Movies & TV

The Oscar-Winning Editor of Bohemian Rhapsody Knows That Viral Scene Was Cringeworthy

“Whenever I see it, I want to put a bag over my head,” he said recently.
IMAGE 20th Century Fox

Considering the many negative reviews of Bohemian Rhapsody, its success during this year's award season was pretty baffling. Perhaps the worst criticism the film received was for one scene that passed around Twitter a few weeks before the Oscars. The scene in question shows Freddie and the band meeting their manager Littlefinger for the first time. It would be a pretty standard scene, except it's edited together with a series of dizzying cuts (60 in 104 seconds). There's even a 13-minute YouTube video with nearly 2 million views breaking down the ridiculous editing in this particular scene.

That's exactly why it seemed outrageous that John Ottman, Bohemian Rhapsody's editor, won the actual Academy Award for Best Film Editing. In his defense, it's likely d Ottman won the award as a consolation prize for managing to pull the film together after the firing of director Bryan Singer.

Turns out, Ottman also admits this specific scene is not his best work.

“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!”

As Ottman explained to the Post, this scene in particular stands out because he was under pressure to make the first act of the film move quicker. But test screenings revealed that audiences wanted more of the band's early days, so he went in to make that section "breathe" more. Unfortunately, he didn't have time to fix this specific scene.


If only this also explained why Bohemian Rhapsody also changed some key facts in the film.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.comMinor edits have been made by the editors.

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Matt Miller
Matt Miller is the Associate Culture Editor for
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