True Story – Reality vs. Movie

Movies which commence with the words "Based on a true story" or even "Inspired by true events" do have more of an attraction for many people, I would say. But! How much of it is true and what was added to make it commercially successful? These and other questions can sometimes be disappointing. Let’s investigate.


The movie is well made and easy to watch.  The story is so unbelievable that at the end one is almost sure a lot was added to make it a success. The opposite is the truth. The producer pretty much follows real events with minor changes. The real Driss wasn´t from Senegal but from Algeria and in reality Phillipe has two adoptive children, not one and also Driss was hired much earlier, during the time Phillipe‘s wife was still alive and fighting with diagnosed cancer.

Lorenzo’s Oil 

Authentic and very sad story about the parents suffering through the terrible incurable disease of their son. Without any medical education they manage to create a base for the development of a new drug for treating adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD). Unfortunately it cannot help but only reduce the impact of the disease and increase his life expectancy by more than 10 times the prediction. The film accurately follows true events.

Now let’s have  a look at the films that did not follow the real events. 

A Beautiful Mind

The movie portrays John Nash the economics Nobel Laureate.  Although uplifting,  it has several errors, including he working for the Department of Defense. Also his personal life wasn´t as shown in the movie. Nash didn´t marry the mother of his child. In fact he dumped her. Overall the portrait was very idealized for a positive approach for the benefit of the public.


As known, Mel Gibson likes epic topics and evidently plenty of changes are involved that veer away from facts. The entire movie was little stretched out. In reality, Isabelle of France never met William Wallace plus she was only 10 years old when Wallace died.  Even if she had met him and had his child, in the Middle Ages it might have been acceptable. In the film she’s shown as a grown woman.

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