Monday, 25 February 2013

THE OSCAR CURSE IS BROKEN! - SKYFALL wins two academy awards

The 23rd James Bond film was awarded with two Academy Awards: Per Hallberg & Karen Baker Landers for "Best Sound Editing" and, as presumed, Adele for "Best Original Song". There was also a short homage to the golden anniversary of 007 introduced by Halle Berry and with Shirley Bassey singing the theme from GOLDFINGER.

Moviegoers from around the world often discusses if Oscars are really important or just a cheap prize delivered by the Academy, but what is true is that Bond fans from around the world had their bottoms glued to the chair: there was not only a 50 anniversary homage for Bond announced, but the posibility of reverting 47 years of bad luck at Hollywood biggest award event. SKYFALL was nominated under five categories: "Best Cinematography" (Roger Deakins), "Best Sound Mixing" (Greg Russel, Stuart Wilson and Scott Millan), "Best Sound Editing" (Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers), "Best Original Score" (Thomas Newman) and "Best Original Song" (Adele and Paul Epworth).

Halle Berry, who played Jinx in DIE ANOTHER DAY,
introduces the Bond homage section.

Half an hour after the show, the dice started rolling for SKYFALL in the "Best Cinematography" category. Much to the chagrin of the Bond fans, the futuristic bluish Shangai skylines and the melancholic highlands of Scotland didn't convince the Academy much as Claudio Miranda's magical visuals for Ang Lee's THE LIFE OF PI.

Soon, host Seth MacFarlane introduced DIE ANOTHER DAY's Halle Berry on stage to present the homage to 007. Nothing we haven't seen before, a montage of clips over the immortal James Bond Theme, closed by Dame Shirley Bassey's rendition of "Goldfinger".

Shirley Bassey and her iconic rendition of "Goldfinger"

Adele sings "Skyfall" for the first time on stage

The "Best Sound Mixing" category came and the bad luck seemed not to move away of our beloved secret agent when LES MISERABLES' Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes won over the SKYFALL team. 

But the luck was about to change...

"Best Sound Editing" was the category and... it was a tie, which rarely happens in Oscars. The first winner was Paul N.J. Ottosson for ZERO DARK THIRTY. And the second winner was... SKYFALL! Swedish sound mixer Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers broke the spell!

When viewers where asking themselves where Adele was, actress Jenniffer Lawrence from SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK appeared to announce a special presentation from the British singer to perform the title tune of the latest 007 film in the same way Sheena Easton did with "For Your Eyes Only" 32 years before with a more produced show including tuxedoed acrobats and the appaerance of Harold Sakata and Richard Kiel.

Best Sound Mixing: Per Hellberg and Karen Baker Landers

LIFE OF PI imposed once again against Thomas Newman's SKYFALL score when Mychael Danna won the "Best Original Score" award, but then, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, RenĂ©e Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones who starred in Rob Marchall's acclaimed musical CHICAGO in 2002  announced "Skyfall" as the winner in the "Best Original Song" category. This was the first James Bond song to actually win an Oscar after "Live and Let Die", "Nobody Does It Better" and "For Your Eyes Only" lost in the same category.

Richard Gere gives Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth their well deserved Oscar

Neither Tom Jones (as promised) or anyone of the Bond actors were there, but there were also some subtle references to the Bond alumni during the In Memoriam section, where lyricist Hal David ("Moonraker, "We Have All The Time in the World") and Marvin Hamlisch (composer for THE SPY WHO LOVED ME) were mentioned over John Barry's "Out of Africa". Barbra Straisand gave a special tribute to the late Hamlisch singing his song "The Way We Were", who beaten Paul McCartney's "Live And Let Die" in the 1974 Academy Awards.

As we all know, SKYFALL was excluded from the bigger categories such as "Best Picture" where ARGO took the award, but still, even when many people weren't too keen on the way the event was handled, this was perhaps an Oscar editions we'll never forget!

Thanks to JamesBondBrasil and GettyImages for the images.

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