Archive for August 2015

67th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Reality/Competition Program   Leave a comment

reality competition

In the twelve years since this category started back in 2003, The Amazing Race has won this ten time with both Top Chef and The Voice sneaking one win apiece. Now that the three shows are competing again, will we see one of them winning? Or is it time for the other no-win nominees (Dancing with the Stars, Project Runway, So You Think You Can Dance) to snatch their win?

Both the dancing shows submitted close to finale episodes. Dancing with the Stars went with “Episode 2009” while So You Think You Can Dance submitted the “August 20, 2014” episode. The thing with these dancing shows is that while they’re showing the competition, it’s not competitive enough with the other competition formats. Add the fact that they’re the only programs that show the same type of skill (dancing), it cancels out each other votes.

One time champ The Voice decided to go with “Blind Auditions 701.” It’s wise that they keep on submitting their blind audition episodes, as they feature the gimmicky spinning chairs and had the coaches fighting with each other. It also offers something new because it’s the first season with coaches Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams.

Project Runway is now on its eleventh bid in this category, and it has yet to win. They went with “The Rainway”  episode where the designers are *obviously* gonna make garments suitable for the rainy season. It also has the gimmick of having rain on the actual runway. I find this a new take from the Project Runway team, as they’re more leaning to episodes with contestants’ drama instead of having anything to do with the actual challenge.

Hoping for a second victory is 2010 champ Top Chef, which submitted their Boston season finale for this year. While there’s tough competition in this episode with an elimination at the start of the episode, it feels a bit “been there done that” already.

There’s a reason why The Amazing Race continues to dominate this category, and that’s because they know how to provide the great submissions. This year, they went with “Mo’rock n Roll” where the contestants can be seen flying to Morocco from Denmark. In a span of 42 minutes, this has all the elements of an award winning episode – you have perceived frontrunners Misti & Jim finishing a Speed Bump at the start of the episode, then there’s a Detour and a U Turn as well. Plus, the heart tugging angle of surfer Bethany doing a Road Block.

Well it’s obvious by now that The Amazing Race is winning an eleventh one, and its episode is far and above the rest of the pack. The only one I can see challenging it is The Voice with its two new coaches.

PREDICTION: The Amazing Race (CBS)
ALTERNATE: The Voice (NBC)

Full rankings:
01. “The Amazing Race
02. “The Voice
03. “Project Runway
04. “Dancing with the Stars
05. “Top Chef
06. “So You Think You Can Dance

You can also check the rest of my 2015 Emmy prediction analysis. Talk to me about it on Twitter: @nikowl

67th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Variety Sketch Series   Leave a comment

variety sketch

The Best Variety Sketch Series is a new category that only started this year to recognize the sketch comedy from the nightly talk shows considering that they’re underrepresented in the usual Variety Series one.

Let’s begin with perennial nominee Saturday Night Live. Given that it’s the show’s 40th anniversary, it’s weird to know that in its 40-year run, it has only won the Variety categories twice (first in 1976 and again in 1993). While they’re not allowed to submit their special three-hour episode (as it’s nominated in the Special Class Program), they went with one of their funniest episodes this season with the Dwayne Johnson episode. The sketches are strong in that episode and even the Weekend Update was great. it’s a wise submission.

Momentum, however, is with current it-girl Amy Schumer for Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer. The submitted episode is the season opener “Last Fucakble Day” which includes a skit with Emmy winners Patricia Arquette, Tina Fey, and Julia Louis Dreyfus. That alone screams Emmy already. Then you also have the “Milk Lemonade” opening music video. It’s great that Inside went with this and not with the equally great 12 Angry Men parody since this episode features the more traditional variety sketch.

Drunk Ladies, on the other hand, went with its season finale “Drunk Ladies.” It also had featured a lot of guest actors (Courteney Cox, Alis Shawkat, Bobby Moynihan), The thing with Drunk Ladies episode is that it went with a special structured format of having one solid theme instead of their usual city-focused format. I wonder if it’ll affect that.

The season opener “Alien Imposters” was Key & Peele‘s submission for this year. The episode featured different skits starting from alien survivors to a Katy Perry themed final sketch which is creepy and hilarious at the same time.

