More Bio Flicks

messengerAlan Turing and Stephen Hawking aren’t the only real-life persons in the movies. Here are three more critically-favored bio-pics.  “Wild” is based Cheryl Strayed’s  memoir of her 1995 solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. The film’s “free-associative, memory-driven narrative” showed a “thrilling disregard” for Hollywood convention (NYT) and Reese  Weatherspoon, who appeared in  90% of the frames, gave a performance marked by ” grit and unblinking honesty (NYT).”  “American Sniper” is based on the life of Chris Kyle, the deadliest marksman in U.S. military history.   The film stirred up some controversy, in part because Director Clint Eastwood invented some scenes for dramatic purposes and in part because the audience divided along partisan lines.  But, as the New Yorker notes, this was not just a “celebration of a warrior’s skill” but also a “lament over his alienation and misery.” Finally, ‘Kill the Messenger” was based on the true story of journalist Gary Webb, who alledegedly discovered proof that the CIA was importing crack cocaine into the U.S. to secretly fund Nicaragua’s contra rebels. Despite enormous pressure,   Webb went public with his evidence and found himself the target of a vicious smear campaign fueled by the Agency. The Guardian rated the film as an” intelligent, rigorously constructed biopic.”

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