We sometimes watch a movie saying “yeah, it’s a bit big, it couldn’t happen like that in real life” and we had already told you a little about it with the stuff that is realistic, but seems fake in movies. If we stopped on a few scenes from certain films, we could say that it is big bullshit and yet from a realistic point of view, it is rather plausible. There like that, it’s not very telling and it’s normal, I haven’t shown you any examples yet so keep reading before you start criticizing.
1. Top Gun : Maverick
According to several pilots of the army (French and American) the film would be very realistic on the technical aspect. Apart from two or three little things that Hollywood has decided to change to make it “even more classy”, the training scenes would be truly copied from reality and those of the various missions very close to this one. Other than the planes flying very close to each other and some models not being the most suitable for certain missions, it seems the stunts and flight scenes are 80% realistic (which is a very good score in Hollywood).
2. Alone on Mars
NASA helped the film crew by sending consultants to keep the script as realistic as possible. It must be said that the novel from which the film is adapted was already very realistic and this is an aspect that has been kept in the filmed version. Whether it’s the way the character manages to grow his potatoes on the red planet or the huge violent storms he experiences on its surface, realism was at the heart of the mise-en-scène and it shows. Well maybe not, I admit that when I watched the film at no time did I say to myself “damn it could happen in real life”. But I had a good time.
3. The Grey Zone
Much less famous than Life is Beautiful or Schindler’s List, this film dwells on the life of the Sonderkommando in Aushwitz, prisoners who were forced to empty the bodies of the gas chambers and take them to the crematorium in exchange for a better condition at the camp. One day while transporting the corpses they discover that a young girl is still alive and some of them decide to save her.
Extremely documented and realistic, The grey zone actually avoids many of the pitfalls and pitfalls that films about the Holocaust come up against: it’s not about seeing the good guys and the bad guys, but about showing the humanity between these two shades, in the “grey zone”. If the story it tells is debatable, it is still considered today as one of the most accurate films about life in the camps but never really had the fame it deserved.
4. La taupe (Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy)
Adapted from the novel by master spy John Le Carré, this film describes the investigation of a British secret agent who tries to discover a double agent working for the Soviets within his team. Far from the action films of the genre and the sensationalism that encompasses the secret services, the film is slow, complex and dizzying. It would obviously describe perfectly how the secret services operated during the cold war and what were the stakes that weighed on them. Office investigations, long hours of documentation, palpable tension and a cruel lack of trust for others. Plus, the film’s cast is absolutely amazing: Gary Oldman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy, Colin Firth, John Hurt, Mark Strong, and even a friend’s cousin who was a waiter at one point.
5. Full Metal Jacket
Who says total fiction does not mean unrealism, in any case this is what Kubrick must have said to himself while preparing one of his most emblematic films. By taking for example a real sergeant to play the role of the sergeant major with incredible quotes and by looking at hundreds of hours of historical images, the director wanted to make his film more than realistic. But beyond the military scenes on the battlefield or in the barracks which are intended to be as close to reality as possible, it is also the themes addressed and the psychology of the characters which ring true in the film, because Kubrick has well done and it shows.
6. The Lives of Others
Another unmissable spy movie, The lives of others tells the story of a Stasi agent who listens to prestigious residents of East Berlin. As his mission progresses, the man begins to befriend the couple he is watching and even goes so far as to falsify reports. Beyond the fictionalized dimension of the scenario, there are several authentic aspects that permeate the film in reality: the material used, the type of missions entrusted, the internal functioning of the Stasi, life in Berlin at the time of the wall, surveillance by political power play… Everything is highly documented and no negligence taints the reconstruction of the context of history. I am quite proud of this paragraph because I used several complicated words.
7. Zero Dark Thirty
The “true” story behind the hunt for bin Laden is not yet revealed to us in its most secret details, but the film tries to tell what the team was able to recover as real information from this military mission. If there are necessarily romanticized and changed things, at least compared to the reality classified by the army, several aspects of the story are realistic, the scenes of interrogations and torture for example, but also the scene of the raid on bin Laden’s hideout which shows how a military squad works in an infiltration and neutralization operation. True story maybe not entirely, but realistic story all the same.
” What ? A film on time travel in a top on realistic films? I can already hear you say as you spit your orange juice out your nose. Well yes. Okay, as far as we know, time travel isn’t feasible, but the essence of the film lies elsewhere: it’s written and directed by an engineer and it shows. The film is complex, both in its dialogue and its direction, but in terms of what time travel might look like and how time travel might work the film is considered one of the most realistic ever made (if this is not the most realistic). The director was broke when he made the movie and the project only cost $7000 but we can tell you it was worth every dollar.