Lastly, Portlandia went with a short film episodic type of submission by going with “The Story of Tom and Candace”, the 80s inspired drama about women power and rivalry over men with Fred Armisen in drag the whole episode. It’s actually a good submission if you don’t subscribe to any of these shows, as it gives a clearer feel of the series.

The race can be singled out between Saturday Night Live and Inside Amy Schumer. I’m a bit taken aback if they’ll easily go with momentum and reward Amy Schumer especially since she’s the hot in thing (plus an Emmy baity submission to boot). But then, I also can see them playing safe and rewarding SNL as it’s the variety institution show in this group and it benefits from name checking. Hmm I keep going back and forth with this one, but for now I think they’ll reward Amy Schumer elsewhere and SNL wins this inaugural Emmy.

PREDICTION: Saturday Night Live (NBC)
ALTERNATE: Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central)

Full rankings:
01. “Saturday Night Live
02. “Inside Amy Schumer
03. “Portlandia
04. “Key & Peele
05. “Drunk History

Click here to see the rest of my 2015 Emmy prediction analysis. You can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

88th Oscar Foreign Language Film: What Should the Philippines Submit?   4 comments

frontrunners

It’s that time of the year again when we try to clinch that historic first Oscar nomination for the Philippines in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Academy Awards. Back in 1953 when we first submitted Manuel Conde’s Genghis Khan up until to Lav Diaz’ Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan last year, the Philippines has yet to be nominated for an Oscar. Will the 27th time be the charm for us?

As per the Academy rulebook, to be qualified as an eligible submission, “The motion picture must be first released in the country submitting it no earlier than October 1, 2014, and no later than September 30, 2015, and be first publicly exhibited for at least seven consecutive days in a commercial motion picture theater for the profit of the producer and exhibitor.

It has to be cleared that this ISN’T the final shortlist from the Film Academy of the Philippines yet, and are just mere speculations. These are the potential contenders for 2014, divided into three different groups.

FRONTRUNNERS:

Kid Kulafu

KID KULAFU
Director: Paul Soriano
Screenplay: Froilan Medina
Cast: Robert Villar, Alessandra de Rossi, Cesar Montano, Alex Medina
Philippine Release Date: April 15, 2015

Before he became one of the world’s greatest boxers, Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao was a young boy living a hand-to-mouth existence, trying to survive from one day to the next.

This one hits so many boxes in the Academy already: Biopic? Yes. Success story? Yes. A known personality? Yes, I’m certain a lot of Americans do know his name. It received great to favorable reviews, and while this isn’t a huge box office hit (releasing a week before The Avengers isn’t really the most inspired playdate), it has enough reasons to be submitted by the country. As we all know, Oscars isn’t solely about being the greatest film out there and most of the time, it’s more about the politics. I can see the movie benefiting from a push from Star Cinema and/or Manny Pacquiao himself. While I don’t see a clear path for it giving us our first nomination, it will be a decent enough submission from the country.

Magkakabaung

MAGKAKABAUNG (The Coffin Maker)
Director: Jason Paul Laxamana
Screenplay: Jason Paul Laxamana
Cast: Allen Dizon, Gladys Reyes, Emilio Garcia, Chanel Latorre
Philippine Release Date: December 17, 2014

This Metro Manila Film Festival New Wave entry picked up Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for lead star Allen Dizon back in December. It has also toured a lot of foreign film festivals from Harlem (where Dizon, once again, won Best Actor) to Hanoi (winning NETPAC’s Best Asian Film and another plum for Dizon) and even had a screening in San Francisco already. So quality isn’t definitely its problem. That said, its weak aspect is how its campaign will be handled once submitted. It will need a lot of money for screenings, and that’ll hurt its chances. If submitted, it’ll be one of the better films we’ve submitted quality-wise, but one which we’ll also know won’t advance much in the competition.

Mula sa Kung Ano Ang Noon

MULA SA KUNG ANO ANG NOON (From What is Before)
Director: Lav Diaz
Screenplay: Lav Diaz
Cast: Hazel Orencio, Karenina Haniel, Mailes Kanapi, Noel Sto. Domingo, Roeder,
Philippine Release Date: August 12, 2015

The Philippines, 1972. Mysterious things are happening in a remote barrio. Wails are heard from the forest, cows are hacked to death, a man is found bleeding to death at the crossroad and houses are burned. Ferdinand E. Marcos announces Proclamation No. 1081 putting the entire country under Martial Law.

