By Piya Sinha-Roy
January 06, 2019 at 11:45 PM EST

Bohemian Rhapsody rocked its way to a shocking win of the Best Motion Picture — Drama award at Sunday’s Golden Globes, giving it an important boost on the road to February’s Oscars.

The biopic stars Rami Malek — who himself won the Best Actor prize moments before — as Freddie Mercury, tracing the late singer’s early years and how he came to front one of the most successful rock bands in history, Queen. Bohemian Rhapsody edged out stiff competition from A Star is Born, Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, and If Beale Street Could Talk on Sunday.

“The power of movies is that it brings us all together,” said producer Graham King, accepting the award. “Freddie Mercury and Queen did that so successfully through their music and that’s what we always wanted to accomplish in the cinemas. To see that magic come alive and see the incredible response of this film is truly humbling … Freddie Mercury, thank you for showing us the power of embracing your true self, this one’s for you.”

The Golden Globe win is a well-earned cap to a production that gestated for years and underwent numerous struggles including the firing of its director Bryan Singer more than halfway into production (Singer is still credited as the film’s director; he went unthanked Sunday night). The film received a mixed critical reaction, but many singled out Malek’s performance as a compelling transformation, and it has become the highest-grossing musical biopic with more than $700 million worldwide.

“The power that Queen has transcends any type of boundaries, not only through their music but in the way they communicate. There’s something about it that hits you so deeply,” Malek told EW last month. “To back that up with storytelling and give the intimate perspective of getting to know the band, makes it all the more profound. It shows the reach of Queen, the music and those four beautiful men who made it happen.”

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release date
  • 11/02/18
  • Rami Malek
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