10 Greatest Music Biopics From The Last 20 Years

10. I'm Not There

Only placed this low on the list because it's tough to technically call Todd Haynes' representation of Bob Dylan a true biopic. But there's no doubt that the central character (played by different actors and given different names throughout the stages of the film), are all meant to be stand-ins for the iconic folk troubadour. This is for the better, too, as the filmmakers are then able to stay away from the other standard conventions that would have felt like a cheat in retelling the tale of music's greatest storyteller. Any narrative to I'm Not There is subtle, with the director choosing instead to focus on the evolution of Dylan's various personalities, and capturing some mesmerizing performances in the process. Although this film was notable for featuring one of the last portrayals of Heath Ledger, it's actually the other Batman actor who steals the show. Christian Bale appears as two variations of Dylan, once as the ascending protest singer, and later as the born-again Christian. Both performances are layered and captivating. Less a biopic than an impressionist painting of the songwriter explored over the span of two hours, I'm Not There succeeds in spite of its unorthodox nature.
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Jacob is a part-time contributor for WhatCulture, specializing in music, movies, and really, really dumb humor. You can follow him on Twitter @JakeTrowbridge.