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Reel vs. Real: Iconic Women Biopic Marathon (Part 1)

To observe International Women's Day in our own way as cinemaphiles, we encourage you to go on a movie marathon of some biopics about the most iconic women in history. Not sure which ones to watch? We have a partial list for you to check out!

Today, the world unites in observation of International Women’s Day to celebrate the achievements, influence, and roles of women in societies across the globe. For us cinephiles, it’s also a perfect time to remember some of the most iconic women in history through the biographical films that explore their life and work. This occasion calls for a movie marathon, so we looked back at some of the movies we featured for Reel vs. Real and compiled a list for an iconic women biopic marathon:

The legendary Frida Kahlo (left) and her reel-life counterpart, Salma Hayek. Photo via Imgur

Salma Hayek as Frida Kahlo

The 2002 American biopic Frida, which stars Salma Hayek as the iconic surrealist painter and Alfred Molina as her muralist husband Diego Rivera, touches base on all the events that led to Kahlo’s colorful yet emotionally turbulent life as an artist: from the injuries she sustained from the bus accident when she was 18, to her father encouraging her to do painting to ease her into recovery, and finally, her passionate yet dysfunctional marriage to the notorious womanizer Diego Rivera.

Coco Chanel and her reel-life counterpart, Audrey Tatou. Image via imgur

Audrey Tatou as Coco Chanel

The 2009 French biopic Coco Before Chanel stars the lovely French actress Audrey Tatou and tells about the life of the young Gabrielle Chanel and her life as a singer for a provincial bar and a seamstress for its performers, and how she earned the nickname that she became known as later in life. We eventually learn about the romances that lead to her entry into French high society, and how she built the fashion empire out of her talent, vision, and refusal to follow the caprices of the trends of her time.

Photo via Imgur

Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe

In 2009, American actress Michelle Williams joined the roster of actresses who portrayed Marilyn Monroe when she snagged the title role for My Week with Marilyn. The 2011 British biopic, which was written by Adrian Hodges and directed by Simon Curtis, was based on two books written by Colin Clark: “The Prince, the Showgirl and Me,” a set of diaries about his experience as a personal assistant of Laurence Olivier for the filming of The Prince and the Showgirl (1957); and “My Week With Marilyn”, a memoir about his alleged romance with the sultry Hollywood star.

Sylvia Plath and her reel-life counterpart, Gwyneth Paltrow. Photos via Jonathan Rosenbaum and IMDb.

Gwyneth Paltrow as Sylvia Plath

The 2003 biographical film simply entitled Sylvia starred Gwyneth Paltrow as the bright poetess Sylvia Plath and Daniel Craig as her husband Ted Hughes. Aside from Plath’s academic brilliance, the meeting between the notable two poets, their eventual tumultuous marriage, and her bouts of depression and struggles with suicide, the film also touches base on her father’s unexpected death, which has been believed as the event that triggered her depression.

Hilary Swank as Amelia Earhart

Starring alongside Hilary Swank in the 2009 biopic Amelia are Richard Gere as her husband George Putnam, and Christopher Eccleston as her navigator Fred Noonan. The film begins on July 2, 1937 during the last leg of Earhart and Noonan’s attempt to set another record for an around-the-world flight. Then, through a lengthy flashback, viewers are told about Earhart’s early years as an aspiring pilot, to her days of success as an aviation celebrity, and even touches base on personal life and relationships. The last leg of the film thrusts viewers back to the aviatrix and her navigator’s final moments through a retelling of the last radio transmissions between Coast Guard picket ship Itasca and Earhart’s aircraft.

A series made for cinephiles, Reel vs. Real highlights some notable biographical films that you may or may not have watched, and puts the biopic actors side by side with their real life counterparts.

written by plasticpopsicle

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