The Academy Awards ceremony this year will feature a salute to the James Bond franchise, to honor the 50th anniversary of the series. One also suspects that the Academy would not have been so eager to celebrate the series if “Skyfall” hadn’t happened to make a billion dollars worldwide. So congratulations on your anniversary, Bond movie makers, but really more congratulations on contributing to the profits of the industry.
The Academy has rarely considered the Bond movies award worthy; the only films in the series to win awards were “Goldfinger” (1964) and “Thunderball” (1965), and those were for, respectively, Sound Effects and Visual Effects. Bond songs have been nominated–Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die,” Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does It Better,” and Sheena Easton’s “For Your Eyes Only”–but did not win. The original producer of the series, Albert Broccoli, was given the Academy’s Irving G. Thalberg award in 1982.
To be fair, the series hasn’t always produced films that were worthy of awards consideration–when a series has been around for fifty years, there’s going to be more than a few stinkers. There have been some fine films and performances, though, which were passed by, either because, “Oh, well, that’s just a Bond film” attitudes, or because of stiff competition. There’s been a lot of speculation that “Skyfall” may get some Oscar notice because a) it was good b) it starred a lot of actors the Academy likes to nominate (Javier Bardem, Judi Dench) and c) did we mention it made boatloads of money? Oh, and Adele’s theme song for the movie is a lock for a nomination and a good bet to win (the only reason we don’t say it’s a lock to win is because strange things happen in the music branch categories).
Oh, so yes, Bond, James Bond, will be getting a salute at the Oscars. We hope it will involve lots of film clips and not embarrassing dance numbers. We are talking about the Oscar telecast, though, and if there’s a chance to do something embarrassing or boring, they’ll usually take it. Sigh. Can we get the Tony Awards producers and writers to put together the tribute?
Now here’s the official press release:
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – The 85th Academy Awards® will include a tribute to the James Bond movie franchise, which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, the telecast’s producers announced today.
“We are very happy to include a special sequence on our show saluting the Bond films on their 50th birthday,” said producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. “Starting with ‘Dr. No’ back in 1962, the 007 movies have become the longest-running motion picture franchise in history and a beloved global phenomenon.”
The 85th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 10, 2013, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2012 will be presented on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013, at the Dolby Theatre™ at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.