Music and cinema are my two favourite things, so compiling today’s list has been a lot of fun. I have put together my favourite music films that either celebrate music or musicians, whether they be biopics, mockumentaries or just plain fiction. Enjoy…
10. School of Rock (2003)
After being kicked out of his band and losing out on performing at a battle of the bands competition. A deadbeat musician looking to earn some money to pay his rent steals the identity of his roommate to work as a substitute teacher. Dewey Finn (Jack Black) comes to learn that some of his students are talented musicians and convinces them to come together to give a performance of a lifetime at the “Battle of the Bands”. School of Rock is a fun watch and I stick it on every now and then to remind myself not to take life so seriously.
9. Killing Bono (2011)
As someone who can’t stand U2 or Bono (it is just an opinion, don’t get upset) I found this film to be quite amusing. Killing Bono, as directed by Nick Hamm, is based on true events. Two brothers, Neil McCormick (Ben Barnes) and Ivan McCormick (Robert Sheehan) hope to find fame and glory but find themselves hugely overshadowed by the big success of their old school friend Bono.
8. 24 Hour Party People (2002)
Michael Winterbottom directs the story of Granada TV presenter Tony Wilson who went on to form Factory Records in 1976. Which signed bands such as Joy Division, and Happy Mondays, and gave the best of the pivotal Manchester music scene to the world. 24 Hour Party People is energetic, surreal, touching, and hilarious and definitely one to watch if you enjoy the music of that era.
7. Walk the Line (2005)
Some brilliant performances from Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon in this striking biopic of the troubled life of Johnny Cash. Not only was I blown away by Phoenix’s portrayal of Cash, I was also hugely impressed by Phoenix’s and Witherspoon’s vocal abilities and the chemistry between them. Walk The Line is touchingly sincere and heartbreaking.
6. Sid and Nancy (1986)
Sid and Nancy portrays the volatile relationship of The Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious (Gary Oldman) and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen (Chloe Webb). When The Sex Pistols break up, Sid attempts a solo career whilst him and Nancy are in the braces of a drug fuelled downward spiral. Alex Cox‘s morbid yet honest film gives a well crafted reenactment of what could have happened leading up to the fateful moment of Nancy’s death.
5. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
This well-known and well-loved rock ‘n’ roll parodical monkumentary directed by Rob Reiner is so good that it was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and was selected for preservation by the United States National Film Registry. Hilarious, quotable and inspired, I give this film a 9 out of 11.
4. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
Written and directed by Joeland Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis follows struggling musician Llewyn (Oscar Isaac) for a week as he desperately attempts to make a name for himself in the 60’s folk scene. Llewyn is faced with a series of unfortunate events and it seems that he himself will be his own undoing. I found this film absorbing yet brutal in its realistic depiction of a man who creates beautiful music but is not in possession of a beautiful mind or soul.
3. High Fidelity (2000)
Stephen Frears irreverent and charming adaptation of the book by Nick Hornby revolves around record store owner Rob (John Cusack), who enjoys making top five music lists. On deciding to compile a self abasing list of his top five break ups and through some deep introspection, he learns what his failings are. High Fidelity is a wonderful homage to music and it’s relevance in love and romance.
2. Control (2007)
Anton Corbijn turns his talent to the big screen in this stunning biopic of the late Ian Curtis (Sam Riley), lead singer of the band Joy Division. Control is a raw depiction of Curtis’ sad battle with health, depression, responsibilities, and love which ultimately ended with his suicide. Control has gorgeous cinematography, when combined with the outstanding performances and the tragic events of Curtis’ life you have a film that is haunting and unforgettable.
1. Almost Famous (2000)
Cameron Crowe‘s Almost Famous, which follows wannabe music journalist William Miller (Patrick Fugit) as he tours the country with up-and-coming band Still Water, sits at number one as I believe it has all the elements one would look for in a film, it’s funny, poignant, realistic, and bittersweet, all helped along with a fantastic soundtrack. Almost Famous brings forth such a range of emotions in me and whenever I am reminded of it I want to watch it all over again. What more could you ask of a film?