There's a story behind every great musician - sometimes positive, and other times not so much. So, are you ready to scratch beneath those tales and find out some exciting backstories of your favorite music stars? If yes, prepare yourself as you're about to be engaged in different and unique paths that led them to be what they are (or were) eventually. Nevertheless, we made a top ten list of terrific musical biopics which will captivate you from the start. Watching these movies, you'll see some of the most incredible adventures of your favorite stars, but also their bad choices and paths that led them to tragedy. If you're a movie lover, you'll enjoy it, but also check our list of Top 10 Music Memoirs That Will Intrigue You from the First Page.
The intriguing music biopic "Control" is one of the most incisive among rock music biopics. This movie will deeply involve you with Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis (Sam Riley). The flick is in black, white, and gray, probably because of the strong perception of the pain and sadness Ian carried with him. As an introverted teenager, he stared sorrowfully upon his destiny and finally committed suicide at 23.
So, we can now easily understand the reason for Joy Division's sad and gloomy songs, such as their biggest hit, "Love Will Tear Us Apart," is. The "Control" is based on Ian's wife Deborah (Samantha Morton) and directed by the photographer Anton Corbijn.
9. La Vie en Rose
The exceptional music biopic "La Vie en Rose" carries Edith Piaf's trademark song's title and follows her life pathways. The lady luck wasn't kind to Piaf since she started her career as a young street performer in Paris and all over France. Despite everything, she still managed to become a famous international star.
The movie opens with details from Edith's childhood, and at the end, it moves to events encompassing her death at only 47. Marion Cotillard earned numerous accolades for portraying Edith Piaf, such as the Academy Award for Best Actress. This was the first occasion that Oscar was awarded for a French-language role.
8. What's Love Got to Do with It
"What's Love Got to Do with It" is a biopic movie based on the life of a unique singer, Tina Turner. Angela Bassett portrayed Tina Turner and earned an Oscar nomination for it. Moreover, Laurence Fishburne, another shiny star in the movie, portrayed Ike Turner, Tina's physically dominating husband. The plot starts with scenes of young Tina, who was very unhappy at the time. Her parents abandoned her, so the movie covers that tragic period and her being a backup singer, with grand dreams in her head.
Moreover, we have the opportunity to see her vision come true! However, her love life wasn't that bright since she's been in an abusive marriage with Ike Turner. Ultimately, she rises as a Fenix, breaking free and taking her place in the solo spotlight. Oh, and the movie soundtrack, "I Don't Wanna Fight," went to number one in seven countries.
Jamie Foxx did an outstanding performance in "Ray," portraying the mythical rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles. Later, he was even featured on Kanye West's song "Gold Digger" that samples Ray Charles!
This role eventually got him an Oscar, as he so realistically performed his part. This biopic follows the life story and career of this legendary R&B icon, from his young age in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s. Charles is one of the most distinguished American musicians of all time and a famous R&B figure.
Charles was supposed to attend the opening of the completed film, but unfortunately, he died in June 2004, a few months before the premiere. The lovers of oldies will be pleasantly surprised since every part of the movie is captured accurately. You'll get into the spirit of the 1950s and 1960s, watching "Ray." Well done!
6. I'm Not There
"I'm Not There" is an unusual biographical film inspired by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan's life and music. Why is this movie extraordinary? Well, because it's not a regular follow-up story about Dylan's young days, growing up, and becoming a star. The titles at the start of the film say that it's inspired by the music and the diverse lives of Bob Dylan" - that's the first mention of Dylan. The second one, and his only appearance in the movie, apart from song credits, is concert footage from 1966.
So, how is this Dylan's biopics? Well, it is, since six famous actors portray different aspects of Dylan's public personas: Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Christian Bale, Richard Gere, Ben Whishaw, and Heath Ledger (in his final flick released during his lifetime). Dylan's song "I'm Not There" is used as the title of the film. If you like it, don't miss his memoirs!
5. Walk the Line
Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix received Oscar nominations for their performances in the movie "Walk The Line." However, only Whiterspoon won it. This movie develops a Johnny Cash story that's loaded with a lot of good music, romance, and, of course, drama. You'll have the opportunity to watch the development of country musicians Johnny Cash (portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix) and his wife, June Carter-Cash (Reese Witherspoon).
We admire the music that Cash created - both his numbers and the fantastic cover songs he did. He was recognizable for his dark, smooth bass-baritone voice, as you can hear in one of the most memorable songs he interpreted, the cover "Hurt." Anyway, watching this movie, you'll find out when and where Cash created his first music and what inspired him.
4. Sid And Nancy
Morbid, but at the same time incredible for watching, "Sid and Nancy" biographical film is worthy of your time. It portrays Sid Vicious, a member of the British punk group the Sex Pistols, and his sweetheart Nancy Spungen. Sid and Nancy had a fierce love, which eventually turned into violence, and Nancy's murder for which Vicious was arrested. However, he died in 1979 from a heroin overdose before the case even came to court.
The performers who gave life to the roles of Sid and Nancy were Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb. Even though John Lydon, the lead singer and Sid's bandmate in Sex Pistols, didn't have many positive comments about it, "Sid and Nancy" ranks as the third-best rock movie ever made, according to Rolling Stone.
3. 8 Mile
Music performers can be amazing actors, as Eminem confirmed in the fantastic "8 Mile". The plot follows Eminem's real-life story, with some elements that didn't happen. Eminem portrays Jimmy "B-Rabbit," a talented rapper who decides to take the opportunity and breaks free from his unhealthy home in Detroit. However, his path wasn't easy, as he faces a few bumps on the road before realizing that he needs to have faith. So, after taking a risk, his dream of becoming a rap superstar eventually comes true.
Therefore, if you haven't watched this movie, we highly recommend it, even if you're not into rap music. Still, the soundtrack "Lose Yourself" will stay in your head days after hearing it. Moreover, Eminem won an Oscar for the Best Original Song.
2. The Doors
Extraordinary personality, distinguishing voice, and eccentric performances are all descriptions of Jim Morrison, lead singer of "The Doors." He was one of the most unconventional and prominent frontmen in rock and roll history. Accordingly, Oliver Stone got a great idea of making a biopic about Morrison's life. The famous director chose an excellent cast, including Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison, Meg Ryan as his sweetheart Pamela Courson, and Kyle MacLachlan as Jim's bandmate, Ray Manzarek.
Therefore, if you want to feel the wild '60s spirit, then you have to watch this one. You'll enter the world of hippie lifestyle and unconditional love while enjoying music from The Doors. On the other hand, this is the opportunity to find out the complexity of Morrison's personality, his interest in hallucinogenic drugs, and, particularly, his growing obsession with death.
1. Bohemian Rhapsody
The biopic about the Queen's lead singer, Freddie Mercury, wears the same title as their most significant hit. The story follows Queen's remarkable and unique frontman Freddie Mercury who had a four-octave vocal range. Watching "Bohemian Rhapsody," you'll find out more about Freddie, who broke stereotypes with his extravagant stage performance. He differed from any other stage persona!
However, Mercury wasn't so fabulous all the time as he once described himself, saying: "When I'm performing, I'm an extrovert, yet inside I'm a completely different man." So, in this movie, you'll meet his other, not so well-known side. Talented Rami Malek, who portrayed Mercury, did a marvelous job, and we applaud him for his performance. The similarity between the movie and Live Aid footage is remarkable, as Malek copied Mercury's stage moves to perfection.
Did you watch any of those movies from our top ten list? Which one left the strongest impression on you? We're eager to read about your impressions of these biopics in the comment section.
Cover photo - YouTube Screenshot
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