Earlier today Sony streamed a special announcement about the forthcoming James Bond film, revealing not just the new title (“Spectre”), but a list of new cast members, including Dave Bautista, Monica Bellucci, Lea Seydoux and Christoph Waltz. And of course, we broke the news a few weeks ago that “Interstellar” cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema would be stepping into Roger Deakins' shoes behind the camera. Exciting stuff, and a good enough reason, I suppose, to look back through the history of Bond at the Oscars.
Eight of the 23 007 films released to date have score nominations. But it took a couple of swings before one of them finally scored some recognition from the Academy. That happened when 1964's “Goldfinger” netted a Best Sound Effects nomination. “Thunderball” followed the next year with some Best Visual Effects respect. Both won their respective bids. The franchise then took a few years off from the fray until “Diamonds are Forever” brought it back with a Best Sound mention in 1971.
The Roger Moore era went over pretty well for the series, beginning with 1973's “Live and Let Die.” That was the first Bond film to get some respect for its famed original song stylings, as Wings' title track got the call.
“The Spy Who Loved Me” in 1977 was the first semi-serious Oscar splash. That film landed three nominations, for Best Art Direction, Best Original Song (Carly Simon's “Nobody Does It Better”) and Best Original Score (which has only happened twice for the series). 1979's “Moonraker” was recognized for Best Visual Effects and the title track of 1981's “For Your Eyes Only” was nominated for Best Original Song.
Believe it or not, the series then saw an over 30-year drought at the Oscars. Unsurprisingly, really, nothing stood out from the Timothy Dalton or Pierce Brosnan eras (which included the longest overall break in installments between 1989 and 1995). And when Daniel Craig took up the tux, it was still tough going.
But Sam Mendes changed all of that. “Skyfall” became not just the most successful and most critically acclaimed film in the series to date, and not only did it net the most nominations of any single entry with five, but it was also the first Bond film to win multiple Oscars. Adele picked up the trophy for her stirring title track while the sound effects team shared the Best Sound Editing Oscar with “Zero Dark Thirty.” The film was also nominated for Best Cinematography (a first), Best Original Score and Best Sound Mixing.
And now, “Spectre.” I think it's fair to assume these films will continue to dazzle technically as Mendes is a filmmaker very attuned to craft. So we'll probably see a few nominations when this one makes its way to theaters. And just look at some of those additions to the cast. It can only be a matter of time before an actor is finally recognized for his or her work in one of these films; clearly Javier Bardem and Judi Dench were close last time out.
What did you think of the “Spectre” news? Sound off in the comments section.