James Bond foiled again in best picture Oscar mission
The latest James Bond movie 'Skyfall' won five Oscar nominations on Thursday, the highest tally for a 007 picture, but the major categories including best picture once again eluded the franchise that has just celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Hopes had been raised by bookmakers and some film critics that one of Britain's most lucrative and best-loved cultural exports would finally make his mark at the Academy Awards at the 23rd time of asking.
Skyfall, the first official Bond movie to make more than $1 billion at the box office, also won rave reviews from professionals and the public.
"Give Bond an Oscar!" was the headline of Daily Mail movie critic Chris Tookey's review of Skyfall when it hit theatres in October, reflecting a mood of optimism among the more patriotic sections of the press.
And there was a further boost last week when Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson were among the nominees for a Producers Guild Award alongside prestige films like "Lincoln" and "Zero Dark Thirty".
Reactions to the Oscar nominations summed up the sense of disappointment particularly in Britain, where there had been talk not only of a best picture nod but also recognition for cast members Judi Dench and Javier Bardem.
"Sky Falls In For Bond At Oscar Shortlist!" was bookmaker William Hill's response, while the Independent newspaper wrote in its blog: "British hopes for the first best picture nomination for Skyfall have been dashed."
Vanity Fair magazine added via Twitter: "Sadly, James Bond was once again shut out of Oscar nominations."
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences might point out that Skyfall in fact fared relatively well, with five nominations including best song for Adele, best score, sound editing, sound mixing and cinematography.
And there will be a special tribute to the franchise at the awards ceremony on Feb. 24.