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Albert Finney Joins the Cast of the New James Bond Movie with the Potential for Oscar Gold at Last on Astini News

Daniel Craig does not appear to be the only figure pumping new life into the James Bond franchise. True, Craig's muscular physicality and intellectual approach to the activities of being a spy have done much to lift the Bond series from its doldrums as Remington Steele-Lite. But toss in an Oscar-winning director who can lure big name talent and what you've got there, Scaramanga, is the most talented cast to ever star in any spy movie.

Javier Bardem brings his undeserved Oscar from "No Country for Old Men" to the game of cards. Ralph Fiennes brings the best performance to not win Best Supporting Actor into the Bond franchise. Judi Dench comes with the stench of British monarchy attached to her Academy Award statuette. Now comes word that one of those guys who after he dies it will probably be breathlessly asked of him that he never took home an Oscar is officially on board the Bond boat.

Albert Finney has been tapped to play a bigwig in the British Foreign Office who oversees Her Majesty's Secret Service. For the time being…her majesty, that is. All fun and games as the big stars get to playact at its most fun. Why Bardem has an Oscar and neither Fiennes nor Finney can say the same is a subject best taken up with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. For the nonce, a closer look at Finney's case may be in order.

It's not unusual that he was nominated, but didn't win for "Tom Jones" since that was his first nomination and he was so young he looked almost exactly like Ewan McGregor just before he showed up in that galaxy far away. Finney had ripened considerably by the time he earned his next Best Actor nomination 11 years down the tracks. As Hercule Poirot on that express train to the Orient he was practically unrecognizable. The amazing thing is that Art Carney won the top prize over Finney, Hoffman, Pacino and Nicholson all playing at the top of their game.

Robert Duvall beat out both Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay from winning for their roles in "The Dresser." The split vote probably took Oscar gold out of the hands of one or the other since Duvall had turned in at least a half dozen better performances than the one he got the Oscar for. Just one year later, in 1985, Albert Finney was nominated for "Under the Volcano." He was playing a drunk, he was directed by a legend, he was up against two actors nominated for the same movie and he was brilliant. All historical signs pointed to Finney finally winning his Oscar. The split vote that hurt him a year before played no part as F. Murray Abraham was just too much to overcome as Mozart's nemesis, Salieri.

Albert Finney's last Oscar nomination to date was in the Best Supporting Actor category for "Erin Brockovich." He was the best thing about the movie, he had plenty of screen time, he was utilizing the very best of his long years of experience and the competition was light in comparison. Except for Benicio Del Toro whose performance in "Traffic" was deserving all by itself, but who doubtlessly succeeded at least to some degree from the lingering memory of overlooked performance in "The Usual Suspects."

Sam Mendes is on record as saying he wants his James Bond movie to be Oscar-worthy. Will that means Oscar gold for Albert Finney at long last? Probably not, since he wasn't even nominated for his best performance ever in "Shoot the Moon."

For other articles by Timothy Sexton, check out:

The Best Film Actor of the 20th Century: Rod Steiger?

Sam Mendes Wants his James Bond to Be Oscar Worthy

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