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Which are the Best Biopics?

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by Bryony Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
Published October 24th 2014
effie gray, film
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While looking through the line-up of films coming to my local Odeon, I noticed that quite a few biopics were coming up shortly. Unlike biographies in book form, cinematic releases tend to exaggerate certain facts or take some liberties with the truth for dramatic effect. This can making for an interesting film, but not necessarily one that will give you all the facts. Some are of course more faithful to the truth than others.

Which are your favourite biopics? Are they ones that have stayed true or ones that have added a bit of colour into what might have otherwise been a rather plain narrative? When it comes to the latter, you have to question why they are making the film in the first place.

Are there any biopics that you thought were exceptional or particularly stand out? The King's Speech and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom are probably on the top of a of of people's lists. Are you looking forward to the next three biopics coming out?

Directed by Emma Thompson, Effie Gray is about the wife of Pre-Raphaelite artist, John Everett Millais. It was originally meant to come out in 2012, but faced two lawsuits (resulting in its favour) created a two year delay. When I saw the cast line up of distinguished actors such as Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, David Suchet, Derek Jacobi, James Fox, and Dakota Fanning as the lead, I thought it sounded like it would be an excellent film, but so far it has received mixed reviews from the critics.

One film I really want to see is The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Enigma Code breaker, Alan Turing, who was later prosecuted for being a homosexual. The complete disgrace and injustice of what happened to this heroic man is beyond me.

The third film is The Theory of Everything, a biography about theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking. Directed by James Marsh and starring Eddie Redmayne, the screenplay is an adaptation of Jane Hawking's memoir, Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen.

Are any of these on your watch list? Are there any biopics you would like to see get made?
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I also just found out that there is going to be a biopic on the painter, Turning coming out soon, which should be interesting.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12594) 2052 days ago

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