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Thursday Movie Picks: Movies Based on True Events

Thursday Movie Picks is hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. This week’s theme is movies based on true events. There’s a lot of movies that are based from historical events, or stories of people. Here are my picks for this week.

Spotlight – I’ve wondered what the religious congregations from the list mentioned at the end of this film thought about this. The issue is disheartening, especially for the victims whose voices were unheard or silenced. 

Finding Neverland – This is my favorite Johnny Depp role. He might be a laughingstock now, but back then he had good movies and this was one of them. 

Anastasia (1997) – Back when Disney princesses were ruling the princess movies, this one stood out for me. This started my interest in the Romanov family, and made me put St. Petersburg on my bucket list. 

Comments

  1. All three of these are great films!

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  2. I hope you got to St. Petersburg. I studied there for a semester in 1992, and it was wonderful.

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  3. Spotlight is excellent, yet heartbreaking. Finding Neverland didn't work for me. I probably should revisit, though. I've not seen your last pick.

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    1. I was really surprised. I live in one of those countries featured, and I didn't hear anything from the church or religious groups regarding this movie. They have been outspoken about other fictional movies, would have liked to hear their opinion on a 'based on a true story' film.

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  4. Spotlight is wonderful at showing the work that goes into newspaper investigative reporting, it reminded me a great deal of All the President's Men, a huge favorite, in that way. A disturbing outcome but a fine film.

    Finding Neverland was an unexpected charmer when I saw it in the theatre and I agree that Depp gives a super performance, unfortunately I also agree that he's become a lazy paycheck actor now. But he doesn't carry the movie alone Freddie Highmore, Kate Winslet and the great Julie Christie all do sharp work, but that's true throughout the film which is well cast down to the smallest role, I LOVE Mr & Mrs Snow!

    I've never seen this version of Anastasia but have seen the Ingrid Bergman film of the same name several times. That was the one that hooked me on the story and I've read many books and watched other takes about her and her family.

    Love films based on true events and am usually willing to give such pictures at least a shot so coming up with three was easy, limiting it to three was more difficult but I managed.

    Frost/Nixon (2008)-In 1977 well known showman David Frost (Michael Sheen) famous for glib interviews with pop stars is suffering a bit of a slump. He hits upon what he thinks is a surefire idea for a ratings grabbing showpiece. He sets out to interview former president Richard Nixon (Frank Langella), living in seclusion in San Clemente, CA after resigning in disgrace following the Watergate scandal. Nixon’s agent Swifty Lazar sure that it will be a puff piece encourages Tricky Dicky to take the sizable amount of money offered and run. The series of interviews get off to a rocky start with a loquacious and obdurate Nixon evading any sort of hard questioning but suddenly an unexpected breakthrough changes the course of the sessions into a revealing confessional. Sheen & Langella repeated their roles from the hit Broadway play that was the basis for the film which in turn was based on the actual interviews.

    The Queen (2006)-In 1997 Queen Elizabeth II (Helen Mirren) has been on the English throne for 45 years, respected and beloved worldwide. Even more popular, though not within the royal family, is her former daughter-in-law Princess Diana whose marriage to Prince Charles had collapsed in acrimony after a decade of high exposure. She has since become a goodwill ambassador for many worthwhile causes as well as a paparazzi magnet and a bane to her former mother-in-law. When Diana is killed in a car accident caused by those same paparazzi hounding her the queen believes the proper course is a quiet funeral followed by a period of private mourning owing to the fact that Diana is no longer considered a member of the royal family. That turns out to be an almost catastrophic miscalculation that threatens the sovereignty of the throne and which requires new Prime Minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) to step in and guide her through to avert a disastrous outcome. Helen Mirren won an Oscar for her much lauded performance.

    Inherit the Wind (1960)-Small town teacher Bertram Cates (Dick York-best known as the first Darrin on Bewitched) is arrested for teaching Darwin’s evolutionary theory to his students and put on trial. Representing him gratis is famed attorney Henry Drummond (Spencer Tracy) as the opposition is spearheaded by blustery litigator Matthew Harrison Brady (Fredric March) while wryly cynical newspaperman E. K. Hornbecker (Gene Kelly) observes and reports. As passions run high in the oppressive summer heat the local pastor Reverend Jeremiah Brown (Claude Akins) incites the townspeople with fiery rhetoric. A real acting showcase for both leads aided by a beautiful performance from Florence Eldridge (she was March’s spouse in real life) as Brady’s gentle wife who tries to temper his more outrageous behavior. Semi fictionalized version of the Scopes Monkey trial wherein famed lawyers Clarence Darrow & William Jennings Bryant fought in court over Darwin’s theory.

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    1. The Queen has soared to an immediate must watch after my holiday. I'm hoping to watch it before the year ends.

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  5. I read the title but saw the Deadpool pic underneath and I was like - wha?
    Your actual choices are good, and appropriate. Phew.

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  6. Great picks! Love all three of them.

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  7. Finding Neverland is a bit cheesy but it still made me cry. The entire subplot with Kate Winslet and the kids...oh God.

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  8. Great picks here. Spotlight is such an important film and Depp is so understated in Finding Neverland. Makes me wish he still did roles like that.

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