Bohemian Rhapsody the movie to beat at Academy Awards?

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Bohemian Rhapsody is proving to be an unexpected powerhouse in the awards season and could walk away with the most Oscars at the 91st Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood, which won’t have a host for the first time in 30 years.

The biopic about Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury won Best Motion Picture - Drama and Best Actor for its star, Rami Malek, at the Golden Globes. The wins have created feverish Oscars buzz for Malek.

It has overtaken one of the top favorites for the Best Picture Oscar, A Star is Born, at the global box office, passing US $600 million in mid January. The buzz about the romantic drama gave Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga a virtual lock on the top acting Oscars until Malek’s star turn.

The Golden Globe and Critics Choice winner, Roma, might elbow both movies off the stage. The Netflix drama highlighting the social strata in Mexico has commanded a robust art house audience since its release in Nov 2018, and has been widely viewed on the global streaming platform.

The Academy often pulls surprises, and Black Panther, First Man, Vice, Mary Poppins Returns, BlacKkKlansman and Green Book are unlikely to walk away from the ceremony empty-handed. Green Book won the Musical or Comedy Golden Globe in January.

The hosting saga surrounding Kevin Hart, who was announced as the 2019 host before quickly becoming embroiled in controversy around his past anti-gay jokes, has left the ceremony without a host for the first time since 1989. He stepped down, and barring last-minute developments, the Academy won’t replace him.

Oscars Postpone New “Popular Film” Category (Pitchfork Sep 2018)

Academy Adds Popular Film Oscar Category in Desperate Ratings Move (Indiewire Aug 2018)

2019 Oscar Nomination Predictions: Our Final Selections, Ranked for Each Category (Indiewire Jan 2019)

Date written/update: 2019-01-20