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Biopic
"Biopic" is one word. If you were redirected to here and it says "Bio Pic," please change it on the original page you linked from. Thank you.

"This simple formula rarely fails. Pick a deceased (or soon to be deceased) musician, artist or mathematician, make sure they're the sort of person the New York media could conceivably refer to as brilliant, insert a big name actor (or Gary Busey) to play the role; watch movie critics and audiences far and wide go apeshit."
Adam Brown of Cracked.com, on the subject of Oscar Bait.

Based on a True Story, but longer. The Biopic is... well a picture (or motion picture, rather) that tells a person's biography. It takes a real person's life and tries to create drama from the things that the person experienced, to a varying degree of success.

The difference between a Biopic and Based On a True Story is that the Biopic takes place under a much longer time-span, years as opposed to, say, a summer (Finding Neverland). The famous person must also be the story's protagonist.

Due to the unending way we tend to live our life, the Biopic tends to, much like the 19th century novel, end with either the protagonist's Death, him getting married/ Finding God / Growing Up (after which he gets boring), his Downfall (after which he gets boring unless there's a Comeback) or his Greatest Triumph (which may be or follow the Comeback, but after which there is not much more to say).

Lately there have been a lot of biopics about famous musicians, mainly due to the fact that the (unavoidable?) drug/alcohol-abuse is a simple way to create drama and that all the recording sessions/concerts are an easy foil to let the soundtrack shine. Another popular sub-genre, based-on-truth movies about athletes, can count as these, and are a good source of Manly Tears.

This genre's been around for decades, and it's changed and adapted with time. While some films might heavily whitewash their subjects and their times if the intent is to show them in a positive light, it's now more common to explore the many facets, good and bad, of a protagonist's personality. This change is probably most noticeable when the subject is a historical figure - a politician and/or a military leader, for example. With performers it's particularly popular to chronicle those whose offscreen/stage behavior sharply contrasted to their work; e.g., comedians who couldn't find laughter in real life. Other films tell of those who didn't necessarily live great lives, but wonderfully unique ones - it's not a coincidence that the same screenwriting duo wrote Ed Wood, The People Vs Larry Flynt and Man on the Moon.

This genre is extremely subjective with both its makers and its viewers and largely depends on the point of view both parties bring to the table. If the filmmaker is more interested in the sad times, a viewer who loves the subject and knows what's left out might find the film too negative and their hero turned into a Jerk Ass. A filmmaker who wants to focus on the good times can upset a viewer who feels the protagonist is being unduly glorified.

A rich source of Oscar Bait. Essentially the movie form of the Biography. Compare Roman Ó Clef. Expect many to exhibit Mononymous Biopic Titles.

When one of this is made from the perspective of someone other than the subject, it's called a Sidelong Glance Biopic.

Examples:

Tropes that are frequently used in this genre include:


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