The James Bond movie “Skyfall” was nominated for Best Cinematography (Roger Deakins), Best Original Score (Thomas Newman), Best Original Song (music and lyrics by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth), Best Sound Editing (Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers) and Best Sound Mixing (Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell, Stuart Wilson). The 5 nominations for “Skyfall” were the most ever for a James Bond movie. No one expected it to sweep its categories, though. The Academy hasn’t been especially kind to the venerable series in the past. Up until tonight the entire franchise had only been awarded 2 Oscars. That trend continued, with “Skyfall” winning two Oscars of its own.
In a surprise result, “Skyfall’s” Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers won Best Sound Editing in a tie with Paul N.J. Ottosson for “Zero Dark Thirty.” “Skyfall” also won the Oscar for Best Original Song.
“Skyfall’s” director of photography, Roger Deakins, lost to Claudio Miranda for Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi,” an early favorite in the technical categories. “Life of Pi” composer Mychael Danna also won the Oscar for Best Original Score over Thomas Newman, nominated for “Skyfall.”
The awards show did feature an onstage tribute to the Bond movies, which consisted of Halle Berry, who was featured in Pierce Brosnan’s last outing, “Day Another Day,” introducing a gimmicky clip montage and Dame Shirley Bassey singing the theme to “Goldfinger.” The rumored reunion of actors who have played Bond did not materialize. One suspects the idea may have been jettisoned because Sean Connery declined to appear. The tribute was frankly put to shame by recording superstar Adele, who appeared live later in the broadcast to perform a haunting rendition of her title track to “Skyfall.” The song, nominated for Best Original Song, did eventually win over “Before My Time” from “Chasing Ice,” “Everybody Needs a Friend” from “Ted,” “Pi’s Lullaby” from “Life of Pi” and “Suddenly” from “Les Miserables.”
Barbara Streisand made a rare live appearance to sing “The Way We Were,” written by the late Marvin Hamlisch, during the broadcast’s “In Memoriam” segment. Ironically, the song “The Way We Were” won an Oscar over Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die.” A few years later, Hamlisch composed the music for “The Spy Who Loved Me,” including its theme song, “Nobody Does it Better,” which was beaten out for the Oscar by “You Light Up My Life.”
Skyfall” is in fact the 25th big screen appearance of 007, although the studio persistently refers to it as the 23rd. Perhaps understandably they don’t count “Never Say Never Again” and the sixties spoof of “Casino Royale,” Bond creator Ian Fleming’s first novel. There was also a live television adaptation of “Casino Royale” in the fifties, in which Barry Nelson became the first actor, and only American, to play James Bond. Peter Lorre played the villain Le Chiffre.
Daniel Craig, the current Bond, has played the iconic role 3 times to date. He’s under contract for two more movies, so who knows? As it says after the end credits of every 007 movie, Bond will be back, and tomorrow never dies.