This week, we got a glimpse of the nominees for the 24th annual Producers Guild Awards, which are commonly regarded as a predictor for the films most likely to earn Oscar nominations. But alongside the films commonly regarded as locks for the Best Picture category (Argo, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty), an unexpected name emerged: Skyfall, the 23rd entry in the James Bond franchise. Though the many films chronicling the adventures of 007 have been proved to be some of Hollywood's most bankable hits, the British superspy has been all but snubbed at the Oscars, with only two wins in the franchise's history (for sound design in 1964's Goldfinger and visual effects for 1965's Thunderball). Bond's last nomination came more than 30 years ago, for the title song in 1981's For Your Eyes Only. Could Skyfall make up for decades of 007 snubs by earning a surprise nomination for Best Picture?
"007 better get that tuxedo to the dry cleaner," says Kevin P. Sullivan at MTV News. The extremely positive reviews and $1 billion-plus gross earned by the latest James Bond film is proof that Skyfall is far more than your average Bond movie. The Academy gets younger and more populist every year, and thanks to the gritty Skyfall, 007 and the Academy have finally shifted toward each other, with Bond becoming more serious and the Academy becoming less so. Skyfall is already considered a virtual lock for nominations in five categories at the Academy Awards — including a franchise-first acting nomination, with Javier Bardem's villainous Silva tipped as a major Best Supporting Actor contender. The Academy, like the Produceres Guild, is clearly willing to take the film seriously. And now that the Academy can nominate up to 10 movies a year for Best Picture, why shouldn't a nod for Skyfall be in the cards?
Let's not get ahead of ourselves, says Scott Feinberg at The Hollywood Reporter. Despite its reputation, the Producers Guild Award is a poor predictor for the Oscars. Ten films are guaranteed to be nominated for the Producers' top prize; the Academy, by contrast, nominates anywhere between five and 10. That means the biggest surprises on the PGA's list are also the least likely to be nominated for an Academy Award. And history shows that the PGA is far more likely than the Academy to nominate blockbusters like Skyfall, from 2009's nod to Star Trek ($257 million gross) over the Academy's A Serious Man ($9 million gross) to 2011's selection of Bridesmaids ($169 million gross) over the Academy's The Tree of Life ($13 million gross). It's simple, agrees Sean O'Neal at The AV Club: "Producers like movies that make a lot of money." But the Academy doesn't necessarily agree.
Consensus: Skyfall certainly isn't out of the running, but a Best Picture nomination still seems like a stretch for 007.