I celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of James Bond by seeing Skyfall. The new movie has been getting a lot of attention in the French press as a French woman is the Bond girl. Bérénice Lim Marlohe was born in Paris on May 19, 1979. Her exotic looks are the result of her French mother and Khmer-Chinese father. Marlohe had hoped for a career in the fine arts, studying piano at the Conservatoire de Paris for ten years. She’s also a talented artist. Instead, she found her way into the performing arts, first with relatively small roles on French TV dramas, now with what will no doubt be a block-buster movie. Apparently, six months prior to the Bond audition, she had a dream that she was starring in a movie with Spanish actor Janvier Bardem, who plays the bad guy in Skyfall. Spooky.
Speaking of Bardem, in my opinion, he stole the show. Daniel Craig and Judy Dench acquitted themselves with their usual panache. While Ralph Fiennes was an interesting addition, as was the new Q, Bardem was the best bad-guy I’ve ever seen in a Bond Film. He was just excellent – funny and scary at the same time.
Without giving out too much information to spoil the film, I discovered that James Bond has a francophone connection. There’s a scene that shows his parents’ gravestone. His mother’s name was Monique Delacroix Bond. I was hoping this meant that she was French, but according to my research, Ian Fleming, the author of the series, gave Bond a past, including a Scottish father and a Swiss mother who were killed in a climbing accident in Chamonix, France.
It’s a fun movie. Great action scenes and some clever writing. Bond, James Bond, is looking just fine at 50.
Today’s expression, être maitre de son destin (etruh metruh duh soh destahn), means to be the master of one’s destiny. One gets the impression that the great Bond wouldn’t have dreams about his future the way Bérénice Marlohe did. He’d be much more likely forcer le destin (forsay luh destahn), to force the hand of fate.
- Skyfall (2012) theatrical review (bizzammovienews.com)
- Talking in French with Skyfall’s Bond Girl (esquire.com)