Public Enemies dir. Michael Mann (2009) Directed by Michael Mann (Heat) and starring Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, and several notables in support, this crime drama biopic of 1930s bank robber John Dillinger should have been a sure-fire classic. Instead, almost indefinably, it fails to take off.
Eddie the Eagle
Eddie the Eagle dir. Dexter Fletcher (2016) Despite the none-too-subtle audience manipulation — the minor characters might easily be wearing theatrical masks — Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman make an endearing odd couple in this lovably tragicomic not-quite-biopic of overachieving British ski-jumper, perennial wooden-spooner and unlikely Olympic hero Eddie the Eagle.
42 Word Review: Angel of Evil dir. Michele Placido
Angel of Evil dir. Michele Placido (2010) Perhaps this biopic of Italian bank robber Renato Vallanzasca loses something in translation. Like Roger Avary’s 1994 heist film Killing Zoe it presents as something of a prolonged and slavish homage to the allurement, sexiness and (yes) consummate stupidity of high-blown criminality.
42 Word Retrospective: Newsfront dir. Phillip Noyce
Newsfront dir. Phillip Noyce (1978) The tagline suggests humour but this sombre, almost melancholic biopic of (archetypal) newsreel cameramen working in Australia during World War II and the decade subsequent, bolstered by archival footage, serves more as a time capsule of life in a young, not-so-modern country.