As a big fan of the idea that artistic trends make so much more sense when you take a step back, I very much recommend this article in the “Guardian” that uses Skyfall as an entrypoint into a discussion of the “New Serious”.
Beneath humanity’s mood swings, a self-correcting pattern can be detected. The laughing cavaliers beget Cromwell’s roundheads, who in turn beget the Restoration’s libertines. Edwardian buoyancy morphs into Great War despair. This delivers the roaring 20s, which bring forth the despondent 30s. Frivolity, it can be conjectured, is intrinsically wearing and eventually boring: it produces a backlash of its own accord. By this reading, we should have been due for a period of pensiveness about now, even without the debacles that have beset us.
– David Cox
Personally, I thought Skyfall was probably one of the prettiest Bonds ever, but I could have done without the over-psychologising. I liked James Bond a lot better when he was an almost mythic cypher without much of a past. On the other hand, I loved the first half of Skyfall for the succesful exploration of the new continuum set up by Casino Royale. Can you have one without the other? Believable universe-building without putting too much weight on the shoulders of the characters? That is probably a topic for another blogpost.