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The Real Story: True Story with Jonah Hill and James Franco

posted by Nell Minow

“True Story” opens this week, starring Jonah Hill and James Franco. It is based on the real-life experiences of a disgraced journalist and the murderer who took his name. The movie is about a reporter fired by the New York […]

The Woman in Gold — The Real Story

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s “The Woman in Gold” stars Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann, who fought to get the portrait of her aunt, Adele Bloch-Bauer returned to her family. The painting, considered an Austrian national treasure, was taken from Bloch-Bauer’s family by […]

Danny Collins: The Real Story

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director Dan Fogelman (“Cars,” “Tangled,” “Crazy Stupid Love”) saw the headline: musician Steve Tilston received a letter written to him 34 years earlier by John Lennon, including his phone number and an invitation to call. That inspired Fogelman’s new film, […]

Spare Parts — The Real Story

posted by Nell Minow

If it did not actually happen, no one would believe it. Four undocumented high school students with no money entered an underwater robotics competition, decided to compete against the college teams instead of the other high schools, and won, triumphing […]

The Real Story: Walter and Margaret Keane and the Big Eyes Paintings

posted by Nell Minow

The strangest parts of the story of Walter and Margaret Keane in Tim Burton’s Big Eyes are true. Perhaps the strangest of all is that the paintings — at the time thought to be painted by Walter Keane but ultimately […]

Selma: The Real Story

posted by Nell Minow

Here is some footage of the real-life march from Selma to Montgomery depicted in this week’s Martin Luther King film, “Selma.” Governor George Wallace made his famous pledge of “segregation forever” in his inaugural address. That speech was written by […]

When the Game Stands Tall — The Real Story

posted by Nell Minow

“When the Game Stands Tall” is based on the real-life story of the De La Salle High School Spartans football team, which had the longest winning streak of any team in any sport at any level 151 games in a […]

Frank: The Real Story of the Singer With the Paper-Mache Mask

posted by Nell Minow

One of the handsomest men alive spends almost the entire movie wearing a huge round paper maché head in “Frank,” a moving film inspired by the real-life story of the late Frank Sidebottom.  Michael Fassbender plays Frank, a sweet-natured but […]

The Real Story: James Brown and “Ski Party”

posted by Nell Minow

One of the highlights of this week’s “Get on Up” is a scene where James Brown and his group appear in a teen movie set in a ski chalet. The fun of the scene is seeing the R&B performers so […]

Jersey Boys: The Real Story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

posted by Nell Minow

This week, Clint Eastwood’s film of the wildly successful, Tony Award-winning musical “Jersey Boys” opens in theaters. It is based on the real-life story of one of the most successful pop groups of the 1960’s, The Four Seasons, who produced […]

Fault in Our Stars: The Real Story

posted by Nell Minow

The film of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, 72 weeks on the best-seller list, comes to theaters this week, starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort as teenagers with cancer who manage to find love and meaning in a […]

The Real Story: Million Dollar Arm

posted by Nell Minow

It sounds like a movie.  No, it sounds like a fairy tale, but it really happened.  A sports agent named J.B. Bernstein found two cricket-playing Indian athletes named Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel by staging a reality television show and brought […]

Heaven is for Real: The Real Story

posted by Nell Minow

“Heaven is for Real” opens tomorrow, with Greg Kinnear as Todd Burpo, a Nebraska pastor whose four-year-old son says that he visited heaven during surgery for a ruptured appendix.  It is based on a best-selling book Heaven is for Real: […]

300: Rise of an Empire — The Real Story

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s release “300: Rise of an Empire” is a highly fictionalized version of a real-life episode in ancient Greek history that included a massive sea battle.  It is a “side-quel,” depicting events that occurred around the same time as […]

The Real Story: Pompeii

posted by Nell Minow

In the year 79 AD, the volcano Mount Vesuvius exploded, wiping out the city of Pompeii so quickly that thousands of years later, it still survives as though everything has been frozen in time.  Two thousand people were killed. A […]

The Real Story: The Monuments Men

posted by Nell Minow

[Note: there are some spoilers in this post, so see the movie before reading it.] George Clooney wrote, directed, and stars in “The Monuments Men,” the story of six men who helped save five million masterpieces of art and architecture […]

The Real Story: Philomena

posted by Nell Minow

“Philomena,” star Dame Judi Dench, screenwriters Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, and composer Alexandre Desplat are all nominated for Oscars this year.  It is the real-life story of Philomena Lee, who joined Coogan at the Golden Globes as a presenter earlier […]

The Original “Please Mr. Kennedy” Song

posted by Nell Minow

My favorite movie of 2013 is “Inside Llewyn Davis,” and I love the scene where the very serious folksinger title character (Oscar Isaac) gets hired as a studio musician to perform a silly novelty song. Justin Timberlake plays the musician […]

The Real Story: Jordan Belfort, The Wolf of Wall Street

posted by Nell Minow

The most outrageous, over-the-top, and insanely unbelievable parts of Martin Scorsese’s new film, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” are true.  At least they are true as reported by the man portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the film, Jordan Belfort, who […]

The Real Story: Inside Llewyn Davis

posted by Nell Minow

“Inside Llewyn Davis” is not a true story but elements of the plot and characters are based on real-life folk music characters and locations from the 1960’s.   The Coen Brothers painstakingly re-created the settings of the era and recorded all […]

