Will Skyfall Earn James Bond His First-Ever Best Picture Oscar Nomination?

The 23rd Bond movie might be on the verge of shaking up Oscar

  • Share
  • Read Later
Francois Duhamel/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures/Columbia Pictures/EON Productions

James Bond, having just turned 50 years old at the movies, might be receiving the best possible belated birthday present. There’s some significant buzz suggesting that the 23rd Bond film, Skyfall, which has been hailed by critics and audiences alike — global box office just passed the $1 billion mark — will become the first ever Bond movie to receive a Best Picture nod, when the Oscar nominations are announced this Thursday.

The main reason for the speculation is the Producers Guild of America (PGA) nominating Skyfall for its highest honor — often a bellweather for Oscar nomination day. The surprise inclusion among certain Best Picture locks such as Argo, Les Misérables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty has given hope that everyone associated with the picture has cause to put on a tuxedo come the 85th Oscars on Feb. 24 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

(MORE: After Oscar, 20 Movies to See in 2013—and 5 to Skip)

But before we bet the house on Skyfall either getting nominated (you can currently get pretty miserly odds of 11 to 8) or — surely not! — actually winning Best Picture (an eye-popping 150 to 1) there are some notable reasons to hedge the excitement being shown by fans. First, the PGA list always contains 10 movies whereas the current Oscar regulations state that there are anywhere between five and 10 films, based on a fairly complex system in which a film needs to get 5% of first-place votes during the nomination process. And then there’s Bond’s relationship with Oscar — the polar opposite of his success rate with women: over the course of the previous 22 movies, the franchise has only garnered seven nominations, which resulted in two wins (Best Sound Effects Editing for Goldfinger and Best Visual Effects for Thunderball in the mid 1960s). Indeed, the last nomination came more than 30 years ago for Best Song (“For Your Eyes Only”).

Blockbusters don’t fare particularly well with the Academy — though it is somewhat ironic to note that the perceived snub of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight in 2008 has been cited as a reason for the initial move to nominating 10 films at the Oscars, ensuring that popular pictures get recognized come award season. And there’s another reason to not get too carried away by the PGA nomination: recent history has shown that the PGA went with money-making movies such as Star Trek over A Serious Man, which the Academy plumped for in 2009, and Bridesmaids rather than The Tree of Life in 2011.

As for Skyfall, not only was it widely praised — TIME’s Richard Corliss called it “a necessary, rather than mandatory, addition to the year’s popular culture,” while Roger Ebert deemed it “a full-blooded, joyous, intelligent celebration of a beloved cultural icon, with Daniel Craig taking full possession of a role he previously played unconvincingly” — but even Bond alum Sir Roger Moore told TIME recently that he thinks Craig “is the Bond. He’s quite brilliant.”

(MORE: The James Bond Films at 50: A Golden Franchise for the Ages)

Even if Skyfall falls short of a Best Picture nod — and for what it’s worth, it missed out on a nomination Wednesday in the same category at the British Academy Film Awards — the film could win a few little gold men come the big night. Sasha Stone, the founder and editor-in-chief at Awards Daily, reckons the movie will be recognized in five categories (Sound, Sound Editing, Cinematography, Visual Effects and Supporting Actor for Javier Bardem, which would be the first ever acting nomination for the franchise) and shouldn’t be ruled out of the running for Best Editing and that elusive Best Picture either. “This is the first awards body that has honored Skyfall for Best Picture so far,” Stone told MTV about the PGA nod. “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.”

One of the most long-overdue wins on Oscar night would be if Roger Deakins finally got his hands on a statue for Cinematography, as Skyfall would break an astonishing 0-9 run thus far. Among his misses are his previous collaborations with Skyfall’s director, Sam Mendes, on Jarhead and Revolutionary Road. (Mendes, meanwhile, has had slightly better luck — he won Best Director for his debut feature, American Beauty.) And Adele must surely be considered the front-runner to take home Best Original Song for her eponymous theme (it’s also the movie’s only Golden Globe nomination). Indeed, it’s rumored that she will be taking part in the special tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Bond franchise during the Oscars, which will be quite the coup for the organizers as the Londoner has been laying low since the birth of her baby boy last October.

(LIST: How Does Adele’s ‘Skyfall’ Stack Up Against the Best and Worst James Bond Theme Songs?)

Pessimists will say that the Bond segment gives the Academy a get-out-of-jail card should Skyfall not win any hardware. But optimistic Bond fans hope that not only will the segment bring all six Bonds together on stage for the first time but these iconic actors will be able to say that they were there to witness an Oscar triumph or two and see Skyfall take its place among the best pictures of the year.

