tBhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013)

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s biopic on sprinter Milkha Singh, a box-office triumph, has Farhan Akhtar in the coveted role.

His efforts to live the life of the unassuming Punjabi son of the soil are evident, sometimes sorely. Akhtar lives up to the physical demands of the role and delivers some stirring scenes in the film.

Harvey Milk (left) Photo: Daniel Nicoletta/AFP

All rise in support of Gus Van Sant’s stirring and uplifting biopic of Harvey Milk, about an openly gay San Francisco politician who was shot dead by a disgruntled colleague.

The drama benefits tremendously from the casting of Sean Penn as Milk, with solid support from James Franco, Diego Luna and Josh Brolin.

Abraham Lincoln (right). Photo: AlexanderGardner/Getty Images Photo:

Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance as Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s biopic is the most assured and brilliant performance in a biopic in recent times.

Lewis immerses completely in the idealistic president’s times and inner life.

t J Edgar (2011)

J. Edgar Hoover (left). Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Leonardo DiCaprio in the role of Hoover is a considered, mature performance—with the perfect prosthetics and the speech he adopted.

Especially as the eager young Hoover, DiCaprio is marvellous.

Paan Singh Tomar. Photo: Hindustan Times

Tigmanshu Dhulia’s acclaimed biopic is about a man who fails to outrun his destiny.

Irrfan Khan beautifully portrays the former Indian Army soldier and athlete Paan Singh Tomar, who returned to the dacoit-favoured Chambal Valley after an illustrious career as a national-level steeplechase runner and became a fugitive after an intractable family dispute.

Margaret Thatcher (left) . Photo: John Minihan/Evening Standard/Getty Images

Meryl Streep’s Margaret Thatcher in Phyllida Lloyd’s biopic of Britain’s longest-running prime minister was tailor-made for an Oscar nomination.

Streep is at her effective best in the role, playing it with gusto.

The film portrays the lady in her dementia-ridden retired life and has a flashback to her youth. It was a simplistic eulogy, but it did get Streep the Best Actress Oscar.

Marilyn Monroe (right) L J Willinger/Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Michelle Williams is stunning in Simon Curtis’ celebrity-studded biopic of Marilyn Monroe, based on a week she spent with an assistant director while shooting The Prince And the Showgirl in England.

Marilyn is shrouded in layers of Hollywood myth, Williams goes beyond pouty lips and giggles for a terrific recreation of the beautiful star.