Monday, 25 February 2013

And the winner is... Skyfall's Oscar success

There were mixed fortunes for Skyfall at the 2013 Academy Awards. Of the film's five nominations, two brought home the Oscar – Best Song, won by Paul Epworth and Adele, and Best Sound Editing, won by Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers. There was, however, disappointment for Roger Deakins, who lost out to Life of Pi in the best cinematography category, Scott Millan, Greg Russell and Stuart Wilson, who saw Les Misérables take the honours for Best Sound Mixing, and Thomas Newman, who lost to Life of Pi for Best Original Score.

Unfortunately, my predictions for Oscar success made in a recent post proved more accurate than I had hoped. Looking at previous winners in the categories in question, I suggested that Skyfall's best chance for an Oscar was in the sound editing category. I thought the award for sound mixing would go to either Les Misérables or Lincoln, and that Argo or Life of Pi would win the Oscar for its score. However, while I suggested that Skyfall would lose out in cinematography, I looked to Lincoln or Anna Karenina, rather than Life of Pi, which was a somewhat controversial winner in the category. For best song, I thought that Life of Pi or Ted might have the best chance, given the history of past winners.

Naturally I hoped that Skyfall would win in all categories, although I don't mind admitting some satisfaction with the methods and results of my statistical analysis, which highlighted a number of trends in certain categories across the history of the Academy Awards.

Although on the night Skyfall didn't come away with all five Oscars for which it was nominated, to win two is nevertheless a tremendous achievement for the film. The Oscars (along with the other nominations) represent the first Academy recognition for the Bond series since Cubby Broccoli's Irving G Thalberg award in 1982, and the first winners since John Stears' award for his visual effects work for Thunderball in 1965.

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