Famous Historical Figures in Films – Biographical Weekend Picks

Last week we compared the real people behind the stories in the movies.  This weekend‘s picks are related to famous historical figures whose lives have been featured in films. We have asked ourselves the same question in reviewing each film:  did the producers manage to capture the actual appearance and essence of the main characters?


If you take Salma Hayek and cast her in the role of the larger-than-life Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, you  get an impressive look into the artist’s eventful life. For Hayek, it was perhaps the performance of a lifetime.

Coco Before Chanel 

The woman who liberated women’s wardrobes from corsets, who rebelled against convention by dressing in mannish clothes, who introduced the never-fading little black dress, and who created the iconic Chanel N°5 perfume. Audrey Tautou as Coco Channel breaks conventions in the eponymous biographical film.

Edith Piaf 

Her height and appearance earned her the nickname “Little Sparrow”. What she lacked in height, she compensated for with her powerful voice. The early years of Piaf the cabaret singer are little known. What is certain is that at one time she lived with her grandmother, who ran a brothel. In later years, she stayed with her father, in a circus. That was the period when she identified the musical talent which first caused her to be noticed. Then her carreer took off rapidly as she sang, using her fantastic vocal gifts.  Marion Cotillard performed brilliantly in the title role.

The Queen 

Helen Mirren’s resemblance to the actual Queen Elizabeth II is truly striking. On top of that, Mirren turned in a significant performance by playing the Monarch as she experienced the week that followed Princess Diana‘s death, which the Queen herself noted was the worst seven days of her life.


When it comes to Nelson Mandela, who could portray him other than Morgan Freeman – the actor who was even mistaken for Mandela in real life?  Invictus tells the true story of bridging the differences dividing his country through rugby.

Photo: IMDB

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