Nov 12, 2012

Could Skyfall Be a Legitimate Oscar Contender?

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences can be a fickle bunch, and has been notoriously dismissive of the James Bond series over the years despite the deserving contributions of many artisans in many different fields. But there's a chance Skyfall could change all that. Not because it's the best Bond film ever, but because it's a very good one that has come along at the right time. A few years ago, the Academy expanded the number of possible Best Picture contenders from five to ten, largely in response to the critical and audience favorite of 2008, The Dark Knight, getting shut out of a nomination. Ostensibly the number was increased for exactly this purpose: to give deserving big-budget, crowd-pleasing studio films a chance to compete with the indie darlings, historical epics and art films that typically dominate the awards season. Personally, I definitely think Skyfall is one of the best films I've seen in 2012 (and likely to remain so even by the end of December), and that it's deserving of a nomination in a field of ten. But then, I thought that about Casino Royale, too. But back then there were only five nominees, and, crucially, Sony didn't put a large Oscar campaign behind the film. In this altered Oscar climate, it might be that a serious studio campaign makes all the difference. Deadline's resident awards expert Pete Hammond indicates that we may see just such a campaign for this film. He points out the legitimacy of potential support in such categories as Best Director (Academy Award-winner Sam Mendes), Best Cinematography (9-time nominee Roger Deakins), Best Supporting Actress (Oscar-winner Judi Dench), Best Supporting Actor (Oscar-winner Javier Bardem) Best Original Score (10-time nominee Thomas Newman), and for the 15-time nominee (yet to score a win) for sound mixing, Greg P. Russell. To that list I'd certainly add Daniel Craig as a potential Best Actor. Even in a world where a Bond film might score a Best Picture nomination, I can't imagine the Academy recognizing an actor for playing 007 (sadly), but, still, Craig's stellar performance is certainly worth pushing for. Again, I'm not saying that he's the only Bond actor deserving of such a nod, but in this more enlightened age, he might be the first one who even has a shot! I hope that Hammond is right and Sony does campaign for this film, because it would be an incredible experience to hear the James Bond Theme played repeatedly during an Oscar broadcast, wouldn't it?


Bob said...

They ought to right now just give the Academy Award to Roger Deakins for cinematography. His recent work on Skyfall and True Grit is outstanding. A trivia bit of info, he also did the cinematography for "No Country for Old Men" which was Bardem's other film portraying a villain.

Quiller said...

I keep reading the same names mentioned as potential Skyfall Oscar contenders -- Mendes, Deakins, Newman, Dench, Bardem. I'm mystified that there seems to be so little regard for Stuart Baird's editing in that regard. This is the tightest, most concise, most fluid 143-minute movie I've seen in years, and while I'm hard-pressed to think of a Bond movie that was badly edited (OK, maybe Quantum of Solace), Skyfall is a contender for the best edited film in the series.

Moreover, there's recent precedent for a big action blockbuster to take the Best Film Editing Oscar -- Lee Smith was nominated in 2008 for The Dark Knight, and Christopher Rouse won in 2007 for The Bourne Ultimatum.

Tanner said...

Good point, Quiller. Baird definitely deserves a nod, as he did for Casino Royale. And, Bob, it would be a crime if Deakins doesn't AT LEAST get a nomination, and hopefully a win.