Skyfall: can Judi Dench finally win Bond an acting Oscar?

Judi Dench - M - Skyfall

After years of being overlooked by the Academy Awards, producers are hoping for an acting nod

LAST UPDATED AT 16:04 ON Tue 23 Oct 2012

AS SKYFALL gets its world premiere in London tonight, James Bond producers are hoping that Dame Judi Dench's performance as M will help the 007 franchise pick up its first top award at the Oscars.

For 50 years, the James Bond franchise has failed to impress Academy Award voters. The films have picked up just nine nominations, all of them in technical or music categories. Of these, it has won just two - best sound effects for Goldfinger in 1964 and best visual effects for Thunderball in 1965.

Skyfall producer Barbara Broccoli is hoping Dame Judi can turn this around. Broccoli says she is baffled by Bond's lack of nominations, telling the Radio Times that the films have made "ground-breaking contributions to cinema".

Now she says she "wouldn't be surprised if Judi was nominated for this one".

Bookies William Hill are offering 10/1 odds that Skyfall, the 23rd Bond film and "potentially the best ever", picks up at least one of the big six Academy Awards: best film, best director, best actor or actress or best supporting actor or actress.

Skyfall marks Dame Judi's seventh outing as the formidable MI6 chief and the script places her at the heart of the action for the first time. Director Sam Mendes, who won the best director Oscar in 1999 for American Beauty, was apparently so impressed with Dame Judi's weapon skills that he took to calling her 'Dirty Harry' on set.

The 77-year-old actress has six Oscar nominations under her belt, winning the best supporting actress award for her eight-minute cameo in Shakespeare In Love.

An Oscar would make a "fitting birthday present" for the franchise, says Nina Nannar at ITV, and would "signal the producers' intentions to make the new Bond films win critical acclaim for acting and scripting as well as respecting the past".

  • Skyfall opens nationwide on Friday after tonight's world premiere at the Albert Hall.

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