London - The latest James Bond movie Skyfall receive
five Oscar nominations on Thursday, the highest tally for a 007 picture, but
the major categories including best picture once again eluded the franchise
that has just celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Hopes had been raised by bookmakers and some film critics
that one of Britain's most lucrative and best-loved cultural exports would
finally make his mark at the Academy Awards at the 23rd time of asking.
Skyfall, the first official Bond movie to make more
than $1bn at the box office, also won rave reviews from professionals and the
"Give Bond an Oscar!" was the headline of Daily
Mail movie critic Chris Tookey's review of Skyfall when it hit theatres in
October, reflecting a mood of optimism among the more patriotic sections of the
And there was a further boost last week when Barbara
Broccoli and Michael Wilson were among the nominees for a Producers Guild Award
alongside prestige films like Lincoln and Zero Dark
Reactions to the Oscar nominations summed up the sense of
disappointment particularly in Britain, where there had been talk not only of a
best picture nod but also recognition for cast members Judi Dench and Javier
"Sky Falls In For Bond At Oscar Shortlist!"
was bookmaker William Hill's response, while the Independent newspaper wrote in
its blog: "British hopes for the first best picture nomination for Skyfall
have been dashed."
Vanity Fair magazine added via Twitter: "Sadly,
James Bond was once again shut out of Oscar nominations."
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences might
point out that Skyfall in fact fared relatively well, with five nominations
including best song for Adele, best score, sound editing, sound mixing and
And there will be a special tribute to the franchise at
the awards ceremony on 24 February.
But generally Bond has faired poorly at the Oscars,
winning just two statuettes - sound effects for 1964 film Goldfinger and special visual effects for Thunderball
released in 1965.
The Oscars have tended to overlook major movie
franchises, a fact that irked the likes of Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe
who was a vocal critic of the Academy for overlooking the eight-part boy wizard
The British media tends to take a parochial approach to
the Oscars, viewing them through a patriotic lens and borrowing repeatedly from
screenwriter Colin Welland's acceptance speech over 30 years ago when he won
for Chariots of Fire.
"I'd like to finish with a word of warning," he
proclaimed. "You may have started something. The British are coming."
In 2009 and 2011 there were British
"invasions", in the form of Slumdog Millionaire and The King's Speech respectively, but in 2010 and 2012 there were
In 2013, the British focus will be on Daniel Day-Lewis,
in the running for his third best actor statuette for his portrayal of US
President Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's biopic Lincoln.
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