This November a moving true life story is coming to cinemas screens; directed by Amma Asante, and staring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, A United Kingdom tells the incredible true story of Seretse Khama, King of Bechuanaland (modern Botswana), and Ruth Williams, the London office worker he married in 1948 in the face of fierce opposition from their families and the British and South African governments.
As the film heads to cinemas this November 25th we take a look back at other incredible true life stories that have been adapted for cinemas.
Starring James Franco, 127 Hours is a survival drama directed by Danny Boyle, the director behind Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire. Franco plays adventure mountaineer climber Aron Ralston who becomes trapped in a canyon in Utah. The film documents the drastic and desperate measures Ralston's had to resort to in order to survive. The film is adapted from the 2004 book written by Ralston titled Between a Rock and a Hard Place. The film was a hit during the 2010 awards season and was nominated for six Academy awards.
Steven Spielberg's emotional 1993 film Schindler's List tells the incredible true life story of Oskar Schindler a German business man who saved many of his Jewish workers from the Nazis. The powerful film is shot entirely in black and white aside from poignant scenes which see a young girl in a red coat. The film's main cast provided moving performances with Liam Neeson playing Oskar Schindler, Ben Kingsley playing Schindler's business associate Itzhak Stern and Ralph Fiennes playing Nazi member Amon Goeth. The film often features in "Best Film" lists and is currently placed 6th in IMDBs list of the top 250 films of all time.
Tom Hanks plays Captain Richard Phillips in a film which documents the true events of a 2009 hijacking of an American container ship by Somali pirates. The pirates commandeered the ship taking the crew hostage before holding Phillips captive on a lifeboat. It is no surprise that Tom Hanks provides a dramatic performance as Captain Phillips however the breakout star of the film was Barkhad Abdi who played lead pirate Muse in his first ever acting job . Abdi was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at both the Oscars and Golden Globes and he went on to win the BAFTA in the same category.
Julia Roberts won an Oscar in 2001 for her leading role as Erin Brockovich in the film of the same name which is a dramatization of real events which saw the single mum fight against Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) after discovering that the company's works contaminated the local water which poisoned local residents. The real life Eric Brockovich has noted that the film is 98-99% accurate. Did you know that the real Erin had a role in the film as a waitress named Julia?
Dallas Buyers Club
Matthew McConaguhey kick started the McConaissance with his incredible dramatic performance in Dallas Buyers Club which saw him sweep the board during the 2014 awards season winning the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Actor for his performance as Ron Woodruff, a Texan who played the system to give himself and fellow AIDS patients the medication that they needed. Jared Leto played patient Rayon, whilst not based on a real person, Leto too received much praise for his award collecting Best Supporting Actor at both the Oscars and the Globes.
12 Years a Slave
12 Years a Slave tells the incredible true story of musician and freeman Simon Northup who lived in 1840s New York who was tricked and sold in to slavery by two gentleman whom he travel with to DC for a music job - Northup was a talented violinist. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Northup and documents his harrowing years in slavery which saw him moved from plantation to plantation encountering the brutality of owners until he was eventually freed. The powerful moving film picked up multiple awards including Best Picture, Best Performance by a Supporting Actress from Lupita Nyong'o and Best Adapted Screen Play for John Ridley.
After finding herself pregnant in 1950s Ireland Philomena was forced by her parents to live in a convent, here she gave birth to her son and worked for numerous years. Against her wishes the nuns gave her son up for adoption without allowing Philomena to say goodbye. This was a secret she had kept from her family for 50 years until one drunken Christmas. From here, a chance meeting with journalist Martin Sixsmith saw the pair embark on a 5 year quest to find her son, which surprisingly for both, led to a remarkable journey. Judi Dench stared in the title role of the adaptation of Philomena's story whilst Steve Coogan played Martin Sixsmith. Coogan adapted the screenplay from Sixsmith's book documenting their journey titled The Lost Child of Philomena Lee: A Mother, Her Son and a Fifty Year Search.
Everest is a retelling of the 1996 expedition to Everest which saw multiple adventure groups get caught up in the furore of Mother Nature, a horrific storm that claimed many lives - at the time this was the deadliest natural disaster in Everest's history. Jason Clarke plays Rob Hall leader of the Adventure Consultants group whilst Jake Gyllenhaal plays the leader of competitor group Mountain Madness, who both lead their groups to the summit before they were caught in the storm. David Breashears, a fellow climber who was at base camp during the storm and who helped with the rescue, served as one of the film's co-producers. David was on the mountain in 1996 co-directing and photographing the first ever IMAX film short on Mount Everest.
The Kings Speech
Colin Firth bagged his first Oscar in the King's Speech a film about how King George VI worked alongside his speech therapist to conquer his fear of speaking in public and mask his speech impediment following his unexpected ascension to the throne. The film was nominated for an incredible 12 Oscars and went on to win 4 - Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. Firth starred alongside Geoffrey Rush who played Lionel Logue his speech therapist and Helena Bonham Carter who played his wife Queen Elizabeth, both received Oscar nominations for their dramatic performances.
A United Kingdom is in UK cinemas 25th November