It’s not a hard genre to mess up. There are so many pre and post production hazards to overcome that the moviemaking winds up the easiest part - some of the time. Writers and directors have to deal with producers and advisors with a vested interest in the outcome (and in most cases, how they see themselves depicted onscreen) and the subject usually gets lost in a web of superficial anecdotes, obvious symbolism, and the sort of hackneyed hero worship that fails to get behind the reasons for their fame. That’s right, of all the Hollywood go-to categories, the biopic is the most misunderstood and misapplied. From the earliest days of the artform to the current cliché ridden examples, the cinematic retelling of a noted person’s life is usually decent, but not definitive - and that’s where the problem lies.
You see, it’s almost impossible to figure out - film wise - what makes a celebrity celebrated? After all, for the most part, they are just people given over to a remarkable talent or skill that few others have. They aren’t the people they play onscreen, or represent onstage, or muse over on the printed page. Instead, they are (usually) normal individuals who have the luxury of using creativity, imagination, prescience, ability, or physical/mental acumen to forge a path in this wounded world. We admire them out of inferred jealously and/or envy, secretly wishing that we could run as fast, think as quickly, or hold enough corporate sway to become the kind of limelight the movie moth is drawn to.