While fans await Ewan McGregor’s return to playing Obi-Wan Kenobi, he recently delivered one of his best performances in the Netflix limited series Halston. McGregor starred as the titular fashion designer in a biopic of his rise and fall within the fashion industry.
The series takes a look at the eccentric and compelling life of Halston, filled with huge successes, crushing disappointments, and plenty of drugs and sex. For those who liked the Halston, there are a number of movies that touch on similar stories, themes, and characters that are well worth checking out.
10 Boogie Nights (1997)
The arc of Halston is similar to many other rise-and-fall stories in other movies. It is exciting seeing Halston find success and become a big part of this luxurious and beautiful world of fashion. But it makes his fall from grace all the more painful.
A similar journey was taken by the main character of Boogie Nights. Dirk Diggler finds the family he’s always hoped for in the colorful cast of characters in the adult entertainment world. But his own vices soon lead to him losing it all in a devastating way.
9 Rocketman (2019)
Halston is the story of someone who has an incredible artistic talent that few people could ever hope to possess. Yet when that talent allows him to have everything he’s ever wanted in the world, he doesn’t know when to realize that it is enough.
Elton John’s life story in Rocketman is a similar journey of an artist whose dreams come true, and the dangers that come along with it. Taron Egerton’s performance as John is as commanding and McGregor’s in Halston, they both created fascinating and complex characters.
8 Phantom Thread (2017)
There aren’t too many movies set in the world of fashion with artists at the center of it. Phantom Thread is another standout story of this subject matter and like Halston, it also deals with a creative genius whose process makes him quite difficult to be around.
Daniel Day-Lewis stars as a fashion designer who falls for a young woman who becomes his muse, only for her to push back against his controlling and self-centered demands. Like Halston, this is a man who thinks the world should bend to his incredible talent.
7 I Love You, Phillip Morris (2009)
Halston is a triumphant and compelling performance for McGregor, showing a side of him audiences might not be used to seeing. He delivered a similarly great yet underseen performance in another unique biopic called I Love You, Phillip Morris.
Jim Carrey stars in a role that allows him to showcase his dramatic talents as well as his comedic skills. He plays a married man who leaves his wife and embraces his homosexuality while operating as a conman. After being arrested, he falls in love with another prisoner (McGregor) and vows to live a happy life with him at all costs.
6 The Imitation Game (2014)
Though some World War II movies tend to throw out historical accuracy in favor of big action sequences, The Imitation Game is more about the unseen efforts to win the war. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing, a man who was instrumental in breaking the German Enigma code.
With Turing as the protagonist, this movie is another story of someone whose massive genius makes him a bit of an outsider. Turing has trouble relating to others but also hides his sexuality for fear it will be used against him.
5 Amadeus (1984)
Though most musical biopics deal with recent artists, Amadeus tells an equally compelling story of creative geniuses while also presenting a lavish period drama set in the early 19th century. It is the story of the young composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his jealous rival Antonio Salieri.
Jealousy is something that overcomes Halston’s creative life later in the story and is similarly damaging. The story of an artist living in excess is also seen in both of these biopics, as the talent makes way for a life where anything goes.
4 Steve Jobs (2015)
Steve Jobs is one of the most famous creative minds of this era and a fairly controversial figure in his own right. Danny Boyle’s unique biopic explores the complicated history of Jobs’s success as well as the relationships of his life.
Jobs is a perfectionist, much like Halston, and will only consider his own vision as the correct one. This arrogant behavior poisons his relationships with those around him, from his colleagues to his family, while offering hope that he may be able to find some balance between the two worlds.
3 Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
The Oscar-winning biopic Bohemian Rhapsody tells the extraordinary tale of Freddie Mercury and his legendary success with Queen. It is yet another example of a story of incredible talent, an excessive lifestyle, and a tragic end.
Mercury was also a gay man who was betrayed by someone who he thought loved him and exposed his secrets to the world. Though his later life was a downward spiral, he managed to pull himself up and remind the world of his gifts just before his untimely death. This follows Halston‘s end with eerie accuracy.
2 All That Jazz (1979)
It is not unusual for the subject of a biopic to be involved in the movie itself. All That Jazz is notable, as Bob Fosse directs this movie based on his own career and doesn’t pull too many punches. Roy Scheider stars as a Broadway director based on Fosse, and the movie follows his brilliant yet troubled career.
It is remarkable how much Fosse is willing to explore the darkest parts of himself as an artist and human. It makes for a compelling tale that perhaps feels a bit more grounded than some of the other “safer” biopics out there.
1 Behind The Candelabra (2013)
Steven Soderbergh’s Behind the Candelabra tells the story of famed flamboyant musician Liberace (Michael Douglas) and his romance with a young man named Scott Thorson (Matt Damon).
It is a funny yet tense story of the intoxicating world of fame and how it can tear people apart. Halston shares those themes and the similar tone of the movie which takes the audience to the dizzying heights of fame before bringing them back down to earth where it doesn’t seem so glamorous anymore.
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