The Five - Biopics
Written by Brionna Raum
Compiled by Brionna Raum and Cameron Galvin
You don’t have to be a history buff to love a good biopic. And we sure do love them here! These movies were chosen based off of their ability to tell the stories of beautiful, complex people, who each contributed something meaningful to society (undoubtedly, the reason they got a biopic in the first place). There are so many very good biopic films to choose from, but as you know, there can only be 5 in today’s edition of The Five. Shed a single tear for them… here some honorable mentions that did not quite make the list: The Imitation Game (2014), 42 (2014), Braveheart (1995), and Walk the Line (2005).
5. Frida (2002)
Coming in 5th, director Julie Taymor and Mexican actress Salma Hayek bring us into the colorful world of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Quite possibly the most recognizable female artist in history, Frida Kahlo is more than deserving of her own biopic, and Salma Hayek does a beautiful job of portraying the passion and drama of Frida Kahlo’s life and love. Frida is the only biopic on our list dedicated to one woman and her accomplishments. Here we celebrate Mexican-American filmmaking, and the beautiful color of Mexican culture.
4. Hidden Figures (2016)
Next up in our list we have a three-for-one biopic representing the black female mathematicians who were vital to NASA during the Space Race. This film brings you into the lives of mathematician Katherine Johnson, NASA supervisor Dorothy Vaughan, and NASA engineer Mary Jackson. Each of their stories are unique and worthy of a film in and of themselves, but their depiction here together really drives home the message that dropping prejudices of race and gender catalyzes amazing things. And what’s more amazing than a man on the moon?
3. Selma (2014)
Third on our list we continue with another biopics for an individual who broke racial barriers. Selma follows the journey of Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the incredible march from Selma to Montgomery that changed the course of the Civil Rights movement. Director Ava DuVernay was nominated for Best Director at the Golden Globes, and was the first ever black female director to be nominated. The film itself is beautifully done and gives a great picture of the struggle to overcome racism in America.
2. Schindler’s List (1993)
As our runner up for best biopic, we have Spielberg’s Schindler’s List. This film depicts the incredible story of Oskar Schindler, a businessman and member of the Nazi party who is moved by the atrocities he sees committed towards the Jews in his city. Schindler is able to save more than a thousand Jewish people from being sent to Auschwitz by spending his entire fortune, and bribing the right people. This film is not only an important piece about the Holocaust and the atrocities of World War II, but it also demonstrates how someone with enough courage can use the resources at their disposal to defy the norm and do the right thing.
1. Amadeus (1984)
Coming in at the big number one, we have Miloš Forman’s award-winning film Amadeus. This film beautifully illustrates the crescendos and decrescendos of the life and work of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and features his music throughout. The film also takes a good look at the rivalry between Mozart and his eventual murderer, Italian composer Antonio Salieri. Amadeus was extremely well received and won multiple awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture. In this film director Forman takes us into the wild mind of arguably the greatest composer in all of history, and his film is just as sensational as Mozart himself.