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68th Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations Predictions Part 2: TV Movie and Limited Series   Leave a comment

Before Anthony Anderson and Lauren Graham announce the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards nominees on July 14, here’s a preview on who can get nominated come Thursday. Yesterday, we tackled the Reality and Variety Series, this time the focus is on the TV Movies and the Limited Series. The past few years saw the rise in the limited series genre, now even eclipsing the acclaim of the current dramas on the boob tube. This year, we can have a rehash of the 2013 race when it’s Ryan Murphy vs. Fargo. Here are my predictions in all eight longform series categories.

tv movie

OUTSTANDING TELEVISION MOVIE:
• All the Way (HBO)
• Confirmation (HBO)
• The Dresser (Starz)
• Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (BBC)
• A Very Murray Christmas (Netflix)

Sixth nominee: Luther (BBC America)

While the Jay Roach political drama has this Emmy wrapped up already, let’s discuss which ones will join it as co-nominees. As for starters, there’s the other HBO political film Confirmation, which is basically the runner-up HBO TV movie of the year. We always have those (Hemingway & Gellhorn to Game Change, Taking Chance to Grey GardensYou Don’t Know Jack to Temple Grandin.. you get the point). After its surprise win haul back in 2013 taking home three major Emmys, they’ll surely nominate the new Sherlock special too. Expect the Emmys to fall in love with The Dresser, albeit it being on Starz; after all, it stars two acting veterans, an Oscar-winning material, and it’s British. As for that last spot, considering how much Netflix is great at campaigning, I’m going with that A Very Murray Christmas from Emmy winner Bill Murray.

miniseries

OUTSTANDING LIMITED SERIES:
• American Crime (ABC)
• Fargo (FX)
• The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX)
• The Night Manager (AMC)
• Roots (History Channel)

Sixth nominee: Show Me A Hero (HBO)

As mentioned, the big story here is The People v. O.J. Simpson, which I expect to dominate the nominations. It was critically acclaimed, it had Ryan Murphy in a very prominent case in Murica, and it’s star-studded. Considering how much Ryan Murphy’s pilot seasons always go well with Emmy nods, expect this to be a shoo-in here. Not to be left behind of course is another FX gem, Fargo, whose first season won the Emmy of this category too. It premiering last year and being more subtle than the showy OJ showcase could cost it wins, but not nominations. ABC’s American Crime (not to be confused with American Crime Story — we saw what you did there, Ryan Murphy) is also poised to come back. After all, it’s ABC’s only push here and had a decent showing with the nods last year. Roots is one of the most iconic and memorable shows in TV history and is still an Emmy record holder, so expect the new version to at least be acknowledged with a nom. That last spot is tricky — there’s HBO’s Show Me A Hero which feels like an afterthought at this stage, but it’s HBO’s only shot here plus it stars one of Hollywood’s current it boys Oscar Isaac. But there’s also AMC’s The Night Manager which they are campaigning aggressively, stars Tom Hiddleston and multiple Emmy nominee Hugh Laurie. I can see it both go ways, but for now let’s stick with the latter.

longform lead actor

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:
• Bryan Cranston, “All the Way”
• Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock: The Abominable Bride”
• Cuba Gooding Jr., “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
• Ian McKellen, “The Dresser”
• Courtney B. Vance, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
• Patrick Wilson, “Fargo”

Seventh nominee: Oscar Isaac, “Show Me A Hero”

Talk about an insanely competitive category. You literally can fill this group with at least a dozen names. To be frank, I think only Bryan Cranston is a lock here. His LBJ performance which previously netted him a Tony will likely join an Emmy as well (will Oscar follow?). To a certain extent, I think Courtney B. Vance is also safe considering he’s the breakout performer among the lads in the show. Benedict Cumberbatch pulled off an upset in an equally strong category back in 2013 (against Mark Ruffalo, Idris Elba, and Fargo guys) so it’s not impossible for him to pull one off again this time. Then this is where it gets tricky. Patrick Wilson is probably my fourth, though the passive, subtle role can somehow hurt him especially in an insane category like this one. That said, I’m sticking with him. I also think they won’t let the opportunity of nominating any of The Dresser actors pass by. It’s tough between Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins and Sir Ian McKellen, so you can just go eitherway (maybe even both get in?), and for now I went with McKellen. Cuba Gooding Jr. just feels like he’ll be a part of the OJ lovefest, and considering he’s playing the titular character, I’d go predict him as well. Watch out for Oscar Isaac though considering how much he’s an in-demand actor now. Other notable names to consider are The Night Manager‘s Tom Hiddleston, Bill Murray in A Very Murray Christmas, Idris Elba in Luther, and even Sir Ben Kingsley in Tut.

