Hollywood has become more and more reliant on real life material in recent years, with a constant stream of biopics rolling through our cinemas. Recently we’ve had Churchill, A Quiet Passion, The Zookeeper’s Wife and Denial, just to name a few. Here’s three of the greatest biopics to grace our screens in the past decade.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
One of the longest biopics ever made at 3 hours long, The Wolf of Wall Street tells the tale of notorious stock broking tycoon Jordan Belfort. The film follows the rise and fall of the Wall Street giant and all his crazy antics and debauched behaviour in between. Director Martin Scorsese certainly doesn’t hold back when expressing the extravagance of Belfort’s lifestyle and his insatiable greed for wealth. This makes the film all the more entertaining to watch and you never really feel the extended runtime with so much going on. Many may mistake this as a trip down a rabbit hole filled with ridiculous absurdities based on sex, drugs and money, but if you look further, this is an incredible and intricate film.
The Social Network (2010)
Seven years ago, The Social Network once again demonstrated the prowess of director David Fincher in its exploration of those involved in the creation of Facebook. Unlike what the title suggests, the film doesn’t really have a lot to do with social media itself. Instead it examines the issues faced by Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) who succeeded in connecting the entire world, but found himself completely isolated. This contrast is what makes the film so intriguing, as is the timing of its original release, when the Facebook phenomenon was only just beginning. The film features a young Andrew Garfield and Rooney Mara before their impressive careers began to take off, and a pre Lone Ranger Armie Hammer as the Winklevoss twins. A fantastic film and an instant classic.
12 Years A Slave (2013)
How can you even talk about biopics without mentioning 12 Years A Slave? This is the story of a man who was sold into slavery and it is one of the most brutally honest films you will ever see. From another powerful director in Steve McQueen, the film hosts a strong ensemble cast with Chiwetel Ejiofor as the titular slave, Michael Fassbender as his malevolent master and Lupita Nyong’o in her break-out, Academy Award winning performance as a fellow slave. While the title is a fairly accurate summation of the plot, nothing can truly prepare you for the trials and tribulations of slavery as experienced by Ejiofor’s character. It’s no wonder the film took out the Academy Award for Best Film that year. A must-see.
Image courtesy of The Wolf of Wall Street and Roadshow Films