I’ve also written about this in my piece last year, thinking it will qualify then. That said, Mula still holds the title of winning the single highest honor for the country in a foreign filmfest with its Locarno victory last year. Black and white isn’t even a problem since the current champion in this category (Poland’s Ida) is also black and white. However, its long screentime (running time of 338 minutes) will hurt it. Sure the longest running film to win an Oscar (running for 431 minutes) is in this category with the Russian film “War and Peace” in 1968, but that was more than 40 years ago, and recently, films running for three hours plus have already suffered even in the Top 9 voting.  If the Academy failed to go for a more accessible and more buzzed Norte, I think the reception will be more lukewarm to this.

Taklub

TAKLUB (Trap)
Director: Brillante Mendoza
Screenplay: Honeylyn Joy Alipio
Cast: Nora Aunor, Julio Diaz, Lou Veloso, Aaron Rivera, Ruby Ruiz, Soliman Cruz
Philippine Release Date: September 16, 2015

After the Supertyphoon Haiyan, which changed the city of Tacloban in the Philippines into its horrendous state, the lives of Bebeth, Larry and Erwin intertwine. The survivors are left to search for the dead, while keeping their sanity intact, and protecting what little faith there may be left. A series of events continue to test their endurance.

It’s a bit surprising when you think about it that a Brillante Mendoza film hasn’t been entered yet for a submission despite his Cannes win and his stature now as one of the two (the other being Lav Diaz) who has mostly represented Philippines in world cinema. But then again, he hasn’t had many commercial releases for his film. His first miss was in 2012 when Venice entry Thy Womb was passed over for eventual submission, Hannah Espia’s Transit. This year can change though with his Un Certain Regard entry Taklub. Taklub has the early buzz already receiving good word of mouth from Cannes back in May and has been his best-reviewed film yet among his Cannes entries. It also touches a Filipino topic (survivors of the typhoon Haiyan which devastated the country in 2013), and has screen legend Nora Aunor in the forefront. This has almost all the elements…except for the commercial screening release. It was supposed to be release last August 19, but it did not materialize. Other websites report that it’s moving to September 16 (which will make it qualified), so unless it won’t make the screening schedule, we have a formidable contender with this.

POTENTIAL SHORTLIST MENTIONS:

Batch 2

Don’t be surprised to see any of these films in this group make it in the final shortlist.

BONIFACIO: ANG UNANG PANGULO
Director: Enzo Williams
Screenplay: Keiko Aquino, Carlo Obispo, Enzo WIlliams
Cast: Robin Padilla, Vina Morales, Daniel Padilla, Eddie Garcia, Jasmine Curtis
Philippine Release Date: December 25, 2014

It seems like every time we have a historical movie that tackles about our heroes, they instantly get a pass or an easy route to a shortlist mention (Supremo and El Presidente in 2012, Baler in 2008). Sure, “war” is a baity topic to the Academy as one can get, but we don’t have to be as predictable as that one.

EDNA
Director: Ronnie Lazaro
Screenplay: Lally Bucoy
Cast: Irma Adlawan, Ronnie Lazaro, Sue Prado, Kiko Matos, Nicco Manalo, Mara Marasigan
Philippine Release Date: May 20, 2015

We’ve already tried to submit two OFW (overseas Filipino workers) in the past: Rory Quintos’ Anak starring Vilma Santos in 2000 and Hannah Espia’s Transit in 2012 but to no avail. Heck, even countries submitting their own films with Filipino househelpers (Anthony Chen’s Iloilo) didn’t even work for them. So I doubt this one which got weaker reviews and poor box office would seal the deal.

HARI NG TONDO (WHERE I AM KING)
Director: Carlos Siguion-Reyna
Screenplay: Bibeth Orteza
Cast: Robert Arevalo, Cris Villonco, Rafa Siguion-Reyna, Rez Cortez, Liza Lorena, Aiza Seguerra
Philippine Release Date: October 1, 2014

The country has a tendency to submit lightweight entries (Crying Ladies in 2003, Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros in 2006, Ded na si Lolo in 2009, Ang Babae sa Septic Tank in 2011, and Bwakaw in 2012), so I wouldn’t be surprised if this ends up in the shortlist. That and the fact that it got a Toronto run at TIFF last year, and that we’ve submitted a Carlos Siguion-Reyna movie already in the past (1995’s Inagaw mo Ang Lahat Sa Akin), so it makes sense to see in the lineup.

