What does one look for in a great biopic? Historical accuracy? A memorable personality? The right story within the larger person’s life? It is only on a very rare occasion that a director and his/her team are able to check all of these boxes. Some have come very close. But perhaps there will never be a truly unbiased biopic since it’s near impossible for the filmmakers to deliver something completely objective.
Personally, I have thoroughly enjoyed researching for this list because there is something special about knowing that the events in these films are real (or at least based on something real), and it is in this knowledge that can affect the way we experience the film, often bringing us on a larger, more fulfilling journey that sometimes even takes us beyond the realm of what we consider possible. Mark Twain put it this way: “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”
It is in that Truth alone that makes the biopic a genre that often receives top honors and critical acclaim.