After a very good Golden Globes and a return to theaters as a sing-along musical event, Bohemian Rhapsody was riding high heading into the Oscar nominations this morning. Unlike some of the more high-end films expected to land Best Picture nominations, it didn't have Director or Producer Guild awards under its belt, but the movie was still expected to land a few high profile nominations. In the end, Bohemian Rhapsody got 5 Oscar nominations, a respectable showing.
Bohemian Rhapsody had a long and winding road to get to the Oscars at all. The film was initially announced as going into production back in 2010, with Sacha Baron Cohen set to star. But clashes behind the scenes, script problems, and the star walking away from the project doomed the film to languish in development hell until Rami Malek and Bryan Singer were hired as lead and director in 2016.
But Singer and Malek didn't get along, and in the end, Singer walked off the set never to return halfway through filming. With such drama just getting the film made, some thought the movie would fail at the box office. Instead, it became the best selling music biopic in history and went home with the Golden Globe for Best Actor for Malek and Best Picture - Drama.
The good news is Rami Malek once again landed a Best Actor nod, for his role as Freddie Mercury. He's up against some pretty hefty competition, including Christian Bale for Vice, Willem Dafoe for At Eternity’s Gate, Viggo Mortensen for Green Book, and Bradley Cooper for A Star is Born.
The fact is, Bale's performance in Vice as Dick Cheney has been praised as nothing short of remarkable. Bale and Malek competed separately at the globes, with Bale taking home the award for Best Actor - Comedy while Malek took it for Best Actor - Drama. The two of them going head to head at the Oscars is going to be a category to watch.
And once again, the film is in the hunt for Best Picture. This expanded category has eight nominees total, including Black Panther, BlackkKlansman, Roma, Green Book, Vice, The Favourite, and A Star Is Born.
This category can be divided into thirds. Black Panther, BlackkKlansman, and The Favourite are all respectful nods, but not expected to win. Roma and Vice are dark horses. Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star Is Born are both high profile favorites, but as "musicals" both are seen as a little lightweight in comparison to Green Book, a film with its own controversies. But Green Book has been mowing down wins in the Guild awards that are usually predictors for who is an odds-on favorite to win at the Oscars, where both A Star Is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody have not.
Bohemian Rhapsody also grabbed nominations in the expected Sound Editing and Sound Mixing categories, but not in the Best Score, since none of the music was original to the film. Also, surprisingly, it landed a Best Film Editing nomination too, which is probably to make up for the lack of a Best Director nod.
The 91st Annual Academy Awards air on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Correction: A previous version of this story stated Bohemian Rhapsody earned four nominations at the 2019 Oscars. It has since been updated to reflect the correct amount of nominations.