Release year: 2012
Director: Sam Mendes
Screenwriter: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan, Ian Fleming (characters)
Starring: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Bérénice Marlohe, Albert Finney, Ben Wishaw
Ratings: 2 Oscars: Best Original Song, Best Sound Editing. 3 Oscar nominations: Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Sound Mixing. 1 Golden Globe: Best Original Song. 2 Empire Awards: Best Director, Best Film.
When M’s (Dench) past catches up with her, Bond’s (Craig) loyalty to her is tested and her decisions has him question hers. But when the attacks hit close to home, Bond steps up to do what he does best.
Who would have thought that Mendes (Road to Perdition, 2002) and Bond were a match made in heaven? But that is exactly what the British director and British spy are. Because with Skyfall Mendes perfectly keeps Bond in the modern reboot-style started by Martin Campbell and Craig (Cowboys & Aliens, 2011) with Casino Royale (2006) while tenderly nodding to the past of the world’s most famous spy by bringing in classic elements. The result is a sleek and stylish thriller that keeps a steady page even through an almost to and a half hour running time. It help tremendously that the movie is shot by the excellent Roger Deakins, who easily makes Skyfall the best looking Bond movie ever made. There is hardly a shoot in the movie that could not be framed and put on a wall to decorate and his wonderful sense of using shadows is suitable for a spy-movie. In many ways, Skyfall is in many ways the most personal Bond movie, as it gives us a rare insight into the past of James Bond, just as it deals heavily with his relationship with M, in fact the roles of Bond women is in this movie so down cut, that you can’t help considering M as the main Bond girl of Skyfall. It works well, mainly because Craig so plays Bond with such an authority, that you never feel you truly get underneath the surface, just as it should be. This third time aorund, Craig seems to really have come to terms with his character and steps out of the shadows of previously Bonds. He is a nice combination of rough and elegant and somehow makes the character become more real, that what we have seen before, without loosing the mystery completely. He is dry and smart and the moment where he with a bleeding shot whole in his shoulder jumps into a train through a hole in the roof and cooly adjusts his sleeves, are probably THE most Bond defining moment in the entire series. It has often felt quite a waste to use the talented Dench (Shakespeare in Love, 1998) in a rather small role and it is rather nice, that she is the one M, who gets to show a bit more of who she is, while the intense Bardem (No Country for Old Men, 2007) adds both creepiness and class to the villain. This is one of the best Bond movies made, the humour is truly back, but thankfully in form of dry with rather than the campness of the Pierce Brosnan era, Mendes is welcome to make many, many more Bond movies!
The quotation that M recites, is from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem “Ulysses”, “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield”. First published in 1842, its recitation in the film’s 2012 release, occurred on the poem’s 170th Anniversary.
Picture copyrights: Sony Pictures