Skyfall

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There are times when one aspect of a film will stand out so much for me that it will pretty much guarantee 5 stars from me. Recently, The Raid 2 achieved this, whilst the crime saga story was decent, it certainly felt like there was some dead air involved in it. The action however was so incredibly well done 5 stars was all I cared to give the film, despite knowing better.

Now with Skyfall, I love the film and actually think it deserves the 5 stars overall because it works so well as a 50th Anniversary film that not only pays homage to what has gone before but also gets to the root of the character of Bond through what can only be described as a rebirth of sorts. Add into this a strong focus on his relationship with M and it all adds up to a Bond film that will remain one of my favourites for as long as I will live.

There is one thing, however, that stands out more than anything about the film and that is the one and only Roger Deakins. His work on this film is worthy of 5 stars in and of itself, he creates such memorable compositions and uses different themes and styles to give ever segment and location a life that feels true to the locations they take place in. Take for instance, Scotland. In the final segment of the film we are introduced to Scotland and it's brown fields and foggy skies, which perfectly capture what the country feels like (I have 7 years experience living in the country when I was younger). On the other end of the spectrum he uses the neon lit skies of Shanghai and Macau to such beautiful effect, whether it's a silhouetted fight scene backlit by a neon jellyfish or a stunning entrance to a casino, with fiery oranges creating a wonderful mood.

It really rather bothers me why in such a long a distinguished career, Deakins has not been recognised by the Academy, at least in terms of winning an Oscar. He's been nominated so many times now it's almost insulting that they continue to snub him! This really takes nothing away from his work however and I personally won't lose sleep over it because all I need do is watch a film that he has worked on and admire his work.

The film thankfully delivers with some great set pieces, a decent villain, played by Javier Bardem and again in Daniel Craig's excellent performance as Bond, here he is more dishevelled than ever, showing cracks underneath the veneer. Craig has always been good at showing a more damaged, vulnerable side to his Bond but he's also pretty nifty with the quips too and has a no nonsense kind of attitude that I think perfectly suits him.

It's a shame in some ways that the end of Skyfall seems to lead us back to the Bond era that we know so well, even though I hardly think it will go back to the cringe worthy styling of past eras. It does present a possible problem though, where can they go next? With Mendes taking the directors chair again the signs are promising, even if Deakins decided he had given all he could offer to the franchise! Let's just hope there are no Quantums or any solace involved next time around.

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