There has been a recent surge of biopics lately and for good reason. People want you to know about their journey, how they made it to where they are, and some obstacles they’ve faced along the way. While some biopics have been a hit, others not so much. They just have to be done right. Maybe I’m biased because I haven’t seen a biopic that has captured the true essence of someone since the 90s. When I’m watching a biopic, I want to forget about the actor/actress playing them so much, that you couldn’t tell me they weren’t that actual person in real life. With so many biopics on the rise, I thought it would be only right if I took it back to some of the greatest biopics of all time.
This 1997 film tells the beautiful and tragic story of Selena Quintanilla, the famous Tejano singer who tragically passed away. Released two years after her death, many questioned whether the film was released too soon, as many were still mourning the singer’s death. Jennifer Lopez was tapped to portray the late singer, which turned out to be her breakout role. You couldn’t tell me Jennifer wasn’t Selena herself, the way she captured all of her mannerisms, dances, and the singer’s fun and playful personality. Had it not been for this film, I doubt we would know Lopez as the star she is today.
No one, I mean no one can portray the great Malcolm X as Denzel Washington did. Oh, the dedication! You couldn’t tell me that Washington wasn’t Malcolm X in real life. The mannerisms, the voice training, the raw, unfiltered emotion, the mastery of his craft, this was the film in my opinion, that truly put Washington on the map. In his second Spike Lee film, which also stars Angela Bassett, Delroy Lindo, and Albert Hall with cameo appearances from Nelson Mandela, Rev. Al Sharpton, and Bobby Seale co-founder of the Black Panther Party, Washington showed up and showed out. Nominated for Best Actor at the Academy Awards, (one day we’re going to discuss how Hollywood truly messed him over), it was clear that everyone had taken notice and saw the true talent within. After this film, Washington was booked and busy, and he continued to deliver time and time again.
What’s Love Got to Do with It
This is the holy grail of biopics! Miss Angela Bassett ate and left no crumbs! Her portrayal of Tina Turner was one for the books. It was so good that it earned her numerous awards and nominations including one for the Academy Awards for Best Actress (I still can’t believe she didn’t win, but we already know how that goes). Oh, but let’s not forget about Laurence Fishburne’s portrayal of Ike Turner. I’ll admit when I was a child, I thought Fishburne was really Ike Turner and you couldn’t tell me differently. His voice training, snarl demeanor, timeless facial expressions (priceless memes) also earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. This film was real, raw, and something that I’ve never seen before in my life. The chemistry between Bassett and Fishburne was unmatched. Even in the most difficult scenes, they delivered so well that everyone was convinced they were the real deal. Unfortunately, many felt that this role sort of typecast Angela Bassett. While we know that she’s great in any role set in front of her, those on the Hollywood circuit have yet to recognize the dynamic force that she is. Nonetheless, this is one of the greatest biopics of all times and needs to be a reference point to anyone who is considering going down that route. I promise you, this film won’t steer you in the wrong direction.