We reach the last acting category for the longform acting ones, as we discuss the leading ladies of the past year. All of them Oscar nominated with three of them Best Actress winners from the 1990s. Let’s begin.
Emma Thompson once again sneaked an Emmy nomination basically without any campaign at all. This time, it’s for the live rendition of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Live From the Lincoln Center. This reminded me of Thompson’s nomination for The Song of Lunch. I doubt she’d even bother attending, but then this just won Outstanding Special Class Program at last night’s Creative Emmys, so that might mean that it has its followers.
Pulling off a surprise win last year is Jessica Lange over supposed frontrunner Cicely Tyson for her work in American Horror Story: Coven. This time around, Lange is nominated again for Freak Show where she plays circus owner Elsa Mars. Lange takes a backseat during most of the season’s run, but she was front and center in the initial pilot episode including a big reveal in the end. This is also the last time they can reward Lange as she officially retired from the AHS series.
Queen Latifah receives her second career Emmy nomination seven years after her first for Best TV Movie winner Bessie. Playing the title role Bessie Smith, Latifah has probably name checked the amount of drama and acting she was required to do in this. It’s a very charming performance using Latifah’s own voice in her singing parts, and one that could have garnered her an Oscar nomination too. If Bessie continues to have a huge contingent, then this might be the expected surprise (a bit) win.
While The Honourable Woman hasn’t been as well-received as initially expected, I think Maggie Gyllenhaal has way far more support than the whole show itself. Already winning the Golden Globe back in January, Maggie carries the whole series on her back especially during the first hour of the limited series. It includes a scene of her running and doing a lot of crying, so that might siphon votes her way.
Ten years after pulling off that upset in 2005 for Desperate Housewives, Felicity Huffman is back in the Emmy race for her role as racist and defensive mom Barbara Hanlon in American Crime. Huffman does a lot of strong acting in this series, garnering critical support, but what works the best in her favor is that she’s a respected actress which commands a lot of support from her peers. That said, she’s up against equally respected (if not more) co-nominees, so chances are, this is a welcome back nod for her.
Lastly, we have SAG winner Frances McDormand rounding the group with her performance as the title role of Olive Kitteridge. McDormand gets to play a gamut of emotions and situations in this performance, one backed by the actors guild and the critics alike. Considering Olive did well in the nominations, it’s ideal to think that McDormand is on her way to achieve that E and complete the acting trifecta wins this year.
Prediction: Frances McDormand, “Olive Kitteridge”
Alternate: Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Honourable Woman”
01. Frances McDormand, “Olive Kitteridge”
02. Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Honourable Woman”
03. Queen Latifah, “Bessie”
04. Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
05. Felicity Huffman, “American Crime”
06. Emma Thompson, “Live from the Lincoln Center: Sweeney Todd: The Demon barber of Fleet Street”
Check my other 2015 Emmy prediction analysis here.
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