HENERAL LUNA
Director: Jerrold Tarog
Screenplay: Henry Francia, E.A. Rocha, Jerrold Tarog
Cast: John Arcilla, Mon Confiado, Epi Quizon, Joem Bascon, Art Acuna, Arron Villaflor
Philippine Release Date: September 9, 2015

Directed by Jerrold Tarog, this huge epic film chronicles the life of one of the more prominent heroes in Filipino history — General Antonio Luna in his quest to achieve the promise of the Philippine Revolution. While there’s no mistaking that this will be met with good reviews, my only reservation with this is that it will cancel out with the other “hero” movie Bonifacio, in the same vein that both Supremo and El Presidente probably targeted the same demographics two years ago.

THE JANITOR
Director: Michael Tuviera
Screenplay: Aloy Adlawan
Cast: Dennis Trillo, Richard Gomez, Ricky Davao, Derek Ramsay, Nicco Manalo, Sunshine Garcia
Philippine Release Date: October 8, 2014

Picking up five wins at Cinemalaya last year and mostly praised for its superb technical achievements (and an Urian-nominated performance from lead actor Dennis Trillo), what hinders The Janitor is a bit similar to what the FAP used as its excuse reason for not picking Erik Matti’s On the Job in 2012: it portrays the country in a negative light.

KASAL (THE COMMITMENT)
Director: Joselito Altarejos
Screenplay: Joselito Altarejos, Zig Dulay
Cast: Arnold Reyes, Oliver Aquino, Rita Avila, Maureen Mauricio
Philippine Release Date: February 8, 2015

Joselito Altarejos’ drama about a gay couple whose relationship was put to test won the Best Picture award in the Directors’ Showcase from Cinemalaya last year, but pink film submissions (Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros fresh from Brokeback Mountain‘s loss in 2005) or with gay characters (Ded na si Lolo in 2008 and Bwakaw in 2012) both haven’t materialized us with nominations.

MORE CONTENDERS:

Batch 3

ENGLISH ONLY, PLEASE
Director: Dan Villegas
Screenplay: Antoinette Jadaone, Dan Villegas
Cast: Jennylyn Mercado, Derek Ramsay, Kean Cipriano, Cai Cortez, Jerald Napoles
Philippine Release Date: December 25, 2014

While the country hasn’t shied away from submitting comedies and/or romantic films in the previous years, we haven’t really submitted a rom-com yet. I don’t think this story of a Filipino-American who hired an English translator to convert a letter would be the first one to break that trend, regardless if the film was well received and performed well at the box office.

M: MOTHER’S MAIDEN NAME
Director: Zig Dulay
Screenplay: Zig Dulay
Cast: Zsazsa Padilla, Nicco Manalo, Gloria Sevilla, Dennis Padilla, Marx Topacio
Philippine Release Date: January 21, 2015

Zig Dulay’s MMFF New Wave entry from 2014 about a woman who learned of her final days is just too low-key in terms of buzz to compete with the heavyweight submissions of other countries.

THAT THING CALLED TADHANA
Director: Antoinette Jadaone
Screenplay: Antoinette Jadaone
Cast: Angelica Panganiban, JM de Guzman
Philippine Release Date: February 4, 2015

Now holding the record as the highest grossing independent film in Philippine history, there’s a reason why Tadhana generated goodwill both from critics and the public audience. But just like English Only Please, this might be seen as too lightweight compared to other possible contenders.

THE TRIAL
Director: Chito Rono
Screenplay: Ricky Lee
Cast: John Lloyd Cruz, Richard Gomez, Gretchen Barretto, Sylvia Sanchez, Enrique Gil, Jessy Mendiola
Philippine Release Date: October 15, 2014

A Chito Rono film has already been submitted once back in 2002 (Dekada 70), and like DekadaThe Trial boasts of a huge ensemble with some of the reputable names in acting leading the pack. What separates the former from this one though is the historical coverage of Dekada dealing with one of the most controversial times in history. The same can’t be said for this melodramatic family film about a mentally-challenged guy who was put into trial after being accused of raping his teacher.