longform lead actress

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:
• Kirsten Dunst, “Fargo”
• Felicity Huffman, “American Crime”
• Rachel McAdams, “True Detective”
• Audra McDonald, “Lady Day at Emersons Bar and Grill”
• Sarah Paulson, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
• Kerry Washington, “Confirmation”

Seventh nominee: Blythe Danner, “Madoff”

Unlike its male counterpart, the Lead Actress category is wider than usual. Of course, one expects that Confirmation‘s Kerry Washington, Fargo‘s Kristen Dunst, and People v. OJ Simpson‘s Sarah Paulson are all but sure now. After that, there’s Emmy winner Audra McDonald for her HBO special too. We can also see two American Crime actresses in this category, but it’s safer to go with Emmy  winner Felicity Huffman. As for that last spot, there’s her co-star Lili Taylor, and Emmy favorite Blythe Danner in Madoff, but let’s go daring a bit and predict that her Oscar luck would extend here so I say Rachel McAdams for True Detective. longform supp actor

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:
• Sterling K. Brown, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
• Ted Danson, “Fargo”
• Martin Freeman, “Sherlock: The Abominable Bride”
• Hugh Laurie, “The Night Manager”
• David Schwimmer, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
• Bokeem Woodbine, “Fargo”

Seventh nominee: John Travolta, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”

What it it with male acting categories that they are really jampacked this year? The Supporting one is full of potential categories, and there’s a chance that it can go The Normal Heart way with four bids in it. That said, I’ll go predictable and include only two: Sterling K. Brown, and David Schwimmer’s TV comeback. That said, if they go star heavy, there’s John Travolta and Nathan Lane, both of whom can benefit from name-checking from voters. Martin Freeman won this category too back in 2013 against The Normal Heart group, so unless the lukewarm reviews for The Abominable Bride catches on, then he’s safe here. Ted Danson is a TV veteran, but he’s no easy bid as well, though being the veteran among Fargo supporting actors might help him. I might also be personally bias here with my prediction of Bokeem Woodbine, also from Fargo, but they nominated Alison Tolman two years ago, so there’s a precedent. Lastly, if The Night Manager is indeed a successful campaign, still Emmyless Hugh Laurie can sneak in a nomination for this as well. That said there’s also Forest Whitaker for Roots, Frank Langella for All the Way, and Denis O’Hare of AHS: Hotel to consider.

longform supp actress

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:
• Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Hotel”
• Connie Britton, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
• Regina King, “American Crime”
• Melissa Leo, “All the Way”
• Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Hotel”
• Jean Smart, “Fargo”

Seventh nominee: Olivia Colman, “The Night Manager”

I might be underestimating American Horror Story: Hotel this year, but not in this category. I’ve dismissed it in previous years only for it to come back stronger, though Jessica Lange’s absence really hurt it. That said, double nods for Kathy Bates and Sarah Paulson are still safe bets. Speaking of safe bets, Emmy veteran Jean Smart’s cold, conniving matriarch in Fargo might even be competitive for the win. Meanwhile, a lesser known actress would definitely not be in contention considering the small of the role, but it’s Oscar and Emmy winner Melissa Leo in a supportive wife role in All the Way so it’s safe to say she’s getting in. Lastly, to continue my narrative of strong OJ Simpson love, I’m predicting that the scene-chewing performance of Connie Britton will give her another nod (I mean she got in for Nashville).

longform directing

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:
• All the Way (Jay Roach)
• Fargo, “Loplop” (Keith Gordon)
• The Night Manager (Susanne Bier)
• The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, “From The Ashes of Tragedy” (Ryan Murphy)
• The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, “The Race Card” (John Singleton)
• Roots, “Night Four” (Bruce Beresford)

Seventh nominee: Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (Douglas MacKinnon)

I went safe with my predictions here — only two OJ episodes, one by Ryan Murphy and one by John Singleton, then Jay Roach will surely get in as well. There’s a Fargo episode in between, from the same one who pulled off the upset win back in the first season, and then there’s Oscar winner Susanne Bier in a well-campaigned British program. Last one is between a Sherlock episode and a Roots finale from a popular 80s movie director, and since I think Sherlock won’t go as perfectly lucky as the last time, I give the edge to Roots.

longform writing

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:
• All the Way (Robert Schenkkan)
• American Crime, “Episode Seven” (John Ridley)
• Fargo, “Palindrome” (Noah Hawley)
• The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, “From The Ashes of Tragedy” (Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski)
• The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” (D.V. DeVincentis)
• Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (Steven Moffat & Mark Gatiss)

Seventh nominee: The Night Manager (David Farr)

Like in Directing, went safe here by including only two OJ Simpson episodes, All the Way, and a Fargo one too. But instead of The Night Manager, I replaced it with another British series — Sherlock considering it won this category the last time it contended. And instead of Roots,  we have Oscar winner John Ridley’s penned American Crime episode to round up the group.

