Bohemian Rhapsody sweeps Golden Globes, surprising fans

Rami Malek accepting his award for best performance in a motion picture- drama  for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in the biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody. Bohemian Rhapsody also won the award  for Best Motion Picture.

Photo courtesy of billboard.com

Rami Malek accepting his award for best performance in a motion picture- drama for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in the biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody. Bohemian Rhapsody also won the award for Best Motion Picture.

Haillie Bakula, Staff Writer

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On Sunday, January 6, 2019, the Golden Globes were held, kicking off award season– albeit, according to critics and movie fans alike, on the wrong foot. Being the major precursor to the Academy Awards, and a source to predict who might take home a coveted Oscar, many were on the edge of their seats to see if their favorite movies and TV shows would take home a prize. 2018 was a truly stupendous year for entertainment, pumping out incredible works of art, such as Isle of Dogs, Black Panther, Eighth Grade, Sharp Objects, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and that’s barely scratching the surface. Competition was tough with so many acclaimed works pitted against each other; none of the nominees were bad in the slightest, making it that much more difficult to choose a winner. But with so many incredible talents nominated, how could anyone be mad at the awards? Well, many people were extremely upset, calling the 2019 Golden Globes a “flop,” “upset,” and “disappointment.” Here’s why this year’s first major award show tanked so badly.

The Hosts
Sandra Oh, of Grey’s Anatomy, and SNL alum and Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Andy Samberg, were unexpectedly paired together to host the Globes. These actors seem to come from totally opposite ends of the screen, one able to make you feel incredible sadness, and the other fill you with pure joy in any production; however their chemistry was undeniable and the pair worked well together. They are both charismatic, funny, talented entertainers. Their writers, however, were not (sorry John Mulaney). Much of their material fell flat, hitting a major low when joking about the death of the late Freddie Mercury while his band mates, whom were deeply affected by the loss, were about 20 feet away from them. Their hosting started to pick up throughout the first half and wasn’t too bad, but started to dull again in the second half.

Many of the presenters didn’t fare too well with their lines either, which is surprising since they’re all professional actors. Most of it was awkward and seemed unrehearsed. The best presenting came from SNL stars Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph, with their attention-stealing marriage bit, and from Steve Carell and his moving tribute to the legendary Carol Burnett. Besides this, any screen time that wasn’t dedicated to the actual awards being given was lackluster at best.

Best Motion Picture and Actor – Drama
These two awards are among the most coveted of all the 25 categories. The nominees for Best Motion Picture Drama were as follows: Bohemian Rhapsody, BlaKkKlansman, If Beale Street Could Talk, A Star is Born, and Black Panther. Much to the surprise of many, Bohemian Rhapsody won the award over A Star is Born, which was predicted to be the big winner of the night. This was what many news outlets deemed one of the night’s big upsets. Rami Malek, who played Freddie Mercury in the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, also claimed the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama over Bradley Cooper of A Star is Born, as well as Willem Dafoe, Lucas Hedges and John David Washington. This only fueled the fire, as many saw A Star is Born as the superior movie to ‘BoRhap’, which was panned by critics but loved by so many who saw it, regardless of whether or not they were a Queen fan prior to seeing it. This decision received major backlash from fans of A Star is Born and largely from Lady Gaga fans, as she was the female lead in the movie.

As someone who has seen Bohemian Rhapsody several times, I think it is deserving of the awards it won. Although the timeline and certain details of the band’s story were modified, that is something to be expected when trying to fit a whole twenty years of an individual’s life into a two hour movie, and despite that, it told an amazing and poignant story of a legendary front man, performer, LGBT icon, and human being. Malek’s superb performance brought the softness and vulnerability out of an outwardly confident and extravagant superstar and really makes us feel so much for Freddie and the band and see them as real people. Plus, who doesn’t love Queen?

A Star is Born was a phenomenal movie, but it was up against so many other strong contenders, and as the fourth remake, it was something we had all seen before. And it’s not like the previous versions were bad either–all of them are beloved by both critics and the average movie viewer. Keeping that in mind, it isn’t that surprising that it didn’t take home many awards.

Controversy Among Directors
One of the reasons that Bohemian Rhapsody is controversial is because of director Bryan Singer. Singer recently found himself stuck in a web of Harvey Weinstein level sexual assault allegations, which leads people to believe that BoRhap does not deserve the credits it received. However, Singer dropped the project halfway through filming after reportedly not showing up to set. Producer Graham King took over the film but was still only credited as a producer, while Singer got credit as director despite not being there for most of shooting and production. Graham King made a wonderful speech after winning the award, as did Rami Malek when he won his, and no one had anything to say to Singer; who wasn’t invited to attend the ceremony or any of the after parties. Even after being slighted by the cast and crew, Singer quickly took to Instagram to take credit for awards, when in reality he really didn’t do much to contribute to the success of the film. The sleazy reputation of this director has tainted the movie for many, further pushing critics to call this win a let down.

Bohemian Rhapsody isn’t the only film with a controversial history. The big winner in the Comedy/Musical categories was Green Book, the true story of famous black jazz musician, Don Shirley, and his white chauffeur and bodyguard as they make their way through the Deep South. Criticisms for this movie stem from the all white team of directors telling the story of a black man in 60s America. Critics are skeptical about the validity of the story being told, thinking that the real hardships black people faced at the time were overshadowed by a whitewashed feel-good story. In fact, Shirley’s family spoke up and claimed that the story being told was made up by the chauffeur’s son. The erasure of accurate black history (and that of other cultures) has been prevalent in Hollywood for years, and the predominantly white set of producers and directors called attention to that. It didn’t help that director Peter Farrelly gave a lecture about race relations in America during his acceptance speech while the actors of color were pushed to the side, not able to say anything on the subject and left to defend the movie afterwards during interviews with the press.

The 2019 Golden Globes was a controversial start to the award show season. Many felt as though awards were not given to the right people, fans are fabricating rumors about celebrities and opinions on other actors (Lady Gaga and Rami Malek, for example), there were some troublesome jokes told and sickening allegations spread. Although how entertaining would you really expect a stuffy award ceremony to be? It was three hours long and not much different from your high school achievements ceremony. Let’s not forget that the night was for celebrating works of art and the amazing artists who worked on them. Whether you were happy with the winners or thought that your favorite deserved better, it is undeniable that everyone nominated deserved to be there and that no one’s feelings should be hurt by the outcome.

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