January 21, 2011

MRQE Rewind: Cinema's 10 Best Bio-Pics


Biographies are a way for someone to experience or have an eye into the life of someone else. For hundreds of years, people have been imitating and impersonating influential figures. These films usually revolve around an accepted historical person that has come to fame through popular genres. From powerful politicians to cartel carriers, bio-pics usually all have one thing in common--high intensity and a dynamic allure of consumer appeal. Audience members want to feel connected to these people and as if they can seep into someone’s life for a ninety minutes pan. 2010 was a huge year for bio-pics, from The Social Network and 127 Hours, to The King's Speech and The Fighter, all four of these films explore extraordinary men that were deeply influential during their time. So, where do these movies stand with the top ten best-reviewed bio-pics of all time? Read on below.

10. Malcolm X (1992) - MRQE Metric: 85
Spike Lee co-wrote, co-produced, and directed the legendary film Malcolm X in 1992. Highly-praised by Roger Ebert, this biographical picture stars Denzel Washington in his most powerful role to date. Playing the legendary Muslim-American political figure, Washington takes the audience on a ride in and out of a life of illness and racism; all through the experience of extreme pain and hate. Washington was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor, though he was “robbed of” this title, says Lee. Washington lost to Al Pacino.



9. Shakespeare in Love (1998) - MRQE Metric: 86
Shakespeare in Love is an interesting portrayal of the life of William Shakespeare as he was writing Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare in Love went on to win seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and Best Actress (Gwyneth Paltrow). This critically acclaimed film leaves audiences inspired by love. There is a light air and beauty which is carried throughout the film allowing emotion to seep through the movie reels.



8. The Social Network (2010) - MRQE Metric: 86
The Social Network is not only one of the best films to come out of 2010; it can be considered is one of the best bio-pics of all time. It tells the tale of what happened to the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, on the lonely Harvard campus, and how he turned a small social networking site into a $50 billion business. Breakthrough-star Jessie Eisenberg guides the audience, with the support of a strong line-up of cast members, to see what really (well, might have) happened throughout the creation of Facebook. An exceptional film that all audience members of the modern day can relate to, this is a must-see film for generations to come.



7. Bonnie and Clyde (1967) - MRQE Metric: 86
Bonnie and Clyde is a notorious film about a notorious fugitive couple that traveled across the central United States doing highly illegal things, such as killing almost a dozen police officers. This criminal dynamic duo were well-known robbers and outlaws that were at the peak of the “public enemy era” from 1931 to 1934. Starring Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, as Bonnie and Clyde, respectively, the film reached massive success on the American market due to the fast-past crime thriller being so well directed by Arthur Penn. This film is considered a landmark in Hollywood for redefining many taboos against an older generation, including sex, scandal, and violence--all things that had been unseen on such a raw level before on the big screen. Just like Bonnie and Clyde, in real life and in film, borders and rules were broken.



6. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007) - MRQE Metric: 87
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is an enchanting French film about, Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor-in-chief of Elle Magazine. The film focuses on Bauby, as he suffers a stroke and is in a coma for almost three weeks. Director Julian Schnabel won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival; a rightly deserved award. The sincere and open interpretation of one man's struggle with a locked-in syndrome, nominated and won this film for many awards across all international borders.



5. Schindler's List (1993) - MRQE Metric: 89
Shot entirely in black-and-white to bring us into the era, Schindler’s List is a film that's hard to get through without a box of tissues in hand. It's also a truly captivating and emotional portrayal of life under the Nazi regime. This heartfelt film about the pain that Holocaust victims and survivors experienced, and the man that strove to save as many lives as possible, is the most honest portrayal of this time period. Most historians have willingly proclaimed just how intelligent, classic, and driven Steven Spielberg’s take of Nazi Germany truly is.



4. Goodfellas (1990) - MRQE Metric: 90
From Robert De Niro, to Ray Liotta, and Joe Pesci, Goodfellas stands as one of the most quintessential match-ups of actors ever. Goodfellas explores the life and times of organized crime mobster, and FBI informant, Henry Hill. From beginning to end, audience members awe at how sly these gentlemen are. With low voices, big guns, and plenty of money, drugs, and women, this New York crime family gets what they want. These bad boys do not take ‘no’ for an answer and do not bow down to anyone. Director Martin Scorsese portrays to perfection this mischievous lifestyle.



3. Raging Bull (1980) - MRQE Metric: 91
Raging Bull is not only one Scorsese’s most successful films; it is probably one of the best movies to come out of the 1980’s. Actor Robert De Niro’s role as a highly respected boxer, Jake LaMotta, conveys both a powerful performance in and out of the ring. The deep desire of success and grit of blood and tears, leaves the audience members bring hit back and forth on a roller-coaster ride of emotion throughout this classic film.



2. Amadeus (1984) - MRQE Metric: 92
One of the best music bio-pics ever, Amadeus is an exemplary film about the life of Mozart. This tale about a musical genius and the struggles he faced throughout his life, allows audiences to be captivated by writer Peter Shaffer’s ability to bring truth and emotion to such a dry period of time. This film was extremely risky to make, though, Amadeus projects everything from magnificent and true, to painful and heartbreaking.



1. Lawrence of Arabia (1962) - MRQE Metric: 93
This 1962 classic, Lawrence of Arabia, gives a fantastical view of the glorious desert landscape that replicates the Allies' mid-eastern campaign during World War I. This film is expressed by a primetime replication of T.E. Lawrence, played by Pete O’Toole, in a role which made him a big-screen movie star. Known to be one of the best bio-pics of all time, this honest, emotional, and gut-wrenching story of the famed British soldier fighting for his life, leaves audiences--after a barren three hour and forty minute runtime--in an awe-inspired state


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