Next up, the LOL shows of the comedy categories as we continue our 68th Emmy nomination prediction series tomorrow.

Talk to me about it on Twitter: @nikowl

 

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73rd Golden Globe Awards Winner Predictions   Leave a comment

The Golden Globes weekend has officially started! In two days, the first televised awards ceremony of the season begins with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) announces their winners of the 73rd Golden Globe Awards in a night filled with chocolates, booze, and stars. This year, Denzel Washington is the recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille distinction, as Ricky Gervais comes back as the host after three years. With Tom Hanks to Mel Gibson, and Channing Tatum to Eva Longoria expected to attend, let’s predict who will end up heading to the Globes stage to give their awards speeches on Sunday (Monday here in the Philippines) in all 25 categories.

FILM:

film drama picture

Best Motion Picture – Drama
“Carol”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Revenant”
“Room”
“Spotlight”

PREDICTION: Spolight. Despite showing some weakness, this still remains as the strongest contenders among the dramatic nominees here. It will still win this category pretty easily, and there’s a chance it can only end up winning this one ala 12 Years a Slave two years ago.

ALTERNATE: Mad Max: Fury Road. This can basically be any of the films here. Carol, albeit leading the nominations is a weak contender here and can even be emptyhanded. It can also be The Revenant after snubbing eventual Oscar winner Alejandro Inarritu last year. But Mad Max is that populist and critical choice that the Golden Globes are known for.

film drama actor

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Bryan Cranston (“Trumbo”)
Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Revenant”)
Michael Fassbender (“Steve Jobs”)
Eddie Redmayne (“The Danish Girl”)
Will Smith (“Concussion”)

PREDICTION: Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Revenant”). Unlike the Oscars, the Globes haven’t been cruel to Leo winning twice in the past already. That said, being the Oscar frontrunner helps him win his third Globe come Sunday.

ALTERNATE: Michael Fassbender (“Steve Jobs”). Fassbender is a Golden Globe winner waiting to happen, and he’s now on his third nomination in five years. In a Leo-less field, he’s probably sweeping now.

film drama actress

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Cate Blanchett (“Carol”)
Brie Larson (“Room”)
Rooney Mara (“Carol”)
Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn”)
Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”)

PREDICTION: Brie Larson (“Room”). Room overperformed with nominations at the Globes this year, which makes me think that Larson got this one.

ALTERNATE: Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn”). Watch out for Saoirse Ronan though who’s every inch in this race and can still steal the momentum from Larson.

film comedy

Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
“The Big Short”
“Joy”
“The Martian”
“Spy”
“Trainwreck”

PREDICTION: “The Big Short”. With The Big Short only getting stronger as each day passes, it can start its Best Picture road by winning this category on Sunday.

ALTERNATE: “The Martian”. The Globes has been into some hot water after placing this film in the Comedy genre, so I think it will somehow affect its chances here if it ends up winning. As a reminder, the film’s comedy placement won only by a single vote so there’s that.

film comedy actor

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
Christian Bale (“The Big Short”)
Steve Carell (“The Big Short”)
Matt Damon (“The Martian”)
Al Pacino (“Danny Collins”)
Mark Ruffalo (“Infinitely Polar Bear”)

PREDICTION: Matt Damon (“The Martian”). Considering that Matt Damon hasn’t won a Golden Globe yet for acting, this makes sense as a place to reward The Martian especially if it ain’t winning Best Picture.

ALTERNATE: Steve Carell (“The Big Short”). While there’s still a path for Carell to win, the fact that they placed Christian Bale here will siphon some votes among The Big Short fans here.

film comedy actress

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy
Jennifer Lawrence (“Joy”)
Melissa McCarthy (“Spy”)
Amy Schumer (“Trainwreck”)
Maggie Smith (“The Lady in the Van”)
Lily Tomlin (“Grandma”)

PREDICTION: Jennifer Lawrence (“Joy”). This category feels like the dire one last year, and Lawrence is still likely the only Oscar contender here (yup, we’re still not counting on the Dame), so maybe an easy #3 for Lawgend.

ALTERNATE: Amy Schumer (“Trainwreck”). Hollywood’s it girl for 2015 is off to have an even greater 2016, and the Globes love that kind of coronation so this win is really possible.

film supp actor

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Paul Dano (“Love & Mercy”)
Idris Elba (“Beasts of No Nation”)
Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”)
Michael Shannon (“99 Homes”)
Sylvester Stallone (“Creed”)

PREDICTION: Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”). Rylance is an unlikely Golden Globe winner, but at this stage he’s really the strongest contender so I say why not?

ALTERNATE: Sylvester Stallone (“Creed”). This type of rewarding a veteