This week the trailers were released for England Is Mine, the upcoming biopic of The Smiths singer Morrissey. The film will join a long line of recent biopics following the lives of some of our best and brightest musicians, so in honour of the release, here’s a look at our favourites!
This biopic of the iconic Ray Charles is a beloved life story to start off this list. It spans an impressive life while still giving enough detail to entertain, and thanks to the performance of its lead Jamie Foxx, it’s also got plenty of awards, including an Academy Award, to its name.
Control narrates the life of Joy Division founding member Ian Curtis, detailing his life up to his suicide in 1980. The film has a particularly painful and real touch to its tragedy due to the fact that it was based on the biogaphy of Ian Curtis’ widow Deborah, which pushes the emotional stakes up to eleven. Despite its dark subject matter, which is handled incredibly well, there’s still a lot of hope in the film due to the relationships between its characters and its dark humour.
3: The Runaways
Any fan of the ’70s riot girl band for which this film is named will adore this film. It puts the formation of The Runaways and the relationship between the band members Cherie Curry and Joan Jett, played very convincingly by Kristen Stewart. While considered by many to be more of a coming-of-age tale about teenage identity and rebellion than a dead-on biopic, if you’re a fan of female-led rock then this is definitely a flick to put on your watchlist.
2: Straight Outta Compton
This Oscar-nominated biopic of the revolutionary rap group NWA is on here for more reasons than we could list. The casting is brilliant, with the group’s songwriter and rapper Ice Cube being played by the real-life star’s son O’Shea Jackson Jr. It’s an incredibly topical film that references the police brutality and riots that influenced the group’s lyrics; both of these topics are still breaking the news today with a lot of the same coverage as NWA saw while they were writing and recording. Despite several disputes over the accuracy of the film, it’s still well-made and thoroughly enjoyable, especially if you’re from the group of music enthusiasts who are fascinated by how songs can spark protest and change.
1: Sid And Nancy
One of the first major film biopics of a musician, this tragic portrayal of The Sex Pistols member Sid Vicious’ mutually destructive relationship with girlfriend Nancy Spungen is an absolute must-see. The cast is filled with talent in the form of Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb, who truly bring life to the doomed couple, and in terms of showing the lifestyle of drink and drugs that ultimately led to the downward spiral the two faced, the film pulls no punches whatsoever. Over thirty years on from the film’s release it’s gained a sort of cult classic status, and we think it’s fully deserved.