The Real Story: Dallas Buyer’s Club and Ron Woodroof

posted by Nell Minow

“The Dallas Buyer’s Club” (expanding to wide release this week) stars Matthew McConaughey in the real-life story of Ron Woodroof.  He was a Texas man diagnosed with AIDS in 1986, when there was no safe and effective treatment, and given just […]

12 Years a Slave: The Real Story

posted by Nell Minow

Time Magazine has researched the real story behind “12 Years a Slave,” comparing the film to Northrup’s book and found most of it depicted as Northrup described it.  SPOILER ALERT — here are a few of the facts they researched. […]

An Astronaut on “Gravity”

posted by Nell Minow

What do astronauts think of Gravity?  Mark Kelly wrote about his reaction to the George Clooney/Sandra Bullock space movie in the Washington Post.  “I’ve spent a total of 55 days in space so I know what to look for, and […]

The Real Story: “Rush” and the Formula One Rivalry Between Hunt and Lauda

posted by Nell Minow

“Rush,” directed by Ron Howard and written by Peter Morgan, is the story of the rivalry between 1970’s Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda.  Much of it is true, including many of the statements made by the characters […]

The Real Story: For All Those “Based On” and “Inspired By” Movies

posted by Nell Minow

The New York Times is in the business of reporting the facts.  And sometimes those facts result in “based on” or “inspired by” movies that have only a homeopathic relationship to what really happened yet are marketed as though they […]

The Real Story: Pain & Gain

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s release “Pain & Gain” opens with these words: “Unfortunately, a true story.”  Indeed, three body builders from Dade County did come up with a plot to make money by kidnapping a wealthy businessman and having him sign over […]

Jackie Robinson: The Real Story

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s release of “42,” the story of Jackie Robinson and the breaking of the color barrier in major league baseball should inspire families to learn more about this extraordinary athlete and groundbreaking figure in the early Civil Rights era. […]

The Real Story: The Sapphires

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s release, “The Sapphires,” tells the story of a 60’s girl group from Australia that toured Viet Nam to perform for American military.  It is based on a play written by Tony Briggs, the son of one of the […]

The Real “Argo” Story

posted by Nell Minow

To promote the Blu-Ray/DVD release next week of the Oscar nominated “Argo,” there is a new feature called “Argo: Declassified – A special in-depth look at the real events that inspired the film directed by Ben Affleck. Own Argo on […]

The Real Story: “Chasing Mavericks”

posted by Nell Minow

In “Chasing Mavericks,” Gerard Butler plays real-life surfing legend Richard “Frosty” Hesson, who was approached by kid named Jay Moriarity (Jonny Weston) who wanted some guidance in becoming a better surfer.  They both wanted to surf the gigantic waves off […]

More on the Real Story of “Argo”

posted by Nell Minow

Tony Mendez, played by Ben Affleck in Argo, tells Errol Morris what happened: You can see the entire interview in Errol Morris’ First Person – The Complete Series, available on Netflix and Amazon.

Argo: The Real Story of the Crazy CIA Caper to Rescue Six Americans in Iran

posted by Nell Minow

The employees of the US embassy in Iran were taken hostage in 1979, but six escaped and were hidden by the Canadian ambassador and his wife.  A CIA “exfiltration” expert worked with the Canadian government and some Hollywood talent to […]

The Real Story: The Couple Behind the Amnesia Romance, ‘The Vow’

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s romantic drama, “The Vow” starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams, is based on the real-life story of a newlywed whose memory was wiped out in an injury and the patience and devotion of her husband in staying with […]

The Real Story: We Bought a Zoo

posted by Nell Minow

The new Cameron Crowe movie starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson is based on a true story about a real family that bought a real zoo. Damon’s character is based on author Benjamin Mee (shown here with Damon), who wrote […]

The Real Story: Immaculata’s Mighty Macs

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s release “The Mighty Macs” is inspired by the true story of coach Cathy Rush, who took the basketball team from the tiny women’s college to three national championships in the early 1970’s, the dawn of women’s basketball.  Now […]

The Real Story: Soul Surfer Bethany Hamilton

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s release of “Soul Surfer” is based on the inspiring true story of surfing competitive champion Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm to a shark attack when she was thirteen years old.  In her book, Soul Surfer: A True […]

Elizabeth Gilbert of ‘Eat Pray Love’

posted by Nell Minow

Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia. It is the story of a year-long journey she took following a devastating divorce and love affair that left her questioning […]

Previous Posts

Trailer: Disney's Descendants With the Next Generation of Villains
Coming to the Disney Channel this summer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4UUQqefajc& ...

posted 3:47:40pm Apr. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Men in Suits: Costume Designers Talk about "Scandal," "Mad Men," and More Suit-Wearing Characters on TV
The women's clothes get all the attention, but for a costume designer -- and for the actor -- a suit is just as important. Indiewire ...

posted 3:27:23pm Apr. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Matt Mamula of Celebrity Impersonator Documentary "Just About Famous"
Matt Mamula co-directed "Just About Famous," the very entertaining new documentary about celebrity impersonators. He generously took time to talk to me about the unexpected opportunities that open up when someone looks like someone who becomes ...

posted 3:59:51pm Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Barak Goodman of "Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies"
Director Barak Goodman talked to me about his superb series for PBS, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, now available on DVD. The series is produced ...

posted 3:55:04pm Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Creativity Conference 2015: Nancy Pelosi, Snoopy, and Drones with GoPros
I had so much fun at last year's Creativity Conference that I could not imagine how they could top it this year, but they succeeded. This is ...

posted 3:07:48pm Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

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