We all want to believe that ambition and hard work can help us rise in the world. The Founder, directed by John Lee Hancock, is a classic American tale telling the story of struggling 52-year old Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) who built a fast food empire (you might have heard of it), McDonald's. The Founder features big personalities, persistence, basic morality, and a whole lot of business.
Check out the trailer below:
Can't wait until 2017 for The Founder and you weren't one of the lucky ones with access to early release sites in 2016? Here's a list of 11 movies like The Founder to quench your appetite and maybe inspire you to pursue your own dreams.
1. The Social Network
Director: David Fincher
Fun fact: The depiction of Zuckerberg's clothing was very accurate, according to Zuckerberg himself.
The Social Network, starring Jesse Eisenberg, tells the founding story of another great American Empire — Facebook. A biographical drama, captures the genius of Mark Zuckerberg from the moment he conceived the idea of Facebook in 2003, to how he built this mega social media corporation.
Mark Zuckerberg commented on the accuracy of the movie:
I think the reality is that writing code and then building a product and building a company is not a glamorous enough thing to make a movie about, so you can imagine that a lot of this stuff they had to embellish or make up. - Mark Zuckerberg in 'The Guardian'
Despite of how close to reality this movie might be, it's a fascinating story of entrepreneurship.
2. The Pursuit of Happyness
Director: Gabriele Muccino
Fun fact: There are real Chris Gardner #cameos in the film
Inspired by a true story, The Pursuit of Happyness is an inspiring story of a struggling salesman, Chris Gardner (#WillSmith), who takes custody of his 5-year-old son while he's barely making ends meet. Chris Gardner, while homeless for almost one year, is able to rise up into a successful stockbroker and then found his own multimillion-dollar brokerage company. It's a heartwarming story of never giving up.
3. Forrest Gump
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Fun fact: Although not a true story, the film is based on the homonymous novel by Winston Groom.
Forrest Gump, starring Tom Hanks, is about Forrest Gump's life who, despite his lack of intelligence, is able to partake in many extraordinary events throughout his life, such as meeting the president of the United States and fightng in the Vietnam War.
Unlike most of the other films on this list, #ForrestGump is not a sharp dealer or business man. His story is an uplifting tale of the underdog, whose life is a string of adventurous events. You can't help but emerge yourself in Forrest Gump's experiences and, to an extent, even relate to him.
4. The Wolf of Wall Street
Director: Martin Scorsese
Fun Fact: The actors inhaled crushed B vitamins for the scenes requiring cocaine snorting.
The Wolf of Wall Street is a biographical drama based on the true story of Jordan Belfort (#LeonardoDiCaprio), who was able to rise as a stockbroker and build his own brokerage firm. However, this is not Pursuit of Happyness. Jordan Belfort is living a life of debauchery in corruption and crime, that will eventually lead to his downfall.
The Wolf of Wall Street is all about big personalities and questionable moralities.
Director: David O. Russell
Fun Fact: The movie is very loosely based on inventor Joy Mangano but David O. Russell wanted to tell a different story, so he was inspired by other women who changed their lives.
#JenniferLawrence plays Joy, an underdog who's being put down by her family, before going after her dreams. Joy, an intelligent woman with an inventive mind, who in many ways is a victim of her circumstances, is able to rise up and start her own business. Joy tells a moving story about entrepreneurship and female empowerment, teaching us that in order to succeed one has to speak up.
6. Coco Before Chanel
Director: Anne Fontaine
Fun Fact: For the movie, a team of 40 people working on costumes, created over 700 hats among other things.
Coco Before Chanel (Original title: Coco Avant Chanel) tells exactly that, Coco's story before she became her brand based on the book Chanel and Her World by Edmonde Charles-Roux. Coco Before Chanel follows Coco (Audrey Tautou) into the heights of the fashion world, exploring how she modernized women's clothing.
Growing up in an orphanage you'd think a woman in the 1900s would not be able to rise into such an important figure in haute couture. This biographical drama, like many films in this list, celebrates a person rising from an obscure beginning to the top of their industry. If you love creativity, charm and ambition this movie is for you!
7. Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Director: David Gelb
Fun Fact: If you'd like to eat there, you'd need to invest a minimum of $300.
If you love sushi and inspiring stories, Jiro Dreams of Sushi is the documentary for you. Jiro is renowned as the best sushi chef in the world and many would argue that he has mastered the art of sushi, however at age 91, he is still trying to reach perfection.
This documentary will inspire you to find your own passion and devote your life to it. As Jiro himself says:
You must fall in love with your work.- Jiro
8. The Blind Side
Director: John Lee Hancock
Fun Fact: Sandra Bullock did not want the part and turned down her role 3 times. However, her performance won her an #Oscar for Best Leading Actress.
Like The Founder, The Blind Side is also directed by John Lee Hancock. It's based on the true story of Micheal Oher (Quinton Aaron), a traumatized homeless boy who is taken in by caring Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock).
Oher will go on to become an All American NFL player, triumphing over his traumatic past with the help of his foster mother, Tuohy, whose determination and care helps him overcome his insecurities. Oher not only becomes a great athlete but he also finds home. The Blind Side is a feel-good tale of hope.
9. Erin Brockovich
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Fun Fact: Julia Roberts was the first actress to break the $20 million barrier with her salary at this film .
Erin Brockovich is based on the true story of Erin Brockovich, an unemployed single mother who becomes a legal assistant who investigates, and later brings down, Pacific Gas & Electric Company in California because they were polluting a city's water supply, making people sick.
Erin Brockovich played by #JuliaRoberts, who won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role, starts out in a desperate situation as a single mother looking for a job while no one takes her seriously. However, her determination and persistence help her lead her law firm in a really important lawsuit against a multi-billion dollar corporation.
10. The Theory of Everything
Director: James Marsh
Fun Fact: Stephen Hawking lent his copyrighted voice along with his Companion of Honour medal and signed thesis.
The Theory of Everything isn't a simple biography of the brilliant physicist, Stephen Hawking (#EddieRedmayne), but it focuses on his relationship with his wife, Jane Hawking (#FelicityJones) and the compromises that had to be made in their relationship. It is an inspiring and moving story with a sensible touch to the complexities of real life.
Eddie Redmayne studied ALS patients and practiced speech slurring in order to better understand the role, which lead to a brilliant performance. Stephen Hawking himself noted that:
At times, I thought he was me. - Hawking, BBC
Redmayne won an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, while Felicity Jones was nominated for her performance.
11. Saving Mr. Banks
Director: John Lee Hancock
Fun Fact: Tom Hanks who is portraying Walt Disney is his distant cousin
Saving Mr. Banks is also directed by John Lee Hancock. This is a heartwarming tale of author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) who reluctantly meets with #WaltDisney (Tom Hanks) who is pursuing the right to make her #MaryPoppins books into a feature film.
Very loosely based on the true story (it is after all a movie about Walt Disney, produced by Disney's company, so you see the conflicts of interest here), it delivers an emotional performance. P.L. Travers and Walt Disney's big personalities come into friction and Walt Disney has to look back into his childhood in order to understand what was holding P.L. Travers back.
The Founder hits US theaters January 20, 2017!