Can ‘No Time to Die’ get a Best Picture nomination?

I’m at a war in my head as to whether I think there is a path for this happening or whether I’m just being a James Bond simp, in-denial of the things I know are not going to happen, like a child expecting a unicorn for Christmas. 007 has had it rough at the Oscars. Here is a list of all the nominations any Bond film has got at the Oscars (credit goes to Jacob Throneberry for putting this list together):

  • Goldfinger: Best Sound Effects
  • Thunderball: Best Special Visual Effects
  • Casino Royale (1967): Best Original Song
  • Diamonds are Forever: Best Sound
  • Live and Let Die: Best Original Song
  • The Spy Who Loved Me: Best Original Score, Best Original Song, Best Art Direction
  • Moonraker: Best Visual Effects
  • For Your Eyes Only: Best Original Song
  • Skyfall: Best Sound EditingBest Original Song, Best Sound Mixing, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score
  • Spectre: Best Original Song

…yeah, for a twenty-four, nearly twenty-five movie long franchise, it’s kinda weak. ‘Skyfall’ has performed the best of any Bond film, with 2 wins and three other nominations. The thing is though, is that ‘Skyfall’ had a strong incentive at the Oscars. It marked the 50th anniversary of Bond and was an amazing movie in its own right, it even managed to score a PGA nomination, a first for the franchise. ‘No Time to Die’ doesn’t have this incentive but I think it has an incentive of its own. I’m going to try and make a case for NTTD getting a Best Picture nomination and a case why it does not, then I’ll round up my thoughts as a conclusion.

Against

A Bond film has NEVER got an above-the-line nomination.

For the record, this means it hasn’t got a nomination in Best Picture, Director, both lead acting categories and both screenplay categories. This is pretty damning as a nomination in most or all these categories shows how strong a film is in the Oscar race. I think the reason for this is that Bond movies are just that to many, they’re movies. They’re fun popcorn flicks that have no business being in the awards season. This is why I think Bond just sits well in the tech categories. They sound great with some cool visual effects but mean nothing more. This is where I think people are wrong. Yes, I am a huge fan so the very fair argument can be made that I’m biased, but surely not every great movie has to have some strong, political message to it. Why can’t we see nominations for pure fun movies that meant something to people for completely different reasons.

Pure Action-flicks rarely see the light of day at awards season.

‘Mad Max Fury Road’ was the last time we saw a balls to the wall action movie get in at the Oscars, but even that wasn’t completely out of left field. MMFR was expected to dominated in the technical categories, and probably get in for director, meaning a BP nomination was very likely. Moreover, MMFR was labelled ‘the feminist movie of the year’ and helped bring back the genre of action when everyone thought it was in a black hole of pure badness. No, I don’t count ‘Black Panther’ as a pure action movie, yes, it has its scenes, but that is a more pure superhero movie in my opinion. The reason Bond movies are loved worldwide is for their very real action scenes which make any man feel like they can be Bond himself, something that has become a meme at this point.

All this means nothing if it isn’t campaigned.

I guess another big question is whether they’ll even bother trying. The last time a Bond flick was aggressively pushed for Oscar love was ‘Skyfall’, and whilst it got many noms in below the line categories, not even Javier Baredem could get some love for his performance that is up there with his Oscar WINNING role in ‘No Country for Old Men’. This makes me wonder if the Bond producers have lost faith and simply won’t bother.

FOR

This is Daniel Craig’s final Bond flick.

It may surprise you, but Craig is the longest running Bond actor the series has ever had. Not even Roger Moore beats him, he was 1973-1985, Craig is 2006-2021, and it could be more if the pandemics pushes the release back, again! He has done so much for the series, both just by starring in it and his efforts behind the camera. He’s the best acted Bond in terms of his performance and how good of a ‘James Bond’ he is, saving the franchise from the known, campy last two films of the Brosnan era. He is also behind some of the best business decisions; not changing his look and changing the relationship between him and Vesper in ‘Casino Royale’, getting Sam Mendes to direct ‘Skyfall’, and even getting Phoebe Waller-Bridge to clean up the script for ‘No Time to Die’ in order to flesh out the female characters (though we still need to see how well this works out). He’s done so much for Bond it would only be fair to see his final horrah as Bond get honoured in this sort of way, if the movie is great, of course.

The cast and crew is STACKED.

We haven’t seen a cast and crew for a Bond movie so stacked before. The attitude used to be, “we’ll get whoever in as long as they do the job”. But this attitude has changed since Skyfall, for example, getting Sam Mendes to direct, Thomas Newman for the score and even legend Roger Deakins being the cinematographer.

For the cast this time round, we of course have Daniel Craig as Bond, but then we have recent Best Actor winner Rami Malek and up and coming actress Ana De Armas (who we will most definitely be seeing next year at the Academy Awards if you get the drift ;)). All the MI6 regulars are back including Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes, and Naomie Harris. Jeffery Wright makes a return from ‘Quantum of Solace’ and we even have Christoph Waltz and Léa Seydoux back, the latter seeming to have a much more emotional performance.

Now the crew is even more insane, just have a look at the names below:

DirectorCary Joji Fukunaga
ScreenwritersNeal Purvis
Robert Wade
Cary Joji Fukunaga
Phoebe Waller-Bridge
ProducersBarbara Broccoli
Michael G. Wilson
ComposerHans Zimmer
CinematographerLinus Sandgren
EditorTom Cross
Elliot Graham

That’s one hell of a technical team. Even the production designer and set decorator Mark Tildesley and Véronique Melery are well respected, BAFTA or Emmy winning/nominated. It shows the producers are trying to build a team to make NTTD as ‘big’ as possible. They clearly want it to be something special. A similar thing was done with ‘Skyfall’ and it got so close to getting that Best Picture nomination. You could say the same about ‘Spectre’ and how it didn’t work, but that was just a bad movie, plain and simple.

The tides have turned in terms of what the Academy accepts as a ‘Best Picture’ worthy movie.

Okay, okay, so I know I made my point about pure action movies rarely making it to Best Picture, which is true. However, much like the tides have changed for superhero movies, maybe the same can be said for action movies as long as they have something to say, much like what ‘Mad Max Fury Road’ was able to pull off. ‘No Time to Die’ is meant to deal with a plot about world-domination, which may of been campy in the 60’s, but in todays world with world leaders such as Kim Jong-un, the scare becomes much more real world and could be the most political Bond we get. It also deals with a villain that possess dangerous technology, something that is beyond Bonds knowledge. Maybe older Academy voters will relate to how Bond will feel in NTTD, living in a world where technology has passed them and they feel left behind. I know I may be looking into things too much, but hey, it’s just an idea.

Conclusion

It’s really hard to honestly say what I truly think the odds are as this has never happened before and its hard to find previous examples. ‘No Time to Die’ will have to go that step further than ‘Skyfall’ did in order to have a chance. It will have to have a strong message, be like no other Bond movie and more then anything else, be truly great. It could take the path of not many technical nominations but gets a nominations in Original Song, Sound, Supporting Actor/Actress and sneak its way into BP, much like ‘Black Panther’. OR, it could dominate technicals and get into Best Picture, much like ‘Mad Max Fury Road’. For now, I’m going to say below the line categories are likely and above the line aren’t exactly likely, but as likely now as it will ever be.

Likely Nominations:

Sound

Original Song

Score

Cinematography

Unlikely But Possible:

Best Picture

Best Actor

Supporting Actor

Adapted Screenplay

Director

Film Editing

Unsure:

Visual Effects

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