6 'True Story' Oscar Movies (That Are Secretly Full Of Lies)
Hollywood isn't exactly known for its accuracy. Lies and deception are basically the plutonium to the industry's DeLorean. Even movies supposedly based on true stories are often surprisingly full of hooey, codswallop, and malarkey, pardon our language. And some acclaimed movies you might have seen recently -- ones considered worthy of being nominated to receive tiny naked gold men -- are no exception. They lied to you about ...
Bohemian Rhapsody -- Everything About The Live Aid Climax Is False
Some elements of the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody are obviously fictional. For example, the band probably never befriended a time-travelling Mike Myers. Still, you'd think that at least the triumphant climax would adhere to the facts, but nope. Either to give the story an artificial sense of resolution or because the scandal-ridden director flat out took off, the depiction of Queen's performance at Live Aid is mostly bogus.
The movie positions the concert as an emotional catharsis. The band reunites after having a break-up, and before taking the stage, Freddie Mercury tells them that he's been diagnosed HIV-positive. Then they play their goddamn hearts out.
There are a few problems here. For starters, the band didn't break up. Mercury left to record a solo album, which no one had a problem with because everyone was "burned out." And while the movie makes it seem like Queen reunited for Live Aid and hadn't even been speaking to each other, they had just released an album, "The Works" (which the movie totally omits). In fact, their last stop on their world tour promoting that record was a mere eight weeks before Live Aid.
As for Freddie's diagnosis, that likely happened between 1986 and 1987, meaning he wouldn't have known during Live Aid in 1985. Queen didn't put on a kickass show because they were reeling from the news of their lead singer's illness -- they put on a kickass show because they were fucking Queen.
Most Of BlacKkKlansman Didn't Happen
One of Spike Lee's best recent movies (featuring one of Topher Grace's best non-symbiotic villain roles), BlacKkKlansman tells the story of Ron Stallworth, a black cop who called up the Klu Klux Klan, and rather than simply asking to speak with "Ben Dover," launched an undercover operation. Despite the movie's acclaim, it has also come under criticism for its handling of real events, most notably from Sorry To Bother You director Boots Riley. And yeah, he has a point.
For starters, Stallworth's allegiance to the police force (aka the man) is tempered by his budding relationship with a student activist, Patrice. In reality, she didn't exist, and Stallworth was already dating his first wife. Also, Stallworth's partner Detective Kylo Ren wasn't Jewish, despite the fact that his fictional counterpart's Judaism is a key part of the film.
Oh, and the exciting climax in which Ron races to stop a bombing? That was also made up. In truth, "no arrests were made during the investigation." What about that one racist cop who gets arrested at the end? He was based on a real person. But, perhaps not surprisingly, the bit about him being held accountable for his actions was fiction.
The Favourite -- Sorry, There Was No Steamy Love Triangle
Trojan-horsing Americans into using the letter "U" where they normally wouldn't, The Favourite centers on Queen Anne and two women vying for her #1 sidekick spot ... well, sidekick with benefits. Abigail Masham and Sarah Churchill both have sexual relationships with the queen, leading to a good old-fashioned love triangle, full of scheming and backstabbing. The only problem is that this never happened.
While the movie obviously takes some historical liberties with its costumes and funky dance moves, the idea of Queen Anne engaging in any funny business with either woman is highly suspect. Why? Well for starters, she had a husband, Prince George of Denmark (who isn't in the movie at all), with whom she shared a bed even during his serious illness. Meaning that even if she had wanted to, Anne wouldn't have been able to have affairs like in the movie.
Plus, according to historians, the couple were super into each other, and had a "prolific sexual history." And one biographer noted that Anne was known for her "prudery, and her strong sense of Christian morality" -- meaning she probably wasn't doing the chambermaid behind her husband's back.
So where did this story come from? Apparently, a dirty poem that was spread by Sarah "out of jealousy." At the time, calling the ruling monarch gay was a "common way to slander your political opponents." Thank god our political discourse has improved since then.
Vice -- Um, Lynne Cheney's Dad Didn't Murder Her Mom
In what presumably began as a misguided reboot of Eddie Murphy's Klumps franchise, Christian Bale packed on the pounds and prosthetics to play Dick Cheney in the biopic Vice. Because in this age of Marvel movies and CGI wizardry, who wouldn't want to plunk down their hard-earned money to watch a charisma-free politician erode our freedoms, destroy other countries, and accidentally shoot his buddy in the face?
