It is a film that has stirred controversy since the first trailer was released. From late 2018, Bohemian Rhapsody took the world by storm – not only for its fire soundtrack and choice of cast members – but its mixed bag of criticism and on-set drama, the year before. After Bryan Singer was abruptly fired for causing chaos during filming, it was film editor John Ottman who was tasked to save the film. And he did a lot more than just saving it.
After its release, the musical biopic went onto nab some of the most prestigious awards across the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs and Academy Awards but it was Ottman’s Oscars win for Best Film Editing that raised eyebrows – including his. Twitter was on fire in January after the nomination, pointing out one scene in particular, which the film editor agreed was pretty cringeworthy.
People, actual fucking people, are watching scene after scene like this and are saying "bruuuh! best. movie. of. the. year"?
This is objectively bad. Someone with no idea about editing will notice it. My brain is on fire thinking that this is an OSCAR NOMINATED MOVIE! FUCK! pic.twitter.com/QVDCxe2iaf
— Pramit Chatterjee 🌈 (@pramitheus) January 26, 2019
With the quick cuts enough to give viewers whiplash, Ottman explained to the Washington Post that this specific scene was used to outdraw the band’s early days, as that is what fans wanted to see. Unfortunately it clearly backfired, saying he’d like to fix it if he ever got a chance.
“Whenever I see it, I want to put a bag over my head,” he told the Washington Post in an interview from earlier this month. “Because that’s not my aesthetic. If there’s ever an extended version of the film where I can put a couple scenes back, I will recut that scene!”
While particular scenes were not the best in regards to film creation, the overall biopic proved to be a resounding success. And in the editor’s defence, it was likely he was awarded the honour as consolation for the difficult task to save the film after the firing of Singer.