by Carl E. Olson | Catholic World Report
Last week was a momentous one for the world. No, not because of the U.S. elections, but because news broke that the Pope is a big James Bond fan. Or something like that. Or not even close. It depends, I suppose, on how must stock you put in the approach taken by big newspapers to the "news" that the L'Osservatore Romano had no less than five pieces about the most recent installment in the Bond franchise. The headlines are both breathless and comical: "New James Bond film gets five-star Vatican blessing" and "The Pope 'Approves' Of New Bond Flick, Skyfall (Despite all that sex and alcohol)". And so forth. Reuters reported:
"Skyfall" gets a rave review in l'Osservatore Romano, which calls it one of the best of the 23 James Bond films made over the past 50 years.
In the main article, titled "007 License to Cry," the newspaper says the latest incarnation of the world's most famous spy is a rather good one because it makes him less of a cliché, and "more human, capable of being moved and of crying: in a word, more real". A second article compares the different actors who have played James Bond, from the original Sean Connery to the current Daniel Craig.
In an interview with the newspaper, Craig says he feels "very different" from the actors who have preceded him in playing Bond but does concede that Connery is "a point of reference".
I'm not a Bond buff; I don't own any of the films and I've only seen about fourteen or fifteen in all. However, I actually read some of Ian Fleming's Bond novels when I was a kid, and when I finally saw some of the Bond films, I was a bit put off by the disconnect. The Bond of the novels is more raw, less glamorous, and often downright nasty. The books are decidedly dark, especially compared to some of the Roger Moore-era movies. Craig has, in my non-Vatican-endorsed opinion, brought the character much closer to the books. Of course, since no one reads anymore, it's a moot point.