67th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Leading Actor in a Limited Series or Movie   Leave a comment

longform actor

We’re now down to the lead acting contenders for the TV Movies and limited series of the past year. First up, it’s the gentlemen which contains an eclectic group of Oscar and Emmy champs as well as veterans and newbies.

Nominated last year in the Comedy Lead Actor category is Emmy winner Ricky Gervais for the Derek special. I’ve predicted him last year in a different category given how baity his performance in here is, but if that can’t even topple a fourth Jim Parsons win, I wonder how it would fare in a sea of more dramatic performances.

Veteran actor Mark Rylance received the biggest nomination of his career yet with his nod for Wolf Hall. Playing Thomas Cromwell in the Best Limited Series nominee gained him huge critical support. The only con I can see is that he’s not that big of a name as compared to the others in this category and that he’s pretty much lowkey in the initial episode of the series. That said, it’s one I can still see pulling off a win.

Golden Globe nominee David Oyelowo has the baitiest role in the whole group with his one-man show performance in Nightingale. Basically, he dominates the whole series as he appears in all the scenes the whole time. This one makes him a very competitive contender and his goodwill as an uprising actor definitely helps his narrative.

Playing the lead male role in Olive Kitteridge is Academy Award nominee Richard Jenkins. While the whole series (beginning with the title) belongs to Frances McDormand, Jenkins holds his own against the tour de force actress. It also helps that he’s a respected veteran who shined the most in the earlier part of the series, so while others might not finish watching it, Jenkins’ parts have been seen already.

We also have Oscar winner Timothy Hutton making a comeback with this Emmy nomination for American Crime.  As Russ Skokie, Hutton takes the dramatic gravitas of a father finding justice for his son via  avery committed performance. However, the whole series, despite being showered with lots of major nominations, have been pretty much low-key and a bit upstaged by the HBO ones.

Closing the group is another Oscar winner, 2002 Best Actor Adrien Brody, playing the icon Harry Houdini in the History adaptation of the magician’s life. Brody was nominated by the Screen Actors Guild for this performance earlier this year which means he has the support from the Academy. That said, one can feel that it’s a combination of his status as an Oscar winner and the role he plays that lead to this role.

Overall, this category isn’t as slamdunk as one  might think. Richard Jenkins can easily ride the wave of olive Kitteridge (if there really is among the Academy), but Mark Rylance usually fits the glvoe of a well supported British underdog. Plus, he has the reviews to back it up. Then there’s Oyelowo who basically is on every frame of his show and Ricky Gervais can easily be a name check beneficiary. In the end, I’ll go with Mark Rylance, but watch out as if anyone who wins this might be winning this by a hair.

Prediction: Mark Rylance, “Wolf Hall”
Alternate: Richard Jenkins, “Olive Kitteridge”

Full Rankings:
01. Mark Rylance, “Wolf Hall”
02. Richard Jenkins, “Olive Kitteridge”
03. David Oyelowo, “Nightingale
04. Timothy Hutton, “American Crime
05. Ricky Gervais, “Derek Special
06. Adrien Brody, “Houdini

Check my other 2015 Emmy prediction analysis here.

For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

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