Greatest Biopic Film Scripts

It is said that truth is stranger than fiction, which is why cinema owes a lot of its greatest accomplishments to reality. Biographical films are a special breed among movies based in true events, because they try to portray the evolution of real life characters through the most important events of their lives.

It’s a daunting task for the screenwriter, sometimes hard-pressed to fit decades of life into roughly 100-120 pages. That is probably why biopics often become monumental projects that bring the audience to a fast paced journey across a bunch of dissimilar environments.

But they are often the stories of those who shaped the world- for better or worse. And well written biopics seem to generally succeed in fulfilling the demands of reviewers and audiences alike. They are a challenge for the performer as well, compelled to carry most of the narrative weight through the whole shooting process. However, those efforts are often rewarded with wide recognition, and the Academy seems to have a certain weakness for biographical dramas.

A lot of moviegoers feel an inherent curiosity about watching the tale of a notorious figure in the big screen, and the list of famous –or infamous- individuals whose life has been adapted into a film keeps growing.

Here are some of the most acclaimed biopic film scripts of all time:

(1960) Spartacus

(1962) Lawrence of Arabia

(1967) Bonnie and Clyde

(1972) Lady Sings the Blues

(1980) Raging Bull

(1980) The Elephant Man

(1982) Gandhi

(1984) Amadeus

(1987) The Last Emperor

(1990) Goodfellas

(1992) Malcolm X

(1992) Chaplin

(1994) Ed Wood

(1995) Braveheart

(2001) A Beautiful Mind

(2002) Catch me if you Can

(2005) Walk the Line

(2010) The Social Network

(2014) The Theory of Everything

Joaquin Phoenix Scripts

Many child actors live notoriously troubled lives.

The stress of fame, and the challenge of creating emotions for a performance takes its toll on downloadyoung minds, all too frequently resulting in alcoholism and mental illness.  Often times these troubles mean the end of the performer’s career, but there are exceptions. Joaquin Phoenix is certainly no stranger to adversity. When he was still very young, he lost his brother River who was also a performer. Joaquin Phoenix has been admitted into rehab, and has publicly claimed to be narcissistic, manic, and unstable. Despite all this, his career is a brilliant example of how to turn dark circumstances into an incredible career.

Phoenix’s specialty is characters who are troubled like him. Brooding, and unpredictable, his performances reach beautiful empathetic heights and frightening lows, but they rarely feel phoned in. His performance as Johnny Cash is legendary although he did not receive an Oscar for the role. Merrill, his character in M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs,  provides real depth and humanity in a film often criticized for its heavy handed subtext. The commonality amongst each of his performances is a sense of desperation. In Her Theodore aches for love and understanding, in The Master,  Freddie searches for truth to calm his storming mind. It is rare that an actor can operate in such delicate places without crossing over into parody or melodrama, and while Phoenix may owe some credit to those who wrote the script or directed his performance, it is impossible to overlook his abilities. 

Here are some of Phoenix’s finest performances:                                                                        

Walk the Line

Year:2005
Director:James Mangold
Written by:James Mangold (Screenplay), Gill Dennis (Screenplay)

Script Synopsis:A chronicle of country music legend Johnny Cash's life, from his early days on an Arkansas cotton farm to his rise to fame with Sun Records in Memphis, where he recorded alongside Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.
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