THE ONLY THING MORE EXTRAORDINARY THAN THEIR MUSIC IS HIS STORY.
This biopic of the legendary rock band Queen and its singer Freddie Mercury was long in the making and suffered from a troubled production. The final results aren’t exactly bad, but certainly unremarkable. Engagingly told, the film ends with a carefully recreated 1985 Live Aid performance at Wembley, and it’s clear that Rami Malek made quite the effort to bring Mercury alive… but he simply can’t capture that man’s charisma and energy enough to make us forget that we’re not watching an imitation. Too much of the film is a biopic that follows a standard formula.
2018-U.S.-Britain. 134 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Bryan Singer. Screenplay: Anthony McCarten. Music, Editing: John Ottman. Cast: Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury), Lucy Boynton (Mary Austin), Gwilym Lee (Brian May), Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello, Aidan Gillen… Tom Hollander, Mike Myers.
Trivia: Co-produced by Singer and Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor. When Singer was fired as director, Dexter Fletcher replaced him but Singer received sole credit. Sacha Baron Cohen was originally set to play Mercury.
Oscars: Best Actor (Malek), Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing. Golden Globes: Best Motion Picture (Drama), Actor (Malek). BAFTA: Best Actor (Malek), Sound.