After 50 years of being a wildly popular franchise, the 85th annual Academy Awards will finally honor James Bond. While the verdict is still out on whether or not the newest bond film, Skyfall, will earn any Oscar nominations, at least Agent 007 will still have a strong presence at the prestigious awards show. The Academy’s official announcement decided to honor the franchise for the 50th anniversary of the Bond film. As seen on PerezHilton.com, The Academy is decided on the tribute because it’s “the longest-running motion picture franchise in history and a beloved global phenomenon.” Well, it’s about time Bond got some recognition!
While James Bond, with his womanizing tendencies and license to kill, isn’t the ideal role model for the youth of the world, the spy is nonetheless a household name and an international sensation. The movies are full of cutting edge action sequences, nearly always ground breaking for the generation in which they were filmed. In addition to the fantastic special effects, gadgets galore, and awesome automobiles, the Bond movies have touted some of the biggest names in acting over the last half a century. Bond himself has been portrayed by legendary actors including Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, and current sensation, Daniel Craig.
Aside from Bond himself, the actors portraying the sinister Bond villains deserve some major props. Most recently in Skyfall, Oscar winner Javier Bardem played the menacing blonde psychopath Raul Silva. Some other notable foes have been portrayed by Famke Janseen (Xenia Onatopp, Goldeneye), Sean Bean (Alec Trevelyan, Goldeneye), Mads Mikkelson (Le Chiffre, Casino Royale), and Christopher Walken (Max Zorin, A View To Kill). Let’s not forget one of the most notorious and one of the only recurring villains, Ernst Stavro Blofed portrayed by Telly Savalas in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Anthony Dawson in From Russia with Love, Charles Gray in Diamonds Are Forever and Donald Pleasence in You Only Live Twice.
Another integral part of a Bond movie is the Bond girl. Listing off notable Bond girls could be an entire post of it’s own, but a few of note include A-listers Madonna and Halle Berry in Die Another Day, the only woman Bond’s ever loved, Vesper Lynd, played by Eva Green in Casino Royale, and Honor Blackman from Goldfinger, with the most controversial character name in movie history, Pussy Galore. Bond girls have left some of the most memorable images in pop culture, such as Shirley Eaton dying of “suffocation” after being covered head to toe in gold paint in Goldfinger, or Ursula Andress as the first bond girl ever in 1962, as she provocatively emerged from the ocean in her unforgettable white bikini.While Dame Judi Dench as M isn’t your typical seductress, she plays a strong female presence to juxtapose a womanizing Bond in the more recent movies.
Suffice it to say, based on the stellar cast alone James Bond movies should have been recognized by the Academy at some point the the last 50 years. The James Bond franchise has notoriously been snubbed by the Oscars during its decade spanning run. There have only been two Academy Awards won by Bond films, both technical awards. James Bond films are by no means exceptionally poignant or profound, but their overwhelming popularity and ability to stay fresh and relevant while existing over multiple decades shouldn’t have gone unnoticed for so long. I greatly look forward to seeing the well-deserved tribute in action this February, and also hope to see appearances from Bond’s of all generations.