FINAL VERDICT:

Like what I mentioned last year, it was a trial to see if a Lav Diaz film would work for the Academy, and sadly it didn’t. If the shorter and more “commercial” Norte didn’t manage to make the shortlist after all its Cannes buzz and even a US distributor, this might be telling of what the Philippines must submit. To “Mula’s” credit though, it’s not its fault that its longer and its in black white. Besides, it still holds the record for the single highest honor received by a local film in international festival history, so that might work in its favor. Magkakabaung, despite its wonderful international run, is still low-key to compete for the Oscars, and sponsorship and funding would be an issue. The same can’t be said for Kid Kulafu, and like what I mentioned, I can see Star Cinema and Manny Pacquiao giving it some sort of a push. Add the fact that it’s about the most prominent Filipino boxer in history (and one Americans are familiar with), and it will be a wise move on the FAP’s part. In the end, it depends whether Taklub manages to fulfill its commercial run requirement. It got great reviews in Cannes (even winning a special mention from the Ecumenical Jury), and a Brillante Mendoza film hasn’t been selected to compete yet, so he’s an overdue name to represent the country at the Oscars of some sort. I think the wise choice to submit this year is Mendoza’s “Taklub” or Soriano’s “Kid Kulafu” if the former won’t have a commercial run in before the deadline.

Let’s hope after the great submission last year, that the FAP won’t screw up this year.

You can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

Tit for Tat Local Film Awards 2014   Leave a comment

I really thought I’d be skipping this year, but better late than never! For the third year in my blog (see here 2012 and 2013 winners) From MMFF entries to Cinemalaya ones, and from Lav Diaz to Andoy Ranay (probably the only time you’ll see them in the same sentence), I’ve finally come up with a list of my own awards choices. This year, barbers, violators, janitors, and coffin makers are on the forefront as we search for tadhana and sparks. After eight months and lots of waiting in between, I present my picks for the best of local cinema in 2014.

best ensemble

gold LORNA
silver BARBER’S TALES

bronzeMARIQUINA

best first feature

gold VIOLATOR
silver DAGITAB

bronzeCHILDREN’S SHOW

visual effects

gold KUBOT: THE ASWANG CHRONICLES 2
silver SHAKE, RATTLE, AND ROLL 15
bronze FENG SHUI 2

sound editing and mixing

gold VIOLATOR
silver KUBOT: THE ASWANG CHRONICLES 2
bronze THE JANITOR

original song

gold “BAHALA NA” (Tak Back and You’re Dead)
silver “KAKAIBABE” (Diary ng Panget)
bronze “SIGLE LANG NANG SIGE” (Hari ng Tondo)

original score

gold MARIQUINA
silver LORNA
bronze DAGITAB

hairstyling and makeup

gold THE GIFTED
silver KUBOT: THE ASWANG CHRONICLES 2
bronze SHAKE, RATTLE, AND ROLL 15

editing

gold BARBER’S TALES
silver #Y
bronze VIOLATOR

costume

gold LORNA
silver THE GIFTED
bronze KUBOT: THE ASWANG CHRONICLES 2

cinematography

gold MULA SA KUNG ANO ANG NOON
silver DAGITAB
bronze  VIOLATOR

prod design

gold BARBER’S TALES
silver  KUBOT: THER ASWANG CHRONICLES 2
bronze ESPRIT DE CORPS

best breakthrough actress

gold NADINE LUSTRE (Diary ng Panget)
silver KARENINA HANIEL (Mula sa Kung Ano Ang Noon)
bronze COLEEN GARCIA (#Y)

best breakthrough actor

gold  SANDINO MARTIN (Esprit de Corps)
silver MATT DACLAN (Soap Opera)
bronze  RAFA SIGUION-REYNA (Hari ng Tondo)

best screenplay

gold  GIANCARLO ABRAHAN (Dagitab)
silver ANTOINETTE JADAONE (That Thing Called Tadhana)
bronze SIGRID ANDREA BERNARDO (Lorna)

best supp actor

gold ANDY BAIS (Violator)
silver MIGGS CUADERNO (Children’s Show)
bronze MARTIN DEL ROSARIO (Dagitab)

best supp actress

gold SYLVIA SANCHEZ (The Trial)
silver MARIA ISABEL LOPEZ (Lorna)
bronze GLADYS REYES (Barber’s Tales)

best actor

gold ALLEN DIZON (Magkakabaung)
silver ARNOLD REYES (Kasal)
bronze  JOHN LLOYD CRUZ (The Trial)

best actress

gold EUGENE DOMINGO (Barber’s Tales)
silver ANGELICA PANGANIBAN (That Thing Called Tadhana)
bronze  SHAMAINE BUENCAMINO (Lorna)

best directing

gold JUN LANA (Barber’s Tales)
silver ANTOINETTE JADAONE (That Thing Called Tadhana)
bronze LAV DIAZ (Mula sa Kung Ano Ang Noon)

best picture

gold BARBER’S TALES
silver THAT THING CALLED TADHANA
bronze  MULA SA KUNG ANO ANG NOON

