'Bohemian Rhapsody' and Rami Malek make a case for an Oscar
The movie and its lead actor won big at the Golden Globes and now have their sights set on the Academy Awards.
In the 1970s and '80s, Queen was one of the biggest bands in the world. The British rockers routinely sold out stadiums across the globe. Led by the Zanzibar-born Freddie Mercury, the band was eventually inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
So it's no surprise that a biopic about their rise to fame would become a blockbuster. The film has a 90% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Called "Bohemian Rhapsody" – named after one of the group's most famous songs – the movie won the Best Motion Picture award at the Golden Globes.
Haven't seen it yet? Take a look at the trailer to give you an idea...
So why is this film such a rocking hit? Let us count the ways ...
It's got an award-winning lead actor.
Egyptian-American actor Rami Malek is normally a shy and restrained thespian as seen on the popular "Mr. Robot" on the USA Network. But the 37-year-old transformed himself into a 1970s-era rock star, even wearing a special set of false teeth to give him the singer's signature overbite. "As soon as those teeth went in, it was done," Malek said. "It was little things like that that were very informative for me." After filming was complete, Malek had the teeth cast in gold as a keepsake. "It's hard to talk in them, hard to sing in them and hard to kiss in them. But I appreciated them so much by the end of it. I just felt naked without them."
In addition to the film winning Best Picture, Malek won the Golden Globe for Best Actor.
It's got an award-winning producer.
Arnon Milchan is nothing if not prolific. The Israeli producer has shepherded dozens of acclaimed movies including "12 Years a Slave," "L.A. Confidential," "JFK," "Heat," "Fight Club," "Pretty Woman" and "Mr. and Mrs. Smith." (Brad Pitt, single at the time, crashed on Milchan's couch during filming.) More recently, Milchan's been collaborating with Leonardo DiCaprio in both "The Revenant" and "The Wolf of Wall Street." Up next for Milchan? He's producing the most star-studded 'Little Women' in cinematic history featuring Meryl Streep, Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet, Bob Odenkirk and Laura Dern just to name a few of the award-winning stars. It's due to arrive in theaters on Christmas Day, 2019.
Because we all love the 'Wayne's World' rendition of 'Bohemian Rhapsody.'
The song, originally released on Halloween 1975, gained a whole new generation of fans when it was part of an iconic scene in the 1992 film "Wayne's World." The song's resurgence in popularity and the film cast's gifted lip syncing skills earned the band its only MTV Video Music Award. That being said, the original single was accompanied by a promotional video in the 1970s, which many rock n' roll experts consider groundbreaking. Rolling Stone magazine wrote: "Its influence cannot be overstated, practically inventing the music video seven years before MTV went on the air."
And the rest of the soundtrack is filled with your favorite rock anthems.
Even those who didn't grow up with the band are familiar with their work. You know when you're at a sporting event and the songs "We Will Rock You" or "We Are the Champions" come over the loudspeakers? Those are tunes by Queen. Also "Another One Bites the Dust," which, believe it or not, was Michael Jackson's idea. (And the band also made the soundtrack to the 1980 camp classic "Flash Gordon" – but we won't hold that against them.)
And now it's poised for an Oscar.
One of the narrative through lines of this year's Golden Globes, often a predictor of Academy Awards success, is that anything is possible. No one particular movie ran away with all the trophies and indeed, prizes were spread fairly evenly amongst all the nominated movies. That lack of a frontrunner, and the wins for Malek and the movie set up "Bohemian Rhapsody" for some potential Oscar night wins. "He's incredible," Queen guitarist Brian May says of Malek's Freddie. "Without doubt, he'll be on the nominations list for an Oscar... He inhabited Freddie to the point where we even started to think of him as Freddie. Really remarkable."
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