Bohemian Rhapsody has surprised everyone by doing very well so far during awards season. At the Golden Globes, it picked up the best Motion Picture – Drama gong, with star Rami Malek winning Best Actor for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury. Now, it has a clutch of Oscar nominations under its belt and will be competing for Best Picture and Best Actor along with a handful of technical awards. Not bad for a film that just squeaked into ‘Fresh’ territory on the Tomatometer with a 62% positive rating.
In fact, according to Variety, the Academy had even approached Queen to open the ceremony with a live performance in honor of the movie’s nominations, but the band have reportedly turned them down. This sounds about right to me, but with Kevin Hart doing the proper thing and stepping aside as well, it means that this year, the Oscars is going to be a rather strange watch.
For one thing, there’ll be no fixed host, with actors from the MCU taking turns to introduce and present awards. Even so, a Queen performance would definitely have started the party with a bang, so I’d imagine the organizers will be desperately searching for someone of a similar calibre.
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No reason has been given for Queen turning down the Academy and I’m not going to speculate. However, if Bohemian Rhapsody does win big, it might lead to some rather awkward moments on stage. This is because original director Bryan Singer, who shot the vast majority of what you see on screen, is currently reeling from an expose in The Atlantic about him engaging in nonconsensual sex with underage boys. And if there’s one thing that makes the Academy really goddamn skittish, it’s controversy or politics of any kind whatsoever.
In any case, the ceremony’s on February 25th, so they’d better find an opening act sharpish or the show could start with a whimper rather than a bang.