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Biopic

Reviews

Stan & Ollie

By: Jessica Goddard Touching, sincere, and surprisingly universal, Jon S. Baird’s Stan & Ollie is a sensitive look into the last tour of legendary comedy act Laurel and Hardy.  Built on wonderful performances from Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly as Laurel and Hardy respectively, the biopic has wonderful range – from the tender or vicious exchanges to the subtle but magnetic moments when the pair perform on stage as a duo.

Reviews

Blaze

By: Trevor Chartrand Director Ethan Hawke’s country music biopic Blaze leaves a lot to be desired – with a lot of atmosphere and not much narrative, this film is meandering and weak.  To some, the film could perhaps be considered an abstract poem, akin to the music stylings of the late Blaze Foley, which I suppose should be commendable.  However, given the more obscure nature of this film’s subject, the storytelling gaps will leave audiences…

Reviews

Bigger

Bigger is an abysmal biopic about the Weider brothers, Joe and Ben, which is unfortunate because the world of fitness is due for an engrossing movie.  Not a flabby flick like this.

Reviews

Papillon

As someone who – sheepishly – isn’t qualified to compare this remake to its original source material (the 1973 classic starring Steve McQueen and the books written by Henri Charrière), I can tell you that as a standalone prison drama, Papillon works very well.

Reviews

Spaceman

By: Nick van Dinther With a real-life figure like Bill “Spaceman” Lee, there is more than enough material to make an interesting biopic.  Unfortunately, the creators of Spaceman decided to leave a lot of that material on the table.

Reviews

Borg vs. McEnroe

Björn Borg, a mannered enigma, and John McEnroe, a hot head with a brash reputation, developed a public rivalry with each other based on their differences in athletic gameplay and sportsmanship.  However, if you’re looking for a explanatory grasp on their relationship, you won’t find it in Borg vs. McEnroe.  The film itself is adequate by biopic and sport movie standards – merely on its surface – but its focus is more targeted on individual arcs.

Reviews

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

By: Jessica Goddard Paul McGuigan’s Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool is a sappy, sweet, and rich examination of the relationship between Oscar winner Gloria Grahame (Annette Bening) and aspiring actor Peter Turner (Jamie Bell), some thirty years her junior.  It’s a movie about a lot of things;  their weird but earnest age gap romance, the eccentric persona of the former film starlet, the panic spiral associated with aging, the cutthroat nature of showbiz.

Reviews

The Dancer

Stephanie Di Giusto’s The Dancer is one of the more interesting biopics in recent memory.  It’s by the book in terms of the genre’s formula and narrative structure but Di Giusto finds another way to look at her film’s biographical material.