5 Underrated Rock Biopics That Rocked Our World
It’s been a while since our last rock biopic—a movie genre that bows to the musical legends we still can’t believe existed. And this past weekend, we were reminded what we were missing, thanks to the Jimi Hendrix biopic, Jimi: All Is By My Side. The film stars Outkast’s André Benjamin, and centers on Hendrix’s life in London from 1966 to 1967. Jimi is the newest addition to a genre power-packed with unforgettable, award-winning films—from Ray to The Doors to Walk the Line. But how about those lesser-known biopics that still manage to suck us in and remind us of the potency of music legends? Here are a few you might have forgotten.
1. Control – Joy Division
Control is a biopic following the life of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis. Aside from highlighting Joy Division’s ascent into fame, the story centers on Ian’s early marriage to Debbie Woodruff, his struggles with epilepsy, and his continuing fight with depression. The film’s director, Anton Corbijn, was actually the band’s photographer.
2. Sid and Nancy: Love Kills – Sex Pistols
As much as people love to glamorize the tumultuous relationship between Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen, the biopic reveals a grittier side to this heartbreaking love story. Director, Alex Cox, took on the tough job of telling this story just seven years after their tragic deaths. In spite of the film’s devastating story, it’s a must-see biopic for all you rock-and-roll lovers. And yes, that is Gary Oldman playing Sid Vicious.
3. I’m Not There – Bob Dylan
Director, Todd Haynes, opted to tackle this film in a rather unorthodox way. In order to portray the many public personas of Bob Dylan, he hired six different actors. Christian Bale, Richard Gere, Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger, Ben Whishaw, and Marcus Carl Franklin all depict a different aspect of Dylan, making the film that much more revealing.
4. Nowhere Boy – John Lennon
While it’s undoubtedly interesting watching a beloved artist ascend to fame, it can be even more fascinating to witness life before it all. Nowhere Boy focuses mostly on John Lennon’s adolescent years. The film is based on a memoir written by Lennon’s half-sister, Julia Baird. If you’re looking for a full Beatles experience, Nowhere Boy is not the place. The film wisely ends before that ol’ genesis.
5. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
This isn’t exactly one rock biopic, but ALL the rock biopics ever rolled into one hilarious package. The mock biopic, centered around a gifted musician named Dewey Cox, who comes replete with inner-demons, voracious appetites, and the ability to write a song that’s unintentionally rife with puns. This movie was absolutely made by a fan of the genre, and the humor aside, it’s a loving tribute to all those musical legends who inspired big screen adaptations.
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