Monday, February 25, 2013

Bond at the Oscars

Last night was a good night for Bond at the Oscars. Not so much because of the 50th Anniversary tribute segment, but because Skyfall took home two awards. The Oscars for Sound Editing (shared with Zero Dark Thirty) and Original Song were the first Oscar wins for a Bond film since Thunderball took home a Best Visual Effects award in 1966. In fact, Skyfall racked up as many wins last night as the entire franchise previously. Bond's only other Oscar was also a Visual Effects nod for Goldfinger in 1965.

Adele's masterful theme for Skyfall is not the only Bond theme to earn a nomination, but it's the first to win. The other nominees were Linda and Paul McCartney for "Lie and Let Die", Marvin Hamlisch for "Nobody Does it Better", and Bill Conti and Mick Leeson for "For Your Eyes Only".

Last night certainly marked the first time two Bond themes were performed live at the Oscars. In addition to Adele, Shirley Bassey earned a standing ovation for belting out the grandaddy of them all "Goldfinger" after a rather odd tribute to the music of Bond that only featured two other Bond themes played over a lifeless montage of clips mostly from the Connery and Craig years. (On a side note, I realized my problem with most modern highlight montages for both movies and sports: they're all about flashy visuals and don't attempt to tell any sort of narrative.) I half expected Carly Simon to join Barbara Streisand on stage during the Marvin Hamlisch tribute singing "Nobody Does it Better" to make it number three.

Producers apparently tried to assemble every Bond actor for the tribute in what would have been a first time for such a gathering, but rumor has it that Connery and Brosnan declined. That's too bad. Seeing them all onstage in tuxedos would have been priceless.

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