Wait, Bohemian Rhapsody is a Best Picture Nominee?
Your friendly neighborhood Sphinx here.
So a few months ago, I wrote two blogs here on Gamezilla Media. The first talked about how I did not like the idea of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences creating a category for most “Popular Film”. I then made a blog about only a few of the many inaccuracies in the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody”. It appears that worlds have converged: the Academy dropped their idea for a popular film category, but it was announced this week that Bohemian Rhapsody has been nominated for 5 Oscars, including….BEST PICTURE?!?!?!?
As a stand-alone piece, and ignoring the fact that it made up and purposely altered the true timeline of Queen’s history, the film was a fun watch. It made you laugh, made you cry, and it was fun to see Rami Malek as Freddy Mercury. All that is fair and good. However, this movie has no place in the Best Picture category. To me, this feels like the Academy trying to convince people and viewers that “You see? We are hip. We realize this movie made a crap ton of money, so here it is as a Best Picture nominee.” And for me, that’s not the way it is supposed to go. I mean, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was the 4th highest grossing film of 2018, should we just go ahead and nominate that for Best Picture too?
My problem here is that now I believe the Academy is going to overcompensate for dismissing a most popular film category and will now nominate films that really have no place to be in the discussion. This all goes back to Black Panther in my opinion. Remember that a lot of people thought that movie was going to be snubbed of a Best Picture nomination because it was super popular (it is the #1 grossing movie from 2018, and 9th all time) and it was a superhero movie. But, it was highly regarded by nearly all critics and fans, and it offered way more than just being a typical superhero movie. It was a new take on a traditional story of kingly rule, while also having themes of isolationism and the free exchange of ideas and technology. But more than that it was a culturally significant film in trying to tear down stereotypes and challenging people’s bias on certain ethnic groups, even if it was a piece of fiction. That’s why it deserves to be a Best Picture nominee. Bohemian Rhapsody does no such thing, nor was it trying to. Sure, they could have done more in the storytelling of Mercury and his lifestyle choices, but that was not the story they created. Which is fine. They wanted to tell an altered version of the story of Queen, which again, was fun but not Best Picture worthy.
Personally, this further frustrates my opinion on the Academy overall. They are all over the place for consistency, and that hurts their reputation. Maybe that’s why so many people have turned on them. Or maybe it’s still because they can’t figure out how to do an awards show after 80 years. Oh, and they still don’t have a host.