Author Topic: 14 New Music-Related Celebrity Biopics  (Read 1154 times)


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14 New Music-Related Celebrity Biopics
« on: February 15, 2005, 03:19:00 pm »
14 New Music-Related Celebrity Biopics
 Hey, kids, the Oscarsâ?˘ are coming, and everyone's talking about Jamie Foxx's astonishing performance in Ray. It's not just the few dozen people who actually saw the movie in theaters, either -- studios love the synergistic goodness, because there's finally a way to create an artistically credible product with a hot soundtrack that also moves back-catalog. Everybody wins.
 Naturally, in order to maximize profits, the studios are turning their attention to the indie rock world, where economies of scale dictate smaller payouts and more loosely-worded contracts. With that in mind, we've cooked up a healthy handful of films you can expect to see as a result of Hollywood's new obsession with the world of music.
 Jennifer Kelly, Jason Jackowiak and Georgiana Cohen helped assemble this list. Their contributions are noted with their initials.
 Crispin Glover in Misguided Angel: The Devendra Banhart Story
 Everyone has an Oscarâ?˘-winning performance in them, and Glover, who has spent his career to date playing goofballs, psychos and guys who seem like they'd probably be into necrophilia, scores a surprise win for his performance as sensitive, bemused, frequently trouserless Banhart, as directed by Spike Jonze. It's an impressively even-handed performance -- except, perhaps, for the much-criticized in-joke scene in which Devendra karate-kicks Conan O'Brien after performing on his show.
 Russell Crowe in Fading, Captain: The Life and Times of Robert Pollard
 Crowe gains thirty pounds, writes five songs a day, and crosses the line into full-blown alcoholism for this long-in-development film. Long considered something of a curmudgeon, Bob emerges as a modern American folk hero; in a poignant echo of the film's fanciful dream sequence, he receives the world's first Pulitzer Prize for Rocking Out. The following year, he runs for Governor of Ohio -- and wins. Meanwhile, GBV fans are scandalized when the film's pre-release publicity reveals the fact that most of the dates on the band's final tour were actually played by Crowe and a disguised Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts.
 Scarlett Johansson, Maura Tierney and Hillary Swank in Inside Sleater-Kinney
 Sofia Coppola's pet project comes in at a very talky 196 minutes, $10 million over budget. The studio, anxious to recover some of its expenses on a very niche picture, launches an ad campaign built almost entirely around promises and images of "girl on girl action". On opening night, audiences in Olympia, WA, burn three multi-screen theaters to the ground. Johansson makes promotional appearance on Letterman, complains that now, only old guys and butch women ask her out.
 Ewan McGregor in Paranoid Android: the Secret Story of Radiohead
 Yes, his portrayal of Iggy Pop was a little off in Velvet Goldmine -- especially when it morphed, late-movie, into unmistakable Cobain-ity -- but let's give Scotland's intensely sexy McGregor another chance. Muttering in indecipherable accents, pulling his ginger-toned hair into spiky riffs and generating some unbelievable light shows at a Roman ruin near you, it's Obi-Wan Yorke in the fight of his life. Plus we can all look forward to rock's great serious hope eventually turning into Alec Guinness. (JK)
 Topher Grace and Tobey Maguire in Beards
 Perhaps the most fanciful offering on our production slate, Beards presents an interesting scenario "based", according to the artists, who also wrote the script, "on real events": Cursive's Tim Kasher (Maguire, with serious facial hair) and Iron and Wine's Sam Beam (Grace, ditto, natch) wind up broke at the end of a shared tour. Despondent, they drown their sorrows in coffee at an all-night diner, where they meet a popular daytime talk show host and her "secret" girlfriend, star of a cult hit sitcom. The women make Kasher and Beam an interesting proposition: they'll pay the guys $10,000 apiece to drive cross-country with them, posing as their boyfriends, to quell rumors about their relationship. Hijinks ensue. Special appearance by ZZ Top.
 Kirk Cameron in Low: Remains
 Alan Sparhawk (Cameron) investigates the sudden, unexplained, simultaneous disappearance of his wife Mimi Parker, his bandmate Zak Sally, and literally thousands of other people around the world. It eventually turns out that they're all in Canada.
 Teri Hatcher in To Bring You My Love
 TV's most Desperate housewife takes on blues-rock's extreme diva in this searingly realistic biopic. Costumes by Armani. PJ Harvey insists that the scene in which she falls into a large cake is pure fiction. (JK)
 Vincent Kartheiser in Behind Bright Eyes: The Sorrowful Life of Conor Oberst
 Relative unknown Kartheiser seems like a natural for the role -- he's used to playing people named Con(n)or whom everybody hates -- but his ability to cry on cue (or more accurately, to cry on 37 different cues) turns this Bright Eyes biopic into cinematic gold. "I haven't seen this many 13 to 17 year-old girls at the movies since Titanic," says one exhibitor. The movie goes on to become the first film ever to break the $200 million dollar mark solely on student-priced tickets.
 Adam Brody, Vince Vaughan and Scott Caan in Fuck the Barstool: The Rise and Fall of ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
 The story of the prescient rise and bloody end of Austin, Texas firebrands Trail of Dead. Directed by Joel Schumacher, this film probes the seedy underbelly of one of the world's most unpredictable live bands and dramatically chronicles their defeat at the hands of cutesy new-wave and gallons and gallons of Jack Daniel's. (JJ)
 Thomas Hayden Church in That's my Phaser: The Mysterious disappearance of My Bloody Valentine
 Featuring a haunting portrayal of estranged MBV leader Kevin Shields by the newly buzzworthy Hayden Church, That's My Phaser presents three different possibilities as to what happened to one of the most influential bands of the 20th century. Scary, touching and intensely maudlin, this is the film shoegazer fanatics have been waiting to see. (JJ)
 Nicole Kidman in Goldfrapp
 Kidman's performance as the icy-yet-earthy Allison Goldfrapp is typically refined and layered, but requires no prostheses, so Oscarâ?˘ ignores it. Fortunately, the actress's tireless efforts to publicize the film -- which include performing live with Goldfrapp herself -- translate to a surprisingly respectable box office take. Who comes out ahead? Starbucks, whose "Goldfrappucino" is a triumph of synergistic marketing, and Sean Astin, who scores a Supporting Actor nod for his amazing performance as Will Gregory.
 Don Cheadle in I Am a Scientist
 We meet Overton Brown (Cheadle) in 2005; he's a recording engineer in Silver Springs, MD, working with an arrogant young rapper (Eminem). The two unexpectedly bond, and the engineer relates his life story: we watch the younger Brown (Anthony Mackie) in Kingston, Jamaica in the early sixties, as he becomes a driving force in Dub's second wave. No mayhem ensues.
 Queen Latifah and Brad Pitt in The BellRays: To Hell and Back
 Queen Latifah trims down and sings up a storm to play rock 'n' soul firebrand Lisa Kekaula, while Pitt hides behind long blond hair and chunky glasses to become Bob Vennum. The film itself is a rags-to-better-quality-rags story of turbulent romance and fierce integrity, but when it earns both actors Oscarâ?˘ nods and the band plays on the Academy Awardsâ?˘ telecast, 20 million new BellRays fans are born. By noon the next day, it's impossible to find a BellRays album in any store, anywhere, and copies of The Red, White & Black are fetching $50 on EBay.
 Mischa Barton in Apple
 Barton reportedly loses two pounds to clinch the title role in this VH1 film about the making of Fiona Apple's embattled third full-length. When she's killed in a tragic boom-mike accident on the second day of filming, work on the movie is completed with CGI. She wins a posthumous Golden Globeâ?˘.