Bohemian Rhapsody’s wins for Best Drama and Best Actor at the 2019 Golden Globes are a bold statement perfectly in line with the movie’s ethos.
When Bohemian Rhapsody won two Golden Globes on Sunday, it was not only deserved but a beautiful message that Freddie Mercury would have appreciated.
The Queen biopic nabbed both Golden Globe Awards it was nominated for — Best Actor in a Drama for Rami Malek and Best Drama — likely surprising more than a few movie fans. But it’s no surprise to those who saw the picture, and understood that it was both an excellent film and a piece of art that spoke to something much bigger than that.
On merits alone, the movie was more than worthy of recognition by the Hollywood Foreign Press; it turned the biographical film concept on its ear. Biographies are often seen through the lens of history—trying to tell every detail that happened, worrying about historical accuracy, criticizing how the movie version doesn’t match up to the real one.
And while those concerns are important, all of the details often drown the heart of the film. We get so caught up in if someone looks right or nitpicking the minutiae that we don’t appreciate the artistry, the spirit, the fact that we’re watching a remarkable story. Bohemian Rhapsody was true to the facts of Queen, but more than that, it was true to the spirit of Queen.
It wasn’t just a re-enactment of the band’s history; it was a celebration of everything that made them legendary, and it welcomed the audience to the party. It was an experience, and getting the Best Drama trophy proved that movies that are made purely for the joy are as important as any critical darling.
Rami Malek’s win as Best Actor was less surprising, given that his portrayal of Freddie Mercury was the biggest talking point after the movie’s release. Malek, who has been nominated twice for his work as Elliot Alderson in USA’s Mr. Robot, took a larger than life performer and captured every facet of his complicated being.
He was electric playing Mercury the rock star, able to generate the energy and charisma that had audiences around the world eating out of the palm of his hand. But just as importantly, he showed that Freddie Mercury was a very different man when the lights were off. Malek captured Mercury’s vulnerability, his insecurities, what he stood for, and his heart that was as big as his talent.
Thanks to Rami Malek, audiences got a full picture of Freddie Mercury. He wasn’t just the star of a legendary band; he was a very special and also flawed human being, and Malek made viewers feel like they knew the man. He brought them into Freddie’s family, just as Mercury himself did every time he took the stage. His Golden Globes win was validation for a performance he clearly put his all into.
But what Bohemian Rhapsody accomplished at the Golden Globes is even bigger than that. It’s a story that fits perfectly with the legend of Queen: the underdog winding up as king of the world. The journey with more than a few bumps in the road that exceeds expectations. The misfits being heard.
When the movie was released, and even during its development, people were more interested in talking about the behind the scenes struggles. There was much made of Bryan Singer being fired from the project amidst sexual assault allegations, after reported disagreements with Malek and Tom Hollander allegedly quitting over Singer’s on-set behavior. There was the story of how the film spent eight years in the works, and Sacha Baron Cohen leaving over creative differences with surviving band members Brian May and Roger Taylor.
All of that made for dramatic headlines, but also obfuscated the great work being done in front of and behind the camera. Like Queen themselves, the cast and crew of Bohemian Rhapsody had a host of challenges and plenty of skepticism to overcome. But they kept on going through it all, and on Sunday emerged exactly where they deserved to be—as the best of the best.
Their success speaks directly to the message that the band delivered, and that the movie so well paid forward: that it’s not only okay to be misfits, but that misfits can be superstars—and not in spite of their uniqueness, but because of it. This movie didn’t have A-list names attached, and it didn’t get the most critical praise, and it didn’t do things the expected way. But on Sunday it got past all that, and a darn good movie with plenty of heart and even more spirit was the one that stole the show.
Bohemian Rhapsody‘s Golden Globes wins captured everything its subject was about, while also carving out its own space in film history. The misfits became the champions, and hopefully Oscar glory is just around the corner.
Bohemian Rhapsody arrives on digital Jan. 22 and Blu-Ray and DVD on Feb. 12. For more movie news and Golden Globes coverage, follow FanSided Entertainment on Twitter.