September 16, 2020
The Vogue for pop stars sticking close to their own biopics has obvious perils, but Madonna’s mastery of image-making could make this a true star turn
Express yourself: why Madonna directing her own biopic isnt as ominous as it sounds
A great deal of excitement greeted the news, on Tuesday, that Madonna would direct her own biopic, from a screenplay written by the Singer with Diablo Cody (Juno, Young Adult). Millions of admirers of the singer’s career as an icon of music and pop culture were joined by dozens of fans of her film career in celebrating the announcement. But what does Madonna helming her own biopic presage for the quality of the movie to come?
Initial signs, it must be said, are middling. In producing her own biopic, Madge is joining a recent spate of musical biopics including Rocketman and Bohemian Rhapsody, both of which were produced by their subjects, politely received by critics, in contention for awards, and fared well at the box office. At the start of both films, there were concerns that the movies would lead to a soft-soaping of their subjects: Sacha Baron Cohen quit the Queen movie early on, saying in essence that the film was too much about the success of the band Queen and not enough about Freddie Mercury; he was replaced by Rami Malek, who duly won an Oscar. This stuff pleases the fans, and the acts of mimicry involved invariably lead to plaudits for the actors involved (not least because we all know the celebrities they are imitating, and can therefore easily judge whether the impression is successful), but does it make for great cinema? This writer would argue not.
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