MORE: Skyfall Director Sam Mendes on Reinventing James Bond and His Favorite Scenes


I really think that Skyfall has a shot at getting a Best
Picture nomination; it was one of the best movies of the year. A coworker at
DISH and I have been coming up with our predictions for the nominees tomorrow, and
we both think it has earned the nomination. But if anything, I am glad that
they are getting a tribute at the ceremony, to really honor the greatness of
the franchise. Awards season is my favorite time of year, so I will definitely not
be missing anything on Oscar night with my DISH Hopper. The 2,000 hours of storage
space is amazing, with my late work schedule interfering with most of the
ceremonies. I am glad that I won’t risk missing anything, and that I will get
to see one of the best spies of all time get his due.

JohnCleary like.author.displayName 1 Like

God I hope not. Nothing happened in that movie! Least memorable bond movie ever. It was a whole bunch of "meh."


The new Bond movies are almost a different genre than the classics. They're good in their own way, but it's difficult to compare the two. That said, there will never be a James Bond as good as Sean Connery.

stevetall like.author.displayName 1 Like

Without a doubt one of the worst Bond movies ever, if not worst movie ever. At the beginning when it looks like he's gettingkilled, I thought, "oh, no". By the end, I wished they had all been killed. This can only seem good if you like explosions. The plausibility factor is zero.


this movie was amazing, it's in my top 10 films of the year

1. Argo
2. The Imposter
3. Looper
4. Moonrise Kingdom
5. Zero Dark Thirty.
6. Skyfall
7. The Cabin in the Woods.
8. Safety Not Gauranteed.
9. Amour
10. The Sessions


I don't get why anyone thinks this was a terrible Bond film! And Javier Bardem's sexuality was only touched upon, not a main focus. I thought it added just enough extra creepiness to his character! If Bardem did nothing else but play villains, I'd be 1000% ok with that!!! And Craig rocks as Bond - And this is coming from a diehard Sean Connery fan! This was a great Bond movie and I'm going again tonight to see it before it leaves the theaters!!!

Opinionated like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

This was the one of the WORST Bond movies ever! There was too much emphasis on the old ways vs new ways theme in this film, which is a horrible theme for a bond film and is also partially responsible for the lack of gadgets in the movie. There was also the theme with M being the mother figure and her connection with her "boys." But that just makes my point, when did a bond film become a drama film about themes and thought?! i go to see bond films for the action! There should be only one main theme: Good vs Evil!

The villain was a horrible choice and its not about his sexuality. There was no personal hatred connection with the villain, all u saw was a disgruntled ex-employee and his backstory of being sold out by M seemed as if they just stuck it in there. Bond should be saving the world from WW3 or stopping a terrorist from destroying a city, not some stupid ex-MI6 employee who is trying to get back at M (Goldeneye did it wayyyy better). What happened to the shadowy terrorist organization that Bond was trying to stop in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace?

Another great thing about Bond films was all the locations that he went to, in this movie the setting was almost exclusively in London with the China setting (though graphically appealing) seemingly thrown in as an afterthought.

And WTF was with that ridiculous "Home Alone" parody at the skyfall manor? i laughed during that whole scene.

Horrible movie. Was the first bond movie of recent years where i seriously considered walking out and getting my money back, Only good thing I liked was the hot-ass French chick (at least they got the part of having a pretty face right) and then she dies in a few minutes....

TunuKinabo like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

I  don't understand. This is a terrible Bond movie; the plot, dialogue, the action and the acting are all generally weak. I am especially disappointed by the reviews of these 'respected' critics that are clearly syrupy and false. Ingratiating.


EXACTLY. It was completely forgettable.

DJL329 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

@TunuKinabo I quite agree.  The whole story revolved around M, not Bond; (SPOILER ALERT) it's as if the script was written for the expressed purpose of replacing her (when they introduced "Mallory," I instantly knew he would become M by the end of the movie).

The villain was silly (reviewer on ABC7 in NY said "I wasn't sure if he was trying to kill Bond or kiss him.") and, as you stated, the dialogue was lousy.  (SPOILER ALERT) Bond's line to Emma at the end was downright awful, I actually cringed when he uttered it, as I realized who she was once she walked behind the desk.  I could've done better 25 years ago when I was still in college!

I like Adele, but the theme even put me to sleep.  I own the 2 other Craig Bond films (Casino Royale is my favorite Bond film, hands down), but have no intention of EVER seeing this film again.  The best thing about the first 2 Craig films was that they  threw all the Bond "conventions" out the window and started fresh.  With Skyfall, it seemed like it was out with the new, in with the old.


graig is the best bond ever!