T here’s a lovely feeling sitting down to watch a big Hollywood biopic, but at the end I find myself scurrying off to fact-check the storyline, usually to find that for the sake of drama or stuffing a person’s life into a three-act structure, a lot of key moments are simply made up. Towards the end of First Manabout Neil Armstrong there is an incredibly poignant scene (that I won’t ruin for you) which is pure conjecture. In Bohemian Rhapsody, looking at the life of the incredible Freddie Mercury, there are so many pivotal scenes that simply didn’t happen. The chronology of the break-up of the band is out of whack and timelines are distorted – remarkable given that two of the remaining members of Queen were producers on the film. The Favouritetakes enormous liberties with the life and times of Queen Anne. She didn’t share her apartments with 17 pet rabbits, nor was there any poisoning going on. All lovely inventions. As film critic Ann Hornaday wrote, five of the scariest words in cinema are “based on a true story” – they allow you, as Ken Burns said once, to walk the “razor’s edge...

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