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The Formula Of Biopics Like 'Bohemian Rhapsody'

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The Formula Of Biopics Like 'Bohemian Rhapsody'

The Formula Of Biopics Like 'Bohemian Rhapsody'

"Bohemian Rhapsody" is a major player in the 2019 Academy Awards, but it's also one of the most formulaic films of the season.


The Formula Of Biopics Like 'Bohemian Rhapsody'

["The Legend of Ritchie Valens.'"] ["One of America's brightest stars that faded too soon."] ["You're a legend, Fred." "We're all legends."] The biopic is a Hollywood staple, and because Freddie Mercury and Queen are so iconic, "Bohemian Rhapsody" was one of 2018's most anticipated.  SEE MORE: 'A Star Is Born': A Film Remade For Every Generation Since 1937 The film follows Mercury, portrayed by Rami Malek, as he and his bandmates rise in stardom.

Like other showbiz biopics, the movie follows the conventions of dramatized milestones, bickering among band mates and loved ones, conflict with critics and skeptical music executives, ["Mark these words: No one will play Queen."] and most importantly, high-energy performance scenes that pay tribute to the real-life talent of the film's subjects.

For some critics, however, "Bohemian Rhapsody" may have followed those conventions a little too closely — putting positive energy and calculated "tributes" above reality.

A review in  The Independent  says "Bohemian Rhapsody" plays through the "greatest hits" of Queen and only lightly mentions the band's struggles — such as Mercury's fight against AIDS.

Similarly, a review in  Den of Geek  describes the film as "a formulaic and comfortable trip down jukebox memory lane." To be fair,  criticisms like these  have plagued biopics for the past couple years — like when a critic from the Washington Post described the genre as " tired Oscar bait " in 2015.

Just like comic book franchises, biopics are easy to sell but also easy to criticize, because they're oftentimes just giving audiences familiar names with high-profile actors.  That's not going to stop Hollywood, of course.

I mean, just take a look at the  roster of biopics  released in 2018 alone.

You've got a battle of the Queens with Queen the band competing with  Mary, Queen of Scots , Queen Elizabeth I and  Queen Anne  ["Roger, there's only room in this band for one hysterical queen."].  But beyond being "Oscar bait," biopics also reel in  big money .

Some of the  top grossing films  of the genre, including "American Sniper" or "The Blind Side," have made upwards of $200 to $300 million.

As of February 2019, "Bohemian Rhapsody" made more than  $200 million  at the box office.

That makes it the highest-grossing  music biopic  of all time.

The film won the Golden Globe for best drama film.

It's been nominated for  five Academy Awards  — including best picture of the year.

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