Hugh Jackman plays the role of P.T. Barnum in this 2017 musical produced with a budget of nearly $85 million. The film follows the man behind one of the largest old-world circuses, Barnum & Bailey. Zack Efron, Michelle Williams, and Zendaya also appear in the biographical drama. Barnum was an American showman, politician, and businessman and rose to prominence for his celebrated hoaxes and the founding of the Barnum & Bailey Circus.
The Greatest Showman received a number of accolades, including the Golden Globe award for Best Original Song. It was nominated for two more Globes, which included the best actor for Jackman’s work in the film.
The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
Will Smith stars as Chris Gardner, a salesman who is homeless, and down on his luck. But that all changes when he worked his way up in the world of sales. Gardner published an autobiography detailing his experiences in 2006, and ultimately became a producer on the film later that same year.
Initially, Gardner wasn’t happy with the casting choice when it came to portraying his own life, but his daughter felt differently, saying, “if Smith can play Muhammad Ali, he can play you!” And that he did, winning a number of awards and been nominated for several more for his performance.
Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, and Steve Carell start in and this 2014 sports crime drama that centers around a deranged and wealthy wrestling superfan, John E. Du Pont (Carell,) who starts his own team in the ‘80s, with the help of naïve up-and-coming wrestler Mark Schultz (Tatum.) Du Pont was an ornithologist, philatelist, conchologist, and sports enthusiast who was convicted for murdering Schulz. He sentence was 30 years and he died in prison.
The film has an 87% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with all of the star’s performances being praised. Carell and Ruffalo were nominated for Academy Awards for their work, and Bennett Miller was up for Best Director.
I, Tonya (2017)
Margot Robbie stars as former Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding in this biographical crime drama. The 2017 film tells the tale of the athlete, who infamously knocked out competitor Nancy Kerrigan’s kneecap with a baseball bat in the 1990s, leading to her ruin. The film also goes into deep detail about Tonya's tragic life and heavily abusive relationship.
The film grossed over $53 million worldwide and holds a 90% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It received a number of awards, including a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for Allison Janney’s role as the skater’s harsh mother. Robbie was nominated for Best Actress for her performance as well
Flash of Genius (2008)
Greg Kinnear stars in this 2008 film that tells the story of Robert Kearns, an inventor who goes up against the Ford Motor Company in court when they develop a part based on his idea, and work he’d already patented. Robert Kearns an American engineer, educator, and inventor finally got the recognition he deserved for inventing intermittent windshield wiper systems used on most cars from 1969 to the present.
The film opened to mixed reviews and holds a 60% critic’s approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert said it was, “faithful and often moving detail,” while Peter Travers at Rolling Stone wrote, “Kinnear takes the star spot in Flash of Genius and rides it to Glory.” He wound up winning the Best Actor Award at the Boston Film Festival that year.