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Skyfall

 

I loved SKYFALL.  There were a lot of reasons, but I’ll start with the top one — Daniel Craig.  I think he’s probably the best actor to ever play the role, and of course I have a mad crush on him because he is totally hot.  We also get to see Bond as fragile and uncertain, and that was such a lovely change from the Roger Moore smirk.

I also loved the film because it didn’t objectify women in that horrible, icky way that was so common in the earlier Bond films.

The direction.  Sam Mendes just did a beautiful job, and it never ended up looking like a cartoon.  Again, a common flaw in earlier films.  (Meaning pre-Craig.)  The fight sequence in the skyscraper in Shanghai is just gorgeous.

The writers went against type and cliche.  The bureaucrat ends up being a very savvy guy who supports and back his people.  A nice change from what we usually see.

There were also some great call backs to earlier films for those of us who love the franchise and have seen all the movies — even the ones that suck.

And finally the power of the theme the movie explores.  This was a movie about abandonment with all that entails.  There was a sadness and a poignancy that is rare in this kind of action film, and it completely won me over.  In fact I want to see it again because I have a feeling I’ve missed quite a bit of nuance.

The acts of abandonment center on the figure of M.  Judi Densch is amazing in this role.  You see that she regrets the decisions she makes, but she never hesitates.  For her the men and women under her command are chess pieces and both expendable and replaceable. 

Javier Bardem reveled in his role as the Bond villain, Silva.  I did occasionally wonder where the money came from to fun his vast evil empire?  I sort of filled in the blanks and assumed it was from his work as a computer genius and hacker.  It felt a bit like Cerberus who went from being a small renegade organization in Mass Effect 1 to this galaxy spanning octopus with armies, navies, etc. by Mass Effect 3, but I digress.  I had the sense there was a scene or part of a scene that might have explained Silva’s finances a bit better, but it got cut.  Still, I found his performance so quirky that I just ended up going with it.

There has been much made of the sexual innuendo scene between Bond and Silva.  And yes, it was there.  The sexual tension between the two men was far greater then the obligatory — Bond seduces a beauty scene.  The subsequent dialog also added to that sense of fascination on the part of Silva for Bond in the same way the “snails and oyster” scene in Spartacus did without ever being overt.

The other most powerful relationship is between M and Bond.  It encompasses so many things — comrades, mother/son, boss/subordinate.  It’s a complex melange of emotions — resentment, exasperation, admiration, love, and both actors play it beautifully.

The ending surprised me.  I won’t say more because the reviews I’d read were so great not to give this away.

I may have more thoughts after I see this film again, but here is my initial reaction.

 

5 Responses to Skyfall

  • MelindaS says:

    The lousy sound system at the Regal theater in Santa Fe had me hearing the villain’s name as Silver rather than Silva. I’ve now adjusted and corrected the post. I seem to be tired tonight and can’t type worth a damn. I had 2 p’s instead of 2 o’s in a twitter post tonight, and they can’t be edited so I guess I’ll just delete and repost. It was me agreeing (god help me) with Grover Norquist that Romney is, in fact, a poopy head.

  • Wolf Lahti says:
  • Andy Greenhouse says:

    I loved this movie from the beginning to the end. Finally, some things you don’t see in a Bond film. It was different and full of surprises.

  • I also liked this movie. First because your are right, Daniel Craig is hot! I wish that M could left the film (trying not to spoil too much) with her head held high instead at such a low point of her career. The new replacements couldn’t be bettern chosen (Moneypenny is my new favorite character, and Q is not bad either.) I look forward to the next film when MI6 emerges from the ashes.

  • MelindaS says:

    I hear what you’re saying, Jennifer, M is a great character, and Judi Densch gave her such power and authority. I do love Feinnes however, and Moneypenny and Q were also great. I liked the bittersweet ending. I’m not sure a completely triumphant ending would have worked as well given the underlying theme of the movie.

    There’s something interesting too about the different views of what M did when she authorized Bond for duty when he wasn’t fit. Silva sees it as more evidence of her contempt for her agents. That she just uses them and throws them away. I think Bond realized that she did it to give him back his dignity, his sense of self, and that she believed in him and actually cared for him. I really liked that.

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