Elle Fanning, Nicholas Hoult and comedy writing

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    nkb325
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    #1204722492

    I like certain biopics, I generally prefer the ones that focus on a brief but representative period of the person’s life rather than trying to be cradle to grave. Then it’s much easier for the figure to be a character in a story, rather than the story having to be the character.

    Like for example, I’ll admit, I really liked Being the Ricardos. And I wouldn’t group Kidman’s performance in with other biopic performances because if anything she actually actively DOES NOT do an impersonation, at least not one of the version of lucille ball the general public today knows when she so easily could have. She wouldn’t be my first choice, but I won’t be furious if she wins.

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    kamila
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    #1204722532

    Marie Antoinette was ahead of its time. That movie aged well for me. Spencer would’ve been a better film if it had fully followed in its footsteps.

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    Chitanda170
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    #1204722544

    My favorite biopics
    Love and Mercy
    Walk the Line
    Rush
    Elizabeth
    Chaplin
    The Downfall

    I love biopics even though I’m tired of hear they are going to do many of these in the future, i don’t think biopics are bad for acting, if you embody that real life person, you deserved all the accolades, for example Robert Downey Jr in Chaplin, he was so marvelous in that movie that even Chaplin’s daughter praised his performance, she said it was like her father’s spirit possess Robert, I’m ok with someone winning for a biopic, the problem is when the biopic is not good and the acting looks more like a cosplay than embody the role.

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    James Gibson
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    Jul 8th, 2012
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    #1204722552

    I don’t think House of Gucci is a biopic in the traditional sense, yet people throw it here to say there’s too many of those nominated (we all know that’s not why they don’t want it nom’d). But that is certainly a film I will want to revisit many times when possible.

    FYC: Memoria and House of Gucci for Best Picture

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    Rachel615
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    #1204722576

    Branagh’s Henry V…. And Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth. Those are two biopic I’ve enjoyed watching numerous times.

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    Bohemian Bovine
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    Jan 20th, 2021
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    #1204722637

    The Wolf of Wall Street
    Love and Mercy
    I, Tonya
    Vice
    Mank
    Judas and the Black Messiah 

    Those are just a handful from the last decade that I’ve watched multiple times.
    Although, with the exception of Love and Mercy, I see these as films about America’s failures more than they are about any particular historical figure.

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