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The 20 best music biopics – ranked!

As the David Bowie biopic Stardust is released, we take a look through the greatest music star portrayals – from Johnny Cash and Billie Holiday to Ian

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As the David Bowie biopic Stardust is released, we take a look through the greatest music star portrayals – from Johnny Cash and Billie Holiday to Ian Curtis and Ray Charles

Some inspired casting made this biopic fiercely watchable – and it’s a movie that doesn’t quite conform to either of the genre’s two templates: underdog rise or tragic downfall. Dennis Quaid is the rock’n’roll wild man Jerry Lee Lewis, the insurgent 50s star who married his 13-year-old cousin, Myra, played by Winona Ryder – to the horror of the US and that of his other cousin, the preacher Jimmy Swaggart, played by Alec Baldwin. But Lewis stays unrepentant and defiant to the end. A fascinating dramatisation of how sex, evangelical passion and rock’n’roll euphoria are all close cousins in the American family.

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