By Paige Thompson
Janis Joplin was a talented, legendary singer. She had a signature voice that is well known; therefore it came as no surprise to me when I heard a film about her life is in the works entitled Janis Joplin: Get It While You Can. Amy Adams, of Enchanted, has been cast as the legendary singer.
Though Adams is a talented actress and singer, and I enjoy her movies, I do not feel she has what it takes to conquer such a large role. Joplin has a very distinguishable voice. It is unique and raspy and she created a name for herself when she was still alive. Adams on the other hand, has a sweet and delicate voice rather than the hardcore sound of Joplin.
Adams also has a princess image for herself, whereas Joplin had more of a hard-partying image. I think they are complete opposites and I do not see the delicate, sweet Adams rocking it out onstage and getting drunk backstage as Janis Joplin did.
However, when I first heard about this movie, I immediately began to think of who could tackle the role. My mind was automatically drawn to Across the Universe and the character Sadie, who was very similar to Joplin. Played by Dana Fuchs, she and Joplin have very similar voices. She even has the long, big, curly hair that Joplin had.
Joplin made her debut during the summer of 1967, also called the “Summer of Love”. She performed Big Mama Thornton’s “Ball and Chain” and with her voice, people paid attention .In 1969 she performed at Woodstock. She went through three different bands during her career due to drug use getting in the way. While in Los Angeles recording “Pearl”, she overdosed in her motel and died at the young age of 27. (Source: janisjoplin.com)
Joplin’s story is a sad one, because she had so much potential and such an awesome career ahead of her. However, Joplin isn’t the only artist to get her own movie biography.
Frank Sinatra, for example, could be called one of the most famous and popular musicians of his time. Ol’ Blue Eyes created music that is very recognizable. He is well known by almost everyone. Not only did Sinatra make his mark in musical history, but also he went as far as winning an Oscar for his role in From Here to Eternity in 1953.
According to his website, (www.sinatra.com), Sinatra is long acclaimed as the world’s greatest performer of popular music, and is the artist who set the standard for all others to follow. He was a beloved entertainer for six decades. He won three Oscars, three Golden Globes, 20 total Grammys, an Emmy, and others.
Sinatra’s music is historic as well. From 1953 to 1961, he recorded more than 17 albums for Capitol Records. He was the first artist to record in the new Capitol Studios at Hollywood and Vine in Los Angelis but he formed his own recording company in 1960 called Reprise.
In fact, Martin Scorsese has been working up a Sinatra biopic. Although he has considered casting George Clooney or Leonardo DiCaprio as the role of Sinatra, I think that Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be a much better choice. The (500) Days of Summer star has a nice voice and I think there is something about him that would make him a much more suitable choice to play the role.
Since I enjoy these types of movies so much, I think there are many more artists they could make movie biographies for. Ella Fitzgerald is one of those artists.
Fitzgerald, “The First Lady of Song”, accomplished a lot in her life. According to her official website, (www.ellafitzgerald.com), she became the most popular female jazz singer in the United States for more than half a century. She has also won 13 Grammys and has sold over 40 million albums.
Fitzgerald had the unique talent of being able to recreate the sounds of almost every instrument in an orchestra with her voice. She reached out to a variety of people. Her fans included people of all race, gender, religion, rich, poor, young, and old.
She took on the task of becoming her own bandleader when she lost her mentor, Chick Webb. She also had to deal with discrimination when she would travel to the South.
“The First Lady of Song” is one of my role models. She had to overcome many obstacles to do what she loved and she accomplished a lot in her life. She lived in an era of discrimination and she was an African American woman. For her to have accomplished so much during that time, and to be so loved by nearly everyone, really inspires me.
Though I do not know exactly who I think should play her, a movie about her life is needed. It is unfortunate that many people do not know who she is. More people need to know exactly what she went through and more of her story.
An Ella Fitzgerald biopic would deal with the looming issues of race and gender. Her being an African American female would bring a ridiculous amount of discrimination during that time.
It would be a nice change to see a film that is concerned with these issues since we really do not see that a lot in movies today. These issues need to be brought to attention and by creating a biopic about the life of Ella Fitzgerald would be a great opportunity for that.
Classic, timeless musicians hold a special place in history. They are considered legends and movie biographies are a great way to remember them.
These genres of movies can give an inside look at the lives of some of the most influential artists of all time. They were a big deal and pretty important if they receive the privilege of having a movie made about their lives.
These movies are a way to keep an artist alive after they are gone. They can keep their legends real. They are monumental and they pay tribute to their life’s work.