Bohemian Rhapsody wasn't adored by critics, but it didn't stop the film from winning the Golden Globe for Best Picture - Drama on Sunday night. It does seem to be an odd situation that a film that is viewed by so many to be...you know...it's fine...is now called Best Picture, but Queen's Brian May thinks the reason that the movie was hit so hard by critics, is that they judged the film too early. According to May...
The mistake that critics made was reviewing the trailer instead of reviewing the film. They jumped to conclusions. Once people stake their claim, it's hard for them to withdraw.
It seems that Brian May feels that the critics went into _Bohemian Rhapsody _with preconceived notions that he feels they then needed to stand by in the final reviews, rather than give the complete film the fair shake it deserved.
It's certainly true that from the first trailers there were concerns raised about Bohemian Rhapsody. The trailers only showed Freddie Mercury's relationship with Mary Austin, leading many to wonder if the fact that Mercury was gay was going to be downplayed or ignored. When the film was released, it was clear that wasn't the case, but many still felt that the film lacked depth, giving us only a surface level look at the man and the band rather than the deep dive that a life like that of Freddie Mercury truly deserved.
While many of those critics likely wouldn't agree with the Golden Globes win for Bohemian Rhapsody, fewer would take issue with Rami Malek's win for Best Actor. Many of the same reviews that were critical of the film did point out Malek's transformative performance as Mercury as a high point for the film. He clearly gave the movie his all.
To be clear, overall the reviews of Bohemian Rhapsody are still positive. Review Aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 62% positive score, the reviews simply aren't overwhelmingly glowing in the way you often expect out of movies considered for the end of the year awards like the Golden Globes. Bohemian Rhapsody is actually one of the poorest performing films from a review standpoint to win the Golden Globe for Best Picture.
Whether or not critics really refused to give Bohemian Rhapsody a fair review, as May claims according to Yahoo, is an ultimately impossible question to answer. Lots of movies review poorly upon release before time and distance eventually convince many that the film is actually good. There's always the possibility that will happen here, and the Golden Globes certainly saw something in the film worthy of the prize.
Of course, critics don't vote for the Golden Globes, and they also don't vote for the Oscars, If critics are alone in their regard for Bohemian Rhapsody, and the film's box office shows that the average movie fan also loved the film, then we could see the critics be proven "wrong" yet again.