You can't beat a music biopic and there's one heading to the big screen this week in the form of I Saw The Light, which explores the life and career of Hank Williams.

Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton

Tom Hiddleston takes on the central role of Williams while the movie sees Marc Abraham on directing and writing duty.

To celebrate the release of the film, we take a look at some of the highest grossing movies in this genre.

- Straight Outta Compton - $201.6 million

Straight Outta Compton hit the big screen last summer and marked the return of F. Gary Gray to the director's chair. Gray had brought us films such as The Italian Job and A Man Apart but this was his first feature film since Law Abiding Citizen back in 2009.

The screenplay was written by Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff and charted the rise of NWA, a group that revolutionised the hip hop music genre... making Dr Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Mc Ren, and DJ Yella stars.

O'Shea Jackson Jr, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Neil Brown Jr, and Aldis Hodge took on the central roles of Ice Cube, Dr Dre, Eazy-E, DJ Yella, and MC Ren while Paul Giamatti was on board as the group's manager Jerry Heller.

The cast deliver some truly engaging performances throughout and it is amazing how much they achieved in such a short space of time - a theme that the film captures perfectly.

Straight Outta Compton was a huge critical hit and went on to be a big box office success - it was a welcome change amongst all of the big budget blockbusters of the season.

The movie grossed $201.6 million at the box office and has become the highest-grossing music biopic of all time. Not bad for a movie made for a mere $28 million.

The fact that it missed out on a Best Picture Oscar nomination did cause a stir earlier this year. However, it was nominated for Best Original Screenplay; losing out to Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer for Spotlight.

Straight Outta Compton

- Walk The Line - $186.4 million

When it comes to music biopics, Walk the Line is up there as one of my favourites and, for me, this remains Joaquin Phoenix's greatest big screen performance.

Walk the Line charted the life and success of Johnny Cash, as well as the addiction problems that blighted his early career. The movie also explored his relationship with second wife June Carter, played by Reese Witherspoon.

The movie was based on Johnny Cash's autobiography and saw James Mangold in the director's chair. It was his first feature film since Identity two years earlier.

Phoenix doesn't just play Cash but he becomes him, capturing not just his facial expressions and body language, but the pain of him inner struggle; it is these flaws that make him such an interesting character. I love Phoenix's chemistry with Reese Witherspoon and it is these two brilliant that really drives this film forward and makes it what it is.

Walk The Line was a critical success and went on to be a box office hit; making $186.4 million from a $28 million budget. Walk The Line was the highest-grossing film in this genre until Straight Outta Compton surpassed it last year.

The movie went on to be nominated for five Oscars, including Best Actor and Best Actress; Witherspoon went on to triumph.

Walk The Line

- Ray - $124.7 million

Hard to believe that it was back in 2005 when Ray hit the big screen for the first time... going on to turn Jamie Foxx into a global star.

Foxx took on the role of musician Ray Charles in a movie that looked at his humble beginnings and charted his meteoric rise during the 1950s and 1960s. Taylor Hackford was in the director's chair while Kerry Washington, Regina King, Clifton Powell, and Harry Lennix were just some of the other names that were on a great cast list.

From start to finish, Ray is a totally engrossing movie with Foxx on top form. He captivates from the moment that you meet him and it truly is a wonderful turn from the talented actor.

Hackford expertly guided us through Charles' life and the ups and down that came with the fame that he achieved as a musician. It remains a great movie over ten years later.

Foxx went on to dominate the awards season, picking up the Oscar, Golden Globe, Bafta, and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor. Ray was also nominated for five other Oscars, including Best Picture; winning Best Achievement in Sound Mixing.


- Jersey Boys - $67.7 million

Clint Eastwood has been both a successful actor and director during his career and he returned to the director's chair in 2014 with Jersey Boys, which followed the formation and success of 1960s group The Four Seasons.

Eastwood is no stranger to the music biopic, having directed Bird, which was about Charlie 'Bird' Parker, back in 1988.

The movie was based on the Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice musical of the same name and the duo came together again to pen the film's screenplay. John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda and Vincent Piazza take on the central roles of Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Nick Massi, and Tommy De Vito. Christopher Walken was also on the cast list.

While Jersey Boys is not the best film in this genre, there are some wonderful musical moments that really capture the sound of The Four Seasons at that time.

Sadly, Eastwood didn't quite repeat the success that he had with Bird, but it is well worth a watch if you are a fan of this group's music.

Jersey Boys

- Coal Miner's Daughter - $67,182,787 million

It was back in 1980 when Coal Miner's Daughter hit the big screen starring Sissy Spacek in the central role of Loretta Lynn.

Coal Miner's Daughter was based on Lynn's autobiography and saw Michael Apted in the director's chair while Thomas Rickman penned the screenplay.

Spacek was already a star thanks to her role in Carrie, but her performance in Coal Miner's Daughter just sent her star rocketing even further. She was joined on the cast list by Tommy Lee Jones, Levon Helm, and Beverly D'Angelo.

Coal Miner's Daughter followed Lynn from her humble beginnings to super-stardom - a singer who changed country music forever. It was a stunning performance from Spacek, who did all her own singing for the film.

This is an endearing and touching biopic that has clearly been crafted with a lot of love, care, and respect for Loretta Lynn.

The movie was met well by the critics and Spacek went on to win a Best Actress Oscar for her central performance - it was the second Oscar nomination of her career and her first win.

Coal Miner's Daughter

I Saw The Light is released 6th May.

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