Co-host of The Third Wheel podcast.
Whether they cover an entire life or centre on a pivotal moment, biopics are often Oscar fodder, and are frequently conic. In this episode, Mark and podcaster and web developer Aaron Conway get straight down to business, ranking the best biopics around.
In order of discussion:
Aaron goes straight in with the Fincher/Sorkin collaboration that tells the story of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg up until his court battle with the Winklevoss twins. It’s a top pick for Aaron as it helped pave the way for an interest and then career in tech.
While most biopics arguably strive for some level of accuracy, this Dexter Fletcher musical biopic of Elton John throws realism to the wind, while stillk eeping true to the man behind the piano and the massive glasses.
Aaron picks Scorsese’s Jordan Belfort for its fast pace and storytelling that both beckons you in but also makes you think “can this really have happened?”
This big budget Bollywood film tells the story of former wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat, played by the director Amir Khan, who pushes his daughters into the world he wished he could have pushed his sons, if he had them.
This might be easy to overlook, but Aaron was taken with this story of the life of Neil Baldwin, which plays with the form by including the subject alongside the actor playing him (in this case, Toby. Jones), as the subject. It’s all very meta. You should watch it.
In order of discussion:
This love story between author CS Lewis and poet Joy Gresham hit Mark right in the feels when he saw this at the end of 2019. It’s a quiet story about a quiet man who was given an all-too-brief glimpse of love.
Although Laurel and Hardy mean increasingly little to younger generations, they’re part of a history we can trace back, and one that bridges the gap between the British variety scene and Hollywood’s golden age.
This Ron Howard film, based on a young man’s memoir, is emotional at best and heart-wrenching at worst. A compelling story portrayed by Glenn Close, Amy Adams and Gabriel Basso, that has big and bold characters without drawing lines between heroes and villains.
Apart from linking nicely to Aaron’s first pick by way of Rooney Mara, Lion is a solid pick for Mark for the gripping retelling of Saroo Brierley’s return to India after he was adopted by a Tasmanian couple who found him in India a thousand miles away from home.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mark enjoyed a particular radio style growing up. In America, that style was epitomised by people like Howard Stern, and although society has largely outgrown that personality type, there are still some performances Mark cherishes, mostly from Paul Giamatti.
Mark and Aaron discussed these after recording had finished, but they still deserve a mention.