While the movie's politics will certainly divide audiences, one of the more baffling assertions has nothing to do with Cheney, the Bush administration, or the Iraq war, but rather Cheney's father-in-law. Early on in the movie, Lynne Cheney's mom dies after falling into a pond -- which was weird because, as Lynne states, she couldn't swim. The movie heavily implies that she was murdered by Lynne's abusive father, with the narrator noting that there was never a "serious investigation" into the incident.
Wow, that's pretty crazy. What's crazier still is that no one seems to be pushing this theory except for this one movie. The death was ruled accidental because the coroner found no signs of trauma on the body and a dangerously high blood alcohol level. From all accounts, the woman fell in the water while walking her dogs and drowned. That's it. Vice's insinuation of foul play seems to have originated with Lynne Cheney's memoir, in which she questioned whether or not her mom's death was accidental. But even then, she never suggested that her father had anything to do with it.
Welcome To Marwen Fudges With Some Important Details
Now in the "remake a documentary with wacky special effects" phase of his career, Robert Zemeckis took the story of the acclaimed doc Marwencol and turned it into Welcome To Marwen, starring Steve Carell and an army of dead-eyed CGI Barbie dolls. It's basically the gritty, Nazi-filled Toy Story spinoff Pixar is too afraid to make.
In the movie, artist Mark Hogancamp creates an elaborate miniature doll-filled World War II fantasy to cope with PTSD after being attacked and severely injured outside a bar. Welcome To Marwen "adjusts" the details about the attack, most notably turning his assailants into neo-Nazis to underscore the WWII parallels. In real life they were just assholes, not Nazis; one of them wasn't even white.
The film also glosses over some of the more saliently depressing parts of Hogancamp's story. In the movie, Mark leaves the hospital because he's better. But in real life, he was forced to leave because his Medicaid ran out. Also, he couldn't afford to get the counseling his fictional counterpart receives because he wasn't covered for it.
And while the movie makes it seem like Mark's wife left him as a result of the attack, in reality, they'd divorced beforehand because of "his heavy drinking." To be fair, if one could turn the abstract concept of alcoholism into some kind of CGI abomination, it probably would have made the final cut.
Green Book Is A "Symphony Of Lies"
Perhaps it shouldn't have been a total shock that a cinematic examination of racism directed by the guy behind Dumb And Dumber and Movie 43 would have a few kinks. Green Book tells the story of Tony Vallelonga, a brash Italian tough guy who takes a job chauffeuring refined black pianist Dr. Don Shirley through the deep South during the early 1960s. Along the way, the white man introduces the black man to soul music and fried chicken. Seriously, that's a thing that happens.
Not surprisingly, some critics took issue with things like this, and for telling a story of Southern racism through the lens of the dude who played Aragorn. While the movie was written by Vallelonga's son, and was painstakingly faithful in representing their family (his fictional mom wears his actual mom's jewelry), Shirley wasn't so lucky.
In the movie, we're told that Shirley doesn't speak with his brother, which helps foster a relationship between him and Tony. According to the real Maurice Shirley, though, they were never estranged. He talked with his brother monthly, and even enlisted him to be best man at his wedding shortly after the events of the movie. As for the fried chicken of it all, according to Shirley: "No one, EVER, had to teach my brother how to eat fried chicken. Nor would he have allowed 'lessons' of such by a white man."
Similarly, the movie's assertion that Dr. Shirley was unaware of popular black music seems laughable, considering how he was friends with luminaries like Sarah Vaughan and Nina Simone. And the broader idea that it took a white man to reconnect Shirley to his black roots is especially insulting, considering he marched at Selma and was friends with Martin Luther King Jr. Actor Mahershala Ali ended up apologizing to Shirley's family, who branded the film a "symphony of lies" -- which at least is classier than "a Smash Mouth song of horseshit."
Support our site with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.
For more, check out 7 True Stories That Should've Already Been Made Into Movies - The Cracked Podcast:
Follow us on Facebook. If you like jokes and stuff.