Five Excellent Biopics About Singers

Singer biopics are set to take over in 2022 with upcoming films like Elvis, featuring the life story of the King of Rock and Roll; Wanna Dance With Somebody, featuring Whitney Houston’s life; Cher, Madonna, and more, and we are all looking forward to watching these films in theater. There’s just something about biopics, especially about prominent singers, and diving deeper into the lives of these famous people. While we’re all waiting patiently for the upcoming biopics listed, here are five of our recommendations for biopics of singers that are worth watching especially if you love music.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Rhapsody is a 2018 biographical musical drama film directed by Bryan Singer from a screenplay by Anthony McCarten, and produced by Graham King and Queen manager Jim Beach. The film follows the life of the British rock musical band Queen, centering on its lead singer Freddie Mercury. The timeline of the film begins in the 1970s telling the story of how the band was formed until the band’s 1985 Live Aid performance at the original Wembley Stadium.
It stars Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, with Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joe Mazzello, Aidan Gillen, Tom Hollander, and Mike Myers in supporting roles. Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor were consulted in creating the film. Bohemian Rhapsody received numerous accolades, which include winning Best Actor (Malek), Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing the 91st Academy Awards and a nomination for Best Picture. The film also won Best Motion Picture – Drama at the 76th Golden Globe Awards and was nominated for the Producers Guild of America Award for Best Theatrical Motion Picture and BAFTA Award for Best British Film. Malek’s performance also gained him the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA for Best Actor. Rolling Stone reviewed the film and praised Malek for his outstanding performance. “The rousing life that Malek brings to this extraordinary recreation deserves all the cheers it gets. Screw the film’s flaws — you don’t want to miss his performance

Respect

The “Queen of Soul” definitely deserves a biopic and the 2021 biographical musical drama film Respect directed by Liesl Tommy, her feature directorial debut, written by Tracey Scott Wilson, Callie Khouri, is based on the life of American singer Aretha Franklin. The film stars Jennifer Hudson as Franklin alongside Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess, and Mary J. Blige in supporting roles. The film centers on Franklin’s first two decades depicting her beginnings as a musical prodigy and her rise to international fame as she battles her own demons and her abusive marriage. The film received several awards including a Nomination at the Screen Actors Guild Awards 2022 for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for Jennifer Hudson, a Grammy Awards Nomination for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media, and Hudson winning the Chairman’s Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival 2022. New York Times published a review of the film and commended it saying, “‘Respect’ succeeds in doing exactly what is expected of it. You may argue with this or that filmmaking choice and regret its overly smooth edges, but it does give you a sense of Franklin as a historical figure, a crossover success story and a full-throttle, fur-draped diva.”

Rocketman

The 2019 biographical musical drama film Rocketman is based on the life and music of British musician Elton John. It was directed by Dexter Fletcher and written by Lee Hall, and stars Taron Egerton, of Kingsman, in the lead role. Jamie Bell, Richard Madden , and Bryce Dallas Howard also star in supporting roles. The film’s title is based on John’s 1972 song “Rocket Man”. The biopic centers on John’s journey starting as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music and his breakthrough into stardom as well as his collaboration with singer-songwriter Bernie Taupin. Egerton received critical acclaim for his performance and received several nominations, including the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor-Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. Musical duo John and Taupin also won Best Original Song at the 77th Golden Globe Awards, Best Song at the 25th Critics’ Choice Awards, and Best Original Song at the 92nd Academy Awards for the song “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again”. Rolling Stone shared in their review how the film is simply something that can’t be missed.“But Rocketman has found its moment with exactly the right director and star in place, and in this euphoric blast of a film we watch him get to a space where he is “looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid.” Forget any stumbles into the valley of cliches, this one you don’t want to miss.”

Ray

The 2004 American biographical musical drama film Ray depicts the life of rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles with an outstanding performance from Jamie Foxx in the title role. The cast also features Kerry Washington, Clifton Powell, Harry Lennix, Terrence Howard, Larenz Tate, Richard Schiff and Regina King in supporting roles. The film was co-produced and directed by Taylor Hackford, and written by James L. White from a story by Hackford and White. Ray received several accolades and nominations which includes a nomination at the 77th Academy Awards. Foxx won the Academy Award for Best Actor as well as the Golden Globe, BAFTA, Screen Actors Guild, and Critics’ Choice. In a review published by The Guardian, Foxx was praised for his performance in the film. “Jamie Foxx gives a virtuoso performance as Charles, uncannily reproducing his physical movements and idiosyncrasies, especially the rolling gait, somewhere between the caution of a blind man and the swagger of a star.”

Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton is a 2015 American biographical musical crime drama film directed by F. Gary Gray. The film tells the story of the rap group N.W.A and its members Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, MC Ren, and DJ Yella. Similar to Bohemian Rhapsody, the members of the group were consulted and some were even part of the productions. The film centers on how the group revolutionized hip-hop and their journey to becoming significant figures of the gangsta rap subgenre with the help of their veteran manager Jerry Heller. The title of the film is based on N.W.A’s controversial first studio album, “Straight Outta Compton”. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and the soundtrack album debuted at no. 1 on the Rap Albums chart and reached no. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. New York Times reviewed the film and described the film’s “rap-to-riches story.” They wrote, “The movie acknowledges the larger agonizing picture, but mostly it celebrates a crew of Horatio Algers of another color who become crossover kings turned establishment titans.”

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