And to complete the four acting categories for the TV movie and miniseries categories, it’s time to discuss one of the most competitive races for this year’s Emmys. To say this is an embarrassment of riches is truly an understatement of its own. Supporting Actress is so stacked there’s no room left for the likes of Tony queen Audra McDonald as The Sound of Music Live‘s saving grace, owner of the Globe’s most memorable speech this year, Dancing on the Endge‘s Jacqueline Bisset, 2x Oscar nominee Janet McTeer from The White Queen and the Tony nominated role of Vanessa Williams in The Trip to Bountiful. As for the actual nominees though, we have…
Current winner Ellen Burstyn makes another bid for a back to back win. By now, her 2006 fluke nod for Mrs. Harris has long been forgotten (or not) and she’s finally been rewarded with a win here last year as the matriarch last year in Political Animals. That said, her nominated performance this year is a big departure from her winning one last year. In Flowers in the Attic, she plays a grim and strict mother whose strong beliefs control her daughter and her grandchildren. This is physical transformation mixed with a baity role, and if she can win one for Animals, she can totally win for this too.
We also have the trifecta of the American Horror Story: Coven actresses in this category. There’s Frances Conroy whose red tips demand your attention (and deservedly so). As Myrtle Snow, Conroy ends up being one of the most vital characters by the end of the season, though she’s at a disadvantage by having her character introduced in the middle of the season as compared to the other co-nominees here who were already featured in the pilot episode. Since I highly doubt that voters will watch the whole season of Coven before voting, I think it’s a con for her.
Angela Bassett receives her second career Emmy nomination by playing the fierce witch Marie Laveau who’s out to seek some revenge for her loved ones. Bassett was every inch a gay man’s dream character here. She’s sassy and she’s ready to fight right here right now. That said, I think hers is a character that is more appreciated by fans as opposed to one that garners awards and stuff.
The last Coven actress nominated is Emmy favorite Kathy Bates. Sure, Bates only has one Emmy under her belt, but she’s one of the four actresses who has the most number of nominations in this category’s history, and you know she’s bound to win one. There’s a chance that this might be the year though. As racist Delphine LaLaurie, Kathy’s character travels in time literally that is as she’s uncovered under the grounds. Bates is the first character you’d see from the previous season of AHS, which means she benefits the most if voters only check the first few episodes of the series.
Then there’s one of the biggest movie stars in the world Julia Roberts as she receive her second Emmy nod. In any other year, this would have been a surefire winner in this category and one that’s bound to sweep awards. After all, this is reminiscent of her Oscar winning performance as Erin Brockovich only that she’s in a wheelchair for the duration of the TV movie, so that makes her role a thousand times baitier. Unfortunately for Roberts, this is probably one of the most competitive years in the history of this category and while she’s much in the race, it’s not an easy win as one might think.
And in the midst of all these big stars, the last nominee is virtually an unknown. Allison Tolman gives one of the last season’s best breakthrough performances given the pressure of this Oscar winning role in Fargo. The reviews and personal citations that she has received all seasons is definitely a statement of how people are paying attention to her performance, and this nomination alongside these established actresses is just the cherry on top of it.
This category is really crazy. Aside from Angela Bassett and Frances Conroy, this could go to any of the four other nominees depending on which performance the voters will dig the most. The difference between the four actresses is so thin that in any other day, I might come up with a different ranking. That said, I’m going on a limb here and predict newbie Allison Tolman to take home the Emmy. Sure it’s a David vs. Goliath level of competition given the line up, but I think hers is the one that will elicit the most passionate response. That said, I won’t be surprised if they’d be carried away with Julia’s schtick, or Kathy’s in your face role, as well as Ellen’s costuming performance.
Prediction: Allison Tolman, “Fargo“
Alternate: Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Coven“
01. Allison Tolman, “Fargo“
02. Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Coven“
03. Ellen Burstyn, “Flowers in the Attic”
04. Julia Roberts, “The Normal Heart“
05. Angela Bassett, “American Horror Story: Coven“
06. Frances Conroy, “American Horror Story: Coven“
You can see my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.
For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl