20th Century Fox unveiled Bryan Singer’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” for the first time at guild screenings in New York and Los Angeles over the weekend, and the buzz around Rami Malek’s performance as Freddie Mercury soared in first reactions posted on social media. While the movie as a whole is getting a mixed response (Kyle Buchanan of The New York Times calls the movie a “glorified Wikipedia entry”), Malek is being singled out for his “outstanding” lead role.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” chronicles the rise of rock band Queen and covers the time between the group’s formation and their iconic Live Aid performance in 1985. Malek has assured Queen fans the film also explores Mercury’s sexuality and AIDS diagnosis. The supporting cast includes Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Aidan Gillen, and Tom Hollander.
Read More: Rami Malek Hits Back at ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Critics, Film Doesn’t Ignore Mercury’s Sexuality and AIDS Diagnosis
IndieWire’s awards editor Anne Thompson reacted to the film by calling it a “straight-on biopic with plenty of Queen music and a strong performance by Rami Malek.” Thompson’s strong notice for Malek was matched by Uproxx’s Mike Ryan (“Malek is outstanding”) and Scott Mantz (“Malek is magnificent”), among others. Deadline’s Pete Hammond wrote the first guild screenings achieved their mission of firmly planting Malek “among top contenders for the best actor Oscar.”
“Bohemian Rhapsody” opens in theaters nationwide November 2. Check out a handful of first reactions below.
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY: That Live Aid performance gave me chills. The rest of the movie…
— erickohn (@erickohn) October 8, 2018
Bohemian Rhapsody is a straight-on biopic with plenty of Queen music and a strong performance by Rami Malek. It will get mixed reviews. It might play with audiences.
— Anne Thompson (@akstanwyck) October 7, 2018
My biggest takeaway from BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY is how much the rest of Queen resents Freddie Mercury. But Rami Malek is outstanding. Also, the fact Mike Myers is in this movie is genius and insane.
— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) October 8, 2018
just did a double feature of A STAR IS BORN and BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY and yeeeeesh that contrast didn’t do the latter any favors. Rami Malek sure nails that imitation, tho.
— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) October 8, 2018
Absolutely beyond blown away by #BohemianRhapsody! Rami Malek is phenomenal. Gorgeous story, amazing concert movie…I don’t have enough words! pic.twitter.com/2lFZCX2O6d
— Jenna Busch (@JennaBusch) October 7, 2018
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY is a glorified Wikipedia entry but Rami Malek plays Freddie Mercury (and wears his wonderful costumes) with incredible gusto
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) October 7, 2018
HOLY HELL!! #BohemianRhapsody is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!! A rousing emotional cinematic champion that will rock you! #RamiMalek is magnificent! It’s great FUN & it will ROCK YOU!! #AStarIsBorn, you’ve been served!! #Queen #FreddieMercury #Galileo pic.twitter.com/grykKkGjoE
— The WolfMantz (@MovieMantz) October 7, 2018
How do you turn an ok movie into a good one? Five words: Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury. #BohemianRhapsody
— Mara Reinstein (@MaraReinstein) October 8, 2018
Got to see #BohemianRhapsody last night. @ItsRamiMalek is absolutely amazing in it. The voice, the physicality… he’s so so good!
— Adam Hann-Byrd (@BigManTate) October 7, 2018