Dear Oscars: A Case Against Rami Malek and “Bohemian Rhapsody”

If you tuned in to the 76th Annual Golden Globes ceremony, chances are you’re a big movie and /or TV show buff and at the end of the night you were left a little perplexed.  ‘A Star Is Born’ was shut out in 4 of the 5 categories it was nominated in.  Ryan Coogler was mysteriously missing from the Best Director race, and Bohemian Rhapsody’, a film that’s about 80% music, was nominated in the Drama category. And it would walk away with the top prize of the night, despite being the weakest of all the 5 nominees.

However, there’s good news after all. The Globes are voted and decided on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association: A 900 body member that has absolutely no overlap with the Academy’s 8,000 member voting body.  And with enough time between the Globes and the Oscars, there’s a medium-to-good chance the ill-effects won’t rub off.  But the Globes know this and discovered they have somewhat of a superpower: They can elevate the status of an otherwise low-tier film in the eyes of voters and critics.  And that’s exactly what they did.

To be fair, I was awed and astounded by Rami Malek‘s performance.  I’m a super fan of Queen and I was even a fan of the movie. (It landed in the honorable mentions of my top 10 Best Movies of 2018.) That Live-Aid scene was some of the best collective work done in the entire film. So I don’t blame anyone for having a Queen crush, but isn’t it more important to award on merit, technical skill, and standards?

Green Book’, ‘The Favourite’, ‘BlackKklansman’, ‘Roma’ and ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ are among some of the very best films this year for a multitude of reasons from directorial style, character work, original dialogue, use of color, etc.  And since the Academy focused more on independent film festivals, more focus has been put on these technical achievements.

Still, thanks to the Globes playing the role of king maker, Rhapsody found its way into the Best Picture category over arguably more deserving, Beale Street, which was just edged out. But the Oscars have an opportunity to correct this mistake.  The Globes and SAG gave the actor nod to Malek.  The critics gave it to Bale.  You don’t have to follow the others.  You can go against the grain.  You are the true King Maker, and it’s time you exercise your power.

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