That was it! As a recap, here are the winners for the 2014 Tit for Tat Local Film Awards:

PICTURE: Barber’s Tales
DIRECTOR: Jun Lana, Barber’s Tales
LEAD ACTOR: Allen Dizon, Magkakabaung
LEAD ACTRESS: Eugene Domingo, Barber’s Tales
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Andy Bais, Violator
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Sylvia Sanchez, The Trial
SCREENPLAY: Giancarlo Abrahan, Dagitab
MALE BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE: Sandino Martin, Esprit de Corps
FEMALE BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE: Nadine Lustre, Diary ng Panget
ART DIRECTION: Barber’s Tales
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Mula sa Kung Ano Ang Noon
COSTUME DESIGN: Lorna
EDITING: Barber’s Tales
HAIRSTYLING AND MAKE UP: The Gifted
ORIGINAL SCORE: Mariquina
ORIGINAL SONG: Bahala Na (Talk Back and You’re Dead)
SOUND: Violator
VISUAL EFFECTS:
Kubot: The Aswang Chronicles 2
FIRST FEATURE: Eduardo Dayao, Violator
ENSEMBLE: Lorna

See you again next year! What are your favorites from 2014?

If you want, you can follow me on Twitter and let’s talk about it more: @nikowl

67th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Writing and Directing in a Movie or Mini Series   Leave a comment

Hi there again, you’re still reading the continuous 2015 Emmy predictions over here at Tit for Tat. We’re currently still doing the longform categories which combine both the television movies and limited series. For this one, we’d be focusing on the writing and directing categories. In other awards show, these two categories are usually swept by one movie (in the case of Oscars) or one record (in the case of Grammys). But the Emmys doesn’t play like that. In the last five years, only two times did one show manage to win both (Downton Abbey in 2011 and Game Change in 2012). If we extend it to the last 15 years, that would be seven times. Let’s see where this year lies.

longform directing

First up, it’s directing! Seven directorial efforts were nominated this year, but we can easily cross out some already. The Missing hasn’t been nominated for miniseries, and this is its sole nom, so it’s unlikely for it to win. Houdini got its lead actor Adrien Brody a nomination, but otherwise, it’s almost shut out as well. The season opener of American Horror Story: Freak Show is as flashy and grandiose and over the top as one can expect from Ryan Murphy, but in this case, the nomination is its reward. Any of the four other remaining contenders have a chance to snatch this category. Bessie is a template player for biopics, and they have rewarded a lot of those in the past (Temple Grandin in 2010, Game Change in 2012, Behind the Candelabra in 2013 and like Bessie, those are all from HBO). The Honourable Woman, while underperforming in terms of nominations, has everything that looks baity with its direction — big speeches? Check! explosions? Check! Tense-filled scenes? Check. Wolf Hall is another of those go-to showy directing pieces the Emmy usually reward (aside from biopics) just like Downton Abbey in 2011, Little Dorrit in 2009, and Elizabeth I in 2006. Ultimately, I think it’s Oscar nominee Lisa Cholodenko’s to lose. Her four part directorial event in Olive Kitteridge had critics raving to no end, and an Emmy will definitely be deserved.

