Could the Sky Fall at the 2013 Academy Awards?

Commenting on the Critics with Simon Columb

News.Com.Au wrote a story that has provided me with much tweeting-discussion: Will Skyfall be nominated for a Best Picture statuette at this year’s Academy Awards?:

[Gregory Ellwood] believes a best picture nod for Skyfall, the first for a Bond film, isn’t out the realms of possibility, given the talent involved. He says the Bond film, unlikely as it sounds, fits the description of a classic Oscar bait movie:

The definition of ‘Oscar Bait’- at least according to this author – is an epic drama, romance, adventure or thriller filled with an overabundance of former Academy Award nominees or winners in front of or behind the camera. And said talent can include directors, actors, etc. that the media or industry have collectively deemed as ‘deserving’ of an Oscar nod .i.e.,’It’s (insert name)’s time.” Traditionally, Oscar Bait is released during the last two months of the year.

Read the full article here.

Don’t laugh! The idea is not a huge stretch – and indeed, bookies haven’t ignored the fact that this outside chance may happen as Paddy Power places the odds at 3/1. The film could easily garner some awards amongst the technical categories – Special FX and Sound Editing perhaps? Indeed, as I recall, it was within these categories that each of the Transformers movies were nominated (yes, it is a multi Oscar-nominated franchise!). But I have a feeling that certain camps are hoping that Skyfall will win much more than mere ‘tech’ categories.
In terms of what defines Oscar-bait, lets just remind ourselves what has been nominated before now. Inception, Christopher Nolan’s dream-like James Bond adventure, managed to nab a nomination in 2010 whilst The Departed, a foreign-film remake with guns-and-gangsters seemed an unlikely winner upon reflection. Skyfall has actors including Ralph Fiennes (nominated for a supporting role in Schindler’s List and a lead-actor role in The English Patient), Javier Bardem (winner of Best Supporting Actor in No Country for Old Men and nominated twice for Lead Actor in Biutiful and Before Night Falls), M is again played by Judi Dench (Oscar-winner for her short-role in Shakespeare in Love and nominated for her roles in Mrs Brown, Chocolat, Iris, Mrs Henderson Presents and Notes on a Scandal) and Daniel Craig has starred in a few Oscar contenders (Munich was nominated for Best Picture and The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo had an acting-nod for Rooney Mara).  We have Thomas Newman, nominated ten times for his scores for films including American Beauty, Finding Nemo and The Shawshank Redemption. Then, a hugely-likely contender, Roger Deakins – a cinematographer who has been nominated 9 times for his work with the Coen brothers amongst others. Finally, we also have Mr. Academy Awards: Sam Mendes. He has won an Oscar for American Beauty and has often appeared at the Oscars for films he has directed, including Road to Perdition and Revolutionary Road. In total his films have 17 Oscar nominations – 6 of which, they have  won.

After the outstanding critical success of Casino Royale back in 2006, there was a minor campaign for the film to be considered. Discs and posters were displayed stating “For Your Consideration” and the possibility of some type of nod was minuscule. Casino Royale was nominated for a range of BAFTAs including Best Screenplay and Cinematography whilst earning a huge range of nominations for Best Film elsewhere. Ultimately, it didn’t get any type of consideration at the Oscars, but I believe Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli got a taste for a credible franchise. Gone are the days where Pierce Brosnan surfed in a guise of computer-graphics under the direction of Lee Tamahori. Quantum of Solace was directed by Oscar-nominee Marc Forster (Finding Neverland) and, though it seems he couldn’t direct an action film, the effort was there from the outset. There was a clear purpose to choosing Forster.

But with the barrage of positive reviews for Skyfall coming in, you have to ask yourself whether this is their time. Indeed, if it does manage to garner a nod in any of the acting, writing, directing  – or the ‘untouchable’ Best Picture category – what a day that would be. For years, James Bond has been mocked. It has almost been considered a franchise that has no credibility. Everything from Roger Moore’s old-man-flirting-with-a-teenager (For Your Eyes Only) through to George Lazenby’s awful “This didn’t happen to the other fella” (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) have all contributed to a lack of respect for the series. But Daniel Craig and the revamp in 2006 has changed that - Skyfall may secure 007 for the forseeable future and, in its 50th year, it would almost be poetic for this film, above all, to win Best Picture.

Read Flickering Myth’s ★★★★★ review of Skyfall here.

Simon Columb

Around the Internet…

  • Ryan McNeil

    First thing&#39;s first – I haven;t seen this film yet, but neither have you. So much of this discussion is moot.<br /><br /><br />Let&#39;s look at the odds for a moment. Films I&#39;ve seen that stand a *really* good chance of being nominated for best picture include THE MASTER, ARGO, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, and MOONRISE KINGDOM. Films I haven&#39;t seen yet that are poised to be

  • Squasher88

    Valid points Ryan, but there are some key things you need to think about:<br /><br />I agree it probably won&#39;t happen, but it&#39;s definitely worth considering. We can&#39;t really compare Best Picture now with precedents from Oscars pre-2009. It&#39;s a different thing altogether. I can pretty much guarantee that heavily-nominated non-Oscar bait films like Road to Perdition, The Dark Knight

  • Squasher88

    Btw Simon, no Transformers film has ever won Oscars.

  • Squasher88

    Btw Simon, no Transformers film has ever won Oscars.

  • Squasher88

    With regards to your argument about sequels, here are some other films I am willing to bet would have been Best Picture nominees (based on their other nominations and general reception during the awards season) under current Oscar rules:<br /><br /><br />The Color of Money<br />The Dark Knight<br />The Bourne Ultimatum<br /><br /><br />I doubt that they don&#39;t like sequels, it&#39;s just that

  • http://dukeandthemovies.com/ Sam Fragoso

    I haven&#39;t seen the film … so it&#39;s ridiculous for me to make a comment. It would seem unlikely that it would receive a best picture nomination, but who knows?<br /><br />Oh Ryan, you&#39;re forgetting a film almost guaranteed to get nominated for best picture (and possibly win): Silver Linings Playbook.

  • Ryan McNeil

    I didn&#39;t see anything about SILVER LININGS that made it &quot;almost guaranteed&quot;

  • http://dukeandthemovies.com/ Sam Fragoso

    You must&#39;ve missed the critic, audience, and industry response.

  • Simon

    No ones seen the film yet but the positive reviews are pretty inspiring – many claiming this film is not just the best since CASINO ROYALE but better than anything Daniel Craig and Brosnan has ever done!

  • Simon

    Mistake adjusted – though ALL the Transformers films were nominated (!!!) and, in terms of winners, we;re talking THE GOLDEN COMPASS and THE WOLFMAN…

  • Simon

    LOOPER and AMOUR won&#39;t get a look in. AMOUR is a foreign film isn&#39;t it? And LOOPER? Are you kidding me? If THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is nominated, damn, SKYFALL surely has a chance. Take the &#39;Bond&#39; element out of it – and, if the film has enough political allegory and emotional depth, than surely it is possible. The fact that neither of us has seen it surely means that either (a)

  • Jay

    Are you talking about Sam Mendes&#39;s FILMS having 17 Oscar nominations total? Because the man himself has 1, for American Beauty.