When Rami Malek was announced as winner for Best Actor at the Academy Awards last night, I braced myself to cringe because I knew Freddie Mercury was not done meddling in the earthly affairs of Bohemian Rhapsody just yet. You see, throughout the evening, Freddie kept floating up to Rami and tweaking his little bow-tie so that it was never straight. However, I wasn’t expecting Freddie to push him off stage at the end of the show! But it’s the most logical explanation for Rami’s taking a big enough tumble to require paramedic assistance and miss getting his picture taken backstage with his fellow winners for acting, Regina King, Mahershala Ali, and Olivia Colman. Rami is fine, but his Bohemian Rhapsody journey has been wild as hell from beginning to end.
The Oscars are supposed to be a fun distraction at the end of a long, grey winter. We want beautiful gowns, we want pizazz, we want somebody to fall down, we want tears, we want lingering close-ups of Amy Adams’ face as Meryl Streep is announced as the winner for the 89th time. So yes, we want drama, but not the kind of pre-game drama The Academy has been doling out for the past few months. After a series of missteps and stupid ideas, the latest opera glove slap to the face was when yesterday, The Academy announced it would present four awards during the commercial breaks. According to Variety, awards for best cinematography, film editing, live action short, and makeup and hairstyling will be relegated to what they’re calling “delayed presentations”. They’ll be available to livestream on the internet, and will be tacked on to the end of the show as if everybody isn’t already half asleep and down to the last, burnt old-maids in the popcorn bowl by then.
After Bohemian Rhapsody’s big win for Best Drama at the Golden Globes last night, I braced myself when the squad got up there to accept the award because the specter of its erstwhile director, accused rapist Bryan Singer, hung heavy in the air even though he was conspicuously absent. It looked like things might get a little awkward up there on stage. Also, Brian May’s poodle doo fills me with existential dread. And I was right to be nervous. Judging from last night’s broadcast, you’d think BR directed itself because Bryan’s name was not mentioned once. That didn’t stop Bryan from finding a way to take the credit for the film’s win. Over the past few months, he’s filled his Instagram with behind the scenes footage and outtakes from the set. And last night, he really outdid himself with a self-congratulatory post about BR’s win.
Since I’ve been writing about Bohemian Rhapsody for over a year now, I felt that I at least owed it and Freddie, a single viewing to make sure my skepticism and side-eye were warranted. And so over the weekend I bought a ticket to A Star Is Born because it was starting at the same time and saw it (no way was I giving Bryan or Fox a dime of my marginally well earned money). Yet it seems I was the only one who did that, because the box office receipts are in and plenty of people threw their movie going dollars at BR over the weekend. According to Deadline, despite lukewarm reviews from critics, BH earned $13.4 million dollars on Sunday alone! That’s a lot of people attending the Church Of Mercury.
I hate to walk this back, but I’m beginning to think The Curse Of Freddie Mercury may be a fallacy and the problems with the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody are entirely the fault of Bryan Singer, and Bryan Singer alone. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bryan was skating on thin ice before a single frame was shot. Several Fox executives and producers are speaking out about why Bryan got hired despite his reputation for tempestuous and unprofessional behavior, and why nobody was surprised when he was fired for the same.
Like a lot of people, Bryan Singer is afraid of climate change. But unlike a lot of us, it’s not the melting ice caps or rising sea temperatures he’s sweating. He’s more concerned with “today’s climate”, the one that’s unfairly affecting men’s careers based on “mere accusations”. According to The Wrap, Bryan is taking preemptive measures to defend himself against a possible upcoming article in Esquire that’s not going to do him any favors in his quest to pretend those pesky sexual assault allegations are unfounded.