Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Top Ten Films From Real Stories

A good movie starts with a good story. Not surprisingly, some of the best stories come from real life. While many films are authentic, others bring new meaning to the phrase 'artistic license.' Still, they all stem from reality. Of course, which movies are deemed noteworthy is a matter of personal interest and individual preference. In no particular order, here are some of the best films from real stories. In no particular order.
1. Lawrence of Arabia Although he hoped to leave a legacy of letters rather than action, moviegoers will forever remember T.E. Lawrence as the larger than life character played by Peter O'Toole in this 1962 epic film. Director David Lean creates a sense of journey by having almost all of the movement in the film go from left to right. The desert naturally lends itself to the romance and mystery of the film, and after 228 minutes, Lawrence is still as much of an enigma as he was at the beginning of this winner of seven Oscars. Some argue this is the beauty of the film, while others see it as its downfall. The movie places fifth on the American Film Institutes' list of the 100 Greatest Movies.
2. GandhiTo do justice to a man of Mohandas K. Gandhi's character must be an intimidating undertaking, but actor Ben Kingsley, a relative unknown to the box office crowd in 1982, pulled it off earning him the Best Actor Oscar and Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. What's wonderful about this film is its intimate portrayal of a man as a husband and father, as well as a revolutionary anti-violence leader.
3. MaskBased on the life of Roy "Rocky" Dennis, a teen with a terrible facial deformity, Mask demonstrates the scope of human behaviour—from cruelty to compassion to heroism. The characters, Cher as Rocky's mother and Eric Stoltz as Rocky, are raw and honest.
4. Schindler's ListDirected by Steven Spielberg and the winner of seven Oscars and countless other rewards this dramatic 1993 movie is about Oskar Schindler, a Nazi party member who saved over 1,000 Jews during the Holocaust. Based on Thomas Keneally's novel by the same name and filmed in Poland, its power derives from staying faithful to a passionate and treacherous story.
5. The UntouchablesIn 1987, The Untouchables ushered in an era of mob movies and brought the mean streets of Chicago to the big screen. Based on Eliot Ness's autobiography, Kevin Costner plays Ness, a federal agent trying to bring down Al Copone's liquor operation during prohibition. The movie's only fault is that reality could not live up to the lavish and beautifully crafted recreation directed by Brian De Palma.


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