Prediction: Lisa Cholodenko, “Olive Kitteridge”
Alternate: Peter Kosminsky, Wolf Hall”

Full Rankings:
01. Lisa Cholodenko, “Olive Kitteridge”
02. Peter Kosminsky, Wolf Hall”
03. Hugo Block, The Honourable Woman”
04. Dee Rees, Bessie”
05. Ryan Murphy, “American Horror Story: Freak Show (Monster Among Us)”
06. Uli Edel, “Houdini”
07. Tom Shankland, “The Missing

longform writing

Onto the writing side, it’s basically an Olive Kitteridge vs. Wolf Hall redux all over again. If they want to spread the wealth just like usual, then we can see a Wolf Hall win here, which is plausible on its own considering that they’re into British period pieces as well. But then, the new voting system where in everyone can easily vote in almost all categories without the need to prove such will make it an easy checking for Olive Kitteridge here. As for the other nominees, Hello Ladies: The Movie, while great on its own, might be seen as too lightweight in contrast to the other serious nominees. Bessie‘s direction has more chances than its writing, which goes without saying that it’s likely it will just lose both. The same actually applies for The Honourable Woman. The only other spoiler I can see here is Oscar winner John Ridley’s work for the pilot of American Crime, which picked up a lot of nominations, so there’s a chance of that really happening.

Prediction: Peter Straughan, “Wolf Hall”
Alternate: Jane Anderson, “Olive Kitteridge

Full Rankings:
01. Peter Straughan, “Wolf Hall”
02. Jane Anderson, “Olive Kitteridge
03. John Ridley, American Crime: Episode One” 
04. Hugo BlickThe Honourable Woman”
05. Dee Rees, Christopher Cleveland, Bettina Gillois, Horton Foote, “Bessie”
06. Stephen Merchant, Gene Stupnitsky, Lee Eisenberg, “Hello Ladies: The Movie”

Check in soon to see the rest of my 2015 Emmy prediction analysis. For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

67th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Television Movie   Leave a comment

tv movie

And we’re back! As another TV year ends, a new Emmy season begins! For the next month leading to the Primetime Emmys on September 20, we will be covering 30 different races ranging from dramas to comedies up to reality shows and variety sketches! This year, we begin with one of the easiest races of the night… Outstanding Television Movie.

It’s a tad ironic that this category has six nominees this year considering how weak the year for TV Movie was. But if you look at the nominated works this year, two out of these six are individual nominations for their shows. National Geographic Channel received another nod for their Klling trilogy, this time it’s the religious themed Killing Jesus, which surprised me how low key it was that it didn’t even receive nominations for costumes or even hair styling.

Then there’s Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Curtain, Poirot’s Last Case, which obviously signifies the last episode of this 25-year long TV adaptation. After 13 seasons and 70 episodes, the series ends with Curtain, where Poirot goes back to the setting of the first episode back in 1989. It seemed like the sentiment is strong with this one to get a nomination, but not enough for a win.

HBO has three nominations for this year, which is one more than their usual, but two of those are really minor. Nightingaledespite getting a Lead Actor nom for David Oyelowo, failed to receive any traction outside of that when it could have been an easy bet in directing and writing too. Stephen Merchant’s Hello Ladies: The Movie received Screenplay nomination outside of TV Movie, but nothing else aside from that. Also, this could be seen as lightweight as compared to the other contenders.

But really, this category won’t be complete without mentioning Olivier Dahan’s Grace of Monaco. The journey of this flop Nicole Kidman starrer about the biopic of Oscar winning actress turned princess Grace Kelley is astounding to say the least. What started as a prime Oscar contender in 2013 was suddenly canceled and moved to March 2014 only to be given a second life as the Cannes opener in 2014. But then, it was welcomed with no open arms until it was announced to be debuting on Lifetime earlier this year. When you think about it, I won’t be surprised if this starts the trend of failed Oscar bait films moving to TV to snatch Emmy nominations instead.

Then again, this category is basically Bessie‘s to lose. Receiving 12 nominations including three acting nods plus writing and directing, this HBO vehicle about the life of legendary blues figure Bessie Smith stands out from the rest of this mediocre pack. Had this been a feature film, it would have been in the running for some Oscars and not the other way around.

To predict an alternate is a bit misleading considering that Bessie is far and away ahead here. Might as well go with Grace of Monaco to troll the hell out of this boring category. Bottom line is, it’s another year and another HBO movie winning (and deservedly so).

PREDICTION: Bessie (HBO)
ALTERNATE: Grace of Monaco (Lifetime) — LMAO

Full rankings:
01. “Bessie
02. “Grace of Monaco
03. “Hello Ladies: The Movie
04. “Killing Jesus
05. “Nightingale
06. “Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Curtain, Poirot’s Last Case

Check in soon to see the rest of my 2015 Emmy prediction analysis. You can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl