What would make for the best way to cap a year-long 50th-anniversary celebration for James Bond? How about an Academy Awards nomination for Best Picture?
If the recently announced Producers Guild of America nominations are any indication of Hollywood's attitude about "Skyfall" and its awards potential, 007 better get that tuxedo to the dry cleaner.
The almost universal critical praise coupled with the massive box-office take for "Skyfall" — which just passed $1 billion globally — have pushed Bond into unfamiliar realm for the series. With both critics and audiences raving about Bond, it seemed like the increasingly populist Academy could do what it's never done before: show some love to film's most enduring action star. Despite his seemingly eternal popularity, the Oscars have never been a big fan of Bond. Over the course of the series' half-century history, the films have accumulated seven total Oscar nominations with only two wins. But there has never been a Bond film quite like "Skyfall," and that's why some prognosticators think this year could change everything.
Sasha Stone, founder and editor in chief at Awards Daily, considers "Skyfall" a "lock" in five categories (Sound, Sound Editing, Cinematography, Visual Effects and Supporting Actor for Javier Bardem) and predicts it could grab Best Editing and Picture nominations if things really go well for the 23rd Bond film. With Oscar ballots due Friday, the PGA nominations won't likely sway Academy voters, according to Stone, but the guild recognition could indicate the film's industry standing.
"This is the first awards body that has honored 'Skyfall' for Best Picture so far," Stone said in an email. "It might show how the industry is thinking around this time. There are so many 'Skyfall' fans out there that it seems like it has a much better chance today than it did yesterday." Stone does note, however, that it's rare for PGA and Academy nominations to match up, especially when the total number of Best Picture nods is still a mystery, but the closer there are to 10, the better odds for "Skyfall."
But there have been good Bond movies before; why is "Skyfall" finally getting awards attention? Stone thinks it's because both 007 and the Academy have shifted toward each other, Bond becoming more serious and the Academy becoming less so.
"First and foremost, ['Skyfall'] isn't really a Bond movie. It's a fairly traditional superhero movie, as we like to see them now: brooding hero, somewhat depressing plot. Mostly, Bond has been stripped of his kitsch," Stone said. "The money is kind of off the charts, which makes it seem like a winner. Finally, our standards have been systematically lowered over the past few decades. You can't stop what's coming, and what's coming in movie business is one successfully branded franchise after another. How long can Oscar stem the tide? At least in this one, no one is wearing a Batsuit, and there isn't any performance capture."
Check out everything we've got on "Skyfall."