Film of the year: Skyfall

Yeah, that’s right. Film of the year. Not day, not week, not month. Year. And it’s only 31 October.

I saw Skyfall on Saturday night and it has taken me until now to blog about it. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet (have you really had better things to be doing?!) but oh. My. God. Really. Sam Mendes is one of my favourite directors. OK, he didn’t make my top ten, but I will be seriously reconsidering that list now. And who would have thought he would make an ass-kicking bond film? It still feels like old-school Bond but it’s incredibly modern at the same time. I genuinely couldn’t have imagined a better film and it has even trumped The Avengers as my favourite film of the year. Something really impressive is going to have to come along in the next two months to knock this off the top spot. I’m sure you’re all aware of the basic premise of the film, and I can’t talk about the film without spoiling it because those are the bits I still squeal in excitement over now, so this won’t be a ‘review’ post. Instead, I’m going to briefly touch on the highlights (for me). It wasn’t until his name came up in the opening credits that I knew Albert Finney was in this film. The guy is such a legend (I love him in Two For The Road) and you rarely see him on the big screen these days (Miller’s Crossing, Big Fish, Bourne). I completely forgot about it until he popped up in the last act and think I may have even squealed a little bit.

It’s not very often that you see strong, well-rounded female characters in an action film led primarily by male characters. Judi Dench’s M and Naomie Harris’ Eve are brilliant in Skyfall. They’re smart, funny, sassy and know their way around guns. Phwoar!

I fell in love with Ben Whishaw when I saw him in Bright Star (which coincidentally stars one of my favourite actors, Paul Schneider). I’ve only seen him in one other film (I’m Not There) so hopefully this will be the start of great things for him.

It’s directed by Sam bloody Mendes! How can that not be a highlight? The dude is responsible for American Beauty, Road to Perdition (the only film of his I’ve still not seen, despite having it on DVD for months), Jarhead, Revolutionary Road and Away We Go. Quite the eclectic career.

Ralph Fiennes is the kind of actor I can either take or leave. I loved him in The Constant Gardener and In Bruges (“You’re a fucking inanimate object!”) but he has a lot of making up to do after the completely unnecessary Coriolanus. This is a start.

Filming took place in India, Istanbul, Japan, Scotland and London, and there is more than a sense of awe and wonder in the lingering establishing shots.

I’m a sucker for blue eyes and the long close-ups on a big screen certainly don’t hurt!

Skyfall is so stylish, but is it any wonder with nine-time Oscar nominee Roger Deakins behind the camera? He previously worked with Mendes on Jarhead and Revolutionary Road and is a long-time collaborator with the Coen Brothers.

Bond films usually feel very exotic but Skyfall is incredibly British. With scenes in Scotland and London, as well as on the underground and during the Jubilee celebrations, there is no question of whether or not Bond is a British franchise.

They clearly had a load of fun off-camera too! Check out this book from Amazon (£14.75) for more amazing shots.


If you haven’t seen Skyfall yet, what are you waiting for?! It’s in cinemas now.

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