• Thu. May 23rd, 2024

Films that redefined reality on the silver screen in 2023


Dec 30, 2023


From ‘Oppenheimer’ to ‘Ferrari’, here’s a look at biographical dramas that dominated Hollywood


As the curtain falls on 2023, one resounding theme to have taken centre stage in cinema is biographical drama, undertaking an artistic journey that transcends mere storytelling; biopics are a celebration of lives lived, legacies forged and the magic that ensues when reality converges with the silver screen. From captivating character portrayals to historical sagas brought to life, these diverse and riveting biopics have left an indelible mark on the cinematic canvas in the year 2023.


Take a glance at Christopher Nolan’s filmography and you’ll notice his penchant for characters haunted and on the brink of self-destruction as they navigate the complexities of space-time. Enter the “father of the atomic bomb,” a theoretical physicist fixated on a hidden twilight realm that gave birth to the most profound horrors of the modern age. Cillian Murphy’s portrayal of Oppenheimer is a man enamoured by the limitless possibilities of science, only to realize too late that his creation has an unbridled capacity for destruction. Yet, the real monster here isn’t Oppenheimer’s invention; it’s the insatiable appetite for annihilation unleashed in mankind.

Timelines intersect and diverge, keeping viewers on their toes. Ludwig Göransson’s score, masterful and mercurial, stands out as one of the finest of the year. The recurring motif of thunderously stamping feet, derived from a moment of triumph, takes on a mounting sense of threat as the catastrophic potential of Oppenheimer’s work becomes clear. In Oppenheimer, the horrors of war aren’t just shown; they’re conveyed through what we hear, making it a truly exceptional cinematic experience.

The Iron Claw

Zac Efron takes the lead in this A24 production, bringing to life the gripping tale of the Von Erich wrestling dynasty. Joined by an ensemble cast including Jeremy Allen White, Harris Dickinson, and Lily James, Efron portrays Kevin Von Erich in a film that navigates the complexities of the family’s rise to wrestling prominence. Under the watchful eye of their overbearing father, Fritz (Holt McCallany), the Von Erichs became synonymous with success, but also tragedy—the infamous “Von Erich curse.”

The Iron Claw intricately weaves through the triumphs and tribulations of each brother, offering a poignant portrayal of their lives, from passionate wrestling roots to heart-wrenching tragedies. One intriguing arc in the story is of Kerry Von Erich, “The Texas Tornado,” whose meteoric rise takes a tragic turn after a debilitating motorcycle accident, leading to a heart-wrenching amputation and eventual demise. The film doesn’t shy away from Kevin’s decision to retire in 1993, exploring how his sons carry forth the Von Erich legacy. The Iron Claw is a gripping narrative that captures the essence of a wrestling dynasty marked by both triumph and sorrow.


Sofia Coppola’s latest cinematic venture, Priscilla, takes the audience on a mesmerising journey through the life of Priscilla Beaulieu, extending far beyond her chance encounter with Elvis Presley in 1959. Cailee Spaeny skillfully navigates the multifaceted phases of Priscilla’s life, offering an adept portrayal as the film’s focal point. The lush, anachronistic soundtrack envelops Priscilla’s story, distinguishing it as a narrative independent of her superstar spouse, portrayed by Jacob Elordi. Purposefully sidelining Elvis’s on-stage allure, the film delves into the domestic aspects of their unconventional marriage, capturing the complexities of power dynamics and the stark realities Priscilla faced. From being Elvis’s chosen companion to confronting her role in “keeping the home fires burning,” Spaeny’s magnificent portrayal depicts Priscilla’s evolution—from an infatuated teenager to a woman grappling with the harsh truths of her marriage.

Priscilla fearlessly confronts uncomfortable truths, exploring Priscilla’s growing awareness of Elvis’s actions and her precarious position as a public figure married to an icon. As the story unfolds, the film masterfully balances the heady enchantment of teenage fantasy with the darker, more nuanced aspects of Priscilla’s life. The juxtaposition of glamourous sequences and nights spent with Elvis and his entourage, against the mundane reality of high school days unravels the intricacies of Priscilla’s journey. More than a biopic, Priscilla stands as a cinematic exploration of self-discovery within the extraordinary backdrop of an unconventional ‘love story’.


Get ready for a film that’s all about sleek, lipstick-red sports cars tearing through the picturesque Italian countryside, spiced up with a generous serving of explosive marital drama. This undeniably handsome biopic, set in 1957 and centred on Enzo Ferrari (played by Adam Driver), the former racing driver turned owner of a struggling car company, is the brainchild of none other than Michael Mann. Known for his mastery in crafting high-stakes dramas like Heat and Miami Vice, Mann takes the wheel in this gripping tale.

With heart-pounding racing scenes and the camera-riding shotgun, Driver, reprising his role as an Italian business patriarch after 2021’s House of Gucci might come off as strangely subdued. However, fear not, because Penélope Cruz steals the show with her fantastic portrayal of Ferrari’s perpetually incensed wife, Laura. With a handbag brimming with cash and a treasure trove of long-held grievances, Cruz’s character stomps through the film, occasionally punctuating a point by unloading her revolver into the wall. In Ferrari, the drama isn’t just on the racetrack but also behind the scenes, filled with cash, grudges and the roar of powerful engines.

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