Films based on the lives of famous personalities often become interesting materials that Hollywood studios use for their biographical pictures. Many of these works feature people who made historical and cultural impacts in the society. Just like the individuals they typically use as source materials, memorable biopics also make their own landmark contributions to cinema with their box office profits and winning streaks in prestigious award-giving bodies, including the Academy Awards. The year 2010 alone inspired a handful of contemporary offerings recognized as some of the year’s finest.
“The Social Network”
“The Social Network” chronicles the rise to fame of the computer programming genius Mark Zuckerberg, the youngest billionaire in history and the founder of the legendary social-networking site Facebook. David Fincher helms this biographical drama about one of the largest social phenomena of the century. Its story delves into the Harvard undergrad’s venture into a brand new idea that would soon revolutionize the way the world communicates.
The film works as an engaging character study that boasts brilliant writing, directing, and acting performances. It focuses on the thoughts and feelings of the people involved in the creation of Facebook and the personal and legal conflicts associated with fame, money, and power. This critically acclaimed material won the Academy Awards for Best Editing, Best Original Score, and Best Adapted Screenplay, along with five other nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Jesse Eisenberg.
Mountain climber Aron Ralston’s gut-wrenching experience and miraculous survival becomes a powerful statement about man’s will to live in Danny Boyle’s biographical adventure drama “127 Hours.” Based on Ralston’s autobiography “Between a Rock and a Hard Place,” this true-to-life-story leaves a substantial thumbprint on what cinema can really bring to the audience at the hands of such a masterful filmmaker. Boyle is able to transcend his material’s straightforward plot into an unsettling piece of human experience through its graphically honest depiction of human willpower.
This ambitious film undoubtedly pulls off a breakthrough role for James Franco. As a man trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone in Utah, he effectively channels his energy to create a believable life-and-death situation for his character. As Ralston, he chooses to amputate his arm in order to escape an impending death inside a claustrophobic crevice deep down the Earth. This film’s shock value and cinematic brilliance earned it six Oscar nominations including Best Picture and Best Actor.
“The Fighter” is a biographical sports drama about addiction and relationships. It revolves around the early career of professional boxer Micky Ward and the one grooming him toward the ranks, his half-brother Dicky, a former boxer himself who unfortunately got knocked out by his life of drugs and crime. Bringing enough depth to its fine mix of solid drama and absurd and comic moments, this film gracefully wanders from one character to the next, while still keeping its focus on the inspirational story of a boxer finally earning his big break.
David Russel’s excellent direction allows the narrative to explore varying levels of characterization, which turns this supposedly conventional and predictable piece into a striking boxing drama worthy of its accolades. This cinematic offering received a total of seven Academy Award nominations, including the much-coveted award for Best Picture. It garnered two Oscars with Christian Bale winning Best Supporting Actor and Melissa Leo winning Best Supporting Actress.