oscar movies about musicians biopics
[Photos via 8 Mile/Universal, Almost Famous/ DreamWorks, Bohemian Rhapsody/20th Century Fox, A Star Is Born/Warner Bros., Straight Outta Compton/Universal]

10 Oscar-nominated movies about musicians you need to watch

It’s officially Oscars season. The 2020 event will hit our screens Feb. 9 through ABC, with 24 categories being presented by the Academy Awards.

To get ready for the best night of the year for film fans, we compiled a list of 10 of our favorite movies about musicians, fictitious or not, that were nominated or won an Oscar in the past. Check them out below.

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1. A Star Is Born

The fourth rendition of this classic tale, A Star Is Born, was by far the best. Director Bradley Cooper portrayed Jackson Maine, a drunken, washed-up country musician who meets Ally (Lady Gaga) as she gives an amazing performance of “La Vie En Rose” at a drag bar that he stumbles into. The film follows their instant love, with Maine attempting to bring the inner songwriter and star out of Ally. Gaga made history as the first person to be nominated for Best Actress and Best Original Song in the same year. She went on to win Best Original Song for the emotional hit “Shallow.” Cooper was nominated for Best Actor, while the film was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay (and was robbed), Best Picture, Best Cinematography and Best Sound Mixing. 

2. La Vie En Rose

La Vie En Rose translates to “life in pink” or “life through rose-colored glasses,” one may say. The 2007 biographical film told the story of French singer Edith Piaf, who originally sang “La Vie En Rose,” much like Lady Gaga’s character in A Star Is Born. Marion Cotillard took on the role of Piaf and won Best Actress for her performance. The film won an Oscar for Best Makeup And Hairstyling but lost in the Best Costume Design category. 

3. Bohemian Rhapsody

The 2018 box-office hit followed the creation and rise of rock royalty Queen, with Rami Malek portraying vocal god Freddie Mercury. Malek won an Oscar for Best Actor following his outstanding performance, while the film went on to win Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing and (controversially) Best Film Editing. Bohemian Rhapsody exceeded the 2015 film Straight Outta Compton to become the highest-grossing musical biopic of all time. It later went on to become the highest-grossing biography film ever, as well as the highest-grossing LGBTQ+ film. 

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4. Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton followed the rise of Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, DJ Yella and MC Ren as one of the greatest hip-hop groups of all time, N.W.A. It was the highest-grossing musical biopic after taking the crown from the 2005 film Walk The Line before Bohemian Rhapsody snagged the title in 2018. It was nominated for Best Original Screenplay but lost to Spotlight.

5. Walk The Line

This 2005 film showed country music legend Johnny Cash (Joaquin Phoenix) in his early years, his romance between with June Carter (Reese Witherspoon) and his drug-filled road to fame. Witherspoon was the only one to take home an Oscar with her performance for Best Actress. Phoenix was nominated for Best Actor, and the film was nominated for Best Sound Mixing, Best Costume Design and Best Film Editing. 

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6. Almost Famous

This semi-autobiographical tale by Cameron Crowe follows a young William Miller (Patrick Fugit), who’s writing for Rolling Stone in the early ’70s while on the road with an up-and-coming fictitious rock band, Stillwater. Almost Famous won Best Original Screenplay and was nominated for Best Supporting Actress (Kate Hudson and Frances McDormand) and Best Film Editing. 

7. 8 Mile

8 Mile follows B-Rabbit (Eminem) as he struggles to launch his career in a genre that’s dominated by African-American musicians. Eminem won an Oscar for Best Original Song, becoming the first-ever hip-hop artist to win an Academy Award. 

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8. Ray

This 2004 film depicts the life of R&B musician Ray Charles. Jamie Foxx portrayed Charles, with the movie focusing on the rise and life of the blind piano star who lost his sight at the age of 7, not too long after seeing his younger brother drown. Foxx won Best Actor for his performance, while the movie won Best Sound Mixing. The film was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Costume Design and Best Film Editing. 

9. Coal Miner’s Daughter

Coal Miner’s Daughter was the 1980 biographical film that followed the story of country singer Loretta Lynn, who has a song by the same name. The movie showed her early years of being born into a poor family, getting married at the age of 13 and rising to country music fame. Sissy Spacek portrayed Lynn and won an Oscar for Best Actress for her performance. The film was nominated for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing, Best Production Design and Best Film Editing. 

10. Rocketman

Rocketman was the 2019 hit movie about rock legend Elton John. The film followed John (Taron Egerton) through his struggles as a young, talented boy to his rise to fame, including his first American performance at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. The film’s nominated for Best Original Song (“I’m Gonna Love Me Again”).

What’s your favorite movie about musicians? Let us know in the comments below!