Top 10 Best Portrayals of Real People in Movies

10:00 am 4 Mar, 2013

Careful depiction of real life characters on the big screen through a well documented movie is not an easy job. It requires tremendous hard work, a comprehensive script and gripping narrative to do justice to the persona of a real character. Though, many filmmakers have tried their hands in creating movies based on real life incidents and characters but only a selected few were successful in carving out real marvels for the audience. Here is a list of top 10 best portrayals of real people in movies:

10. Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler in “Schindler’s List”:

Released in 1993, the epic drama based on the true story of a German businessman Oscar Schindler, was one of the most admired movies by the critics. It was directed by the legendary director Steven Spielberg and the flawless script was written by Steven Zaillian. The movie pertinently described how the businessman saved the life of numerous Polish-Jews during the Holocaust.

Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler - Best Portrayals of Real People in Movies

9. Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg in “The Social Network”:

One of the most astonishing movies based on a real life character, “The Social Network” was regarded as a revelation in the field of movie making by the critics. It was based on the life of Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook and his ground breaking innovation in the field of social networking. The movie was released in the year 2010 and was directed by David Fincher.

Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg - Best Portrayals of Real People in Movies

8. Leonardo DiCaprio as Frank Abegnale Jr. in “Catch Me If You Can”:

A 2002 released Hollywood movie based on the life of Frank Abegnale, “Catch Me If You Can” was an amazing biographical crime thriller. Directed by legendary Steven Spielberg, the movie featured Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks in the lead roles. Despite portrayal of Leonardo in the grey shade, audience went gaga over the movie and gave it thumbs-up.

Leonardo DiCaprio as Frank Abegnale Jr - Best Portrayals of Real People in Movies

7. Angelina Jolie as Christine Collins in “Changeling”:

The film starred Angelina Jolie who portrayed the real life character of Christine Collins. The movie was released in 2008 and directed by Clint Eastwood. The movie narrated how a woman reunited with her son after long years but only to find that he was a pretender and subsequently fought against the injustice done to her by the city authorities. The narrative was brilliantly picturized and left the audience in tears after they watched the drama on the movie screen.

Angelina Jolie as Christine Collins - Best Portrayals of Real People in Movies

6. Colin Firth as King George in “The King’s Speech”:

A historical drama set out in the Great Britain, “The Kings Speech” was directed by Tom Hooper. It was based on the life of King George VI who struggled with his speech impairment condition. It was released in the year 2010 and Colin Firth fittingly enacted the role of the King George VI.The movie initially drew condemnation from the Censor Board due to sacrilege but later earned accolades from the same agency and turned out to be a chartbuster.

Colin Firth as King George - Best Portrayals of Real People in Movies

5.  Ben Kingsley as Mahatma Gandhi in “Gandhi”:


Based on the real life character of Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi, the movie is regarded as the best cinema adaption of the character of arguably the greatest man from India in the modern history. Richard Attenborough directed the movie and Ben Kingsley played the memorable role of Mahatma Gandhi in the movie which a joint venture between Indian and English movie production companies. The movie was released in 1982.

Ben Kingsley as Mahatma Gandhi - Best Portrayals of Real People in Movies

4. Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash in “Walk the line”:

A 2005 released biographical drama directed by James Mangold, “Walk the Line” was a masterpiece in itself. The movie was based on the life of a famous country music artist Johnny Cash. Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash played the role of a music artist to perfection and earned huge accolades from the critics as well. The film was also nominated for 5 Academy Awards.

Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash - Best Portrayals of Real People in Movies

3. Will Smith as Muhammad Ali in “Ali”:

Directed by Michael Mann, “Ali” was a biographical drama that was released in the year 2001. The movie was based on the life of the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali and covered all major instances in his life history. The leading role was brilliantly played by a much known Hollywood actor Will Smith. The movie also discussed the political aspects of the American society during that point of time.

Will Smith as Muhammad Ali - Best Portrayals of Real People in Movies

2. Russell Crowe as John Nash in “A Beautiful Mind”:

The Oscar winning film that grossed over $ 313 billion worldwide, is still regarded as one of the very best films ever made in the world. This American biographical drama was released in 2001 and was based on the life of a popular figure in Economics, John Nash who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and experienced many delusions. The film was directed by Ron Howard and Russell Crowe plated the lead role.

Russell Crowe as John Nash - Best Portrayals of Real People in Movies

1. Bruno Ganz as Adolf Hitler in “Downfall”:

A war film directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, “Downfall” pertinently described the life of Hitler during the last 10 days of his life in the Nazi era. Bruno Ganz played the role of Hitler to the best of his capabilities. The movie was based on the novel “Inside the Third Reich.” The movie was released in the year 2004. The film was also nominated in the Oscars in the Foreign Film Category.

Bruno Ganz as Adolf Hitler - Best Portrayals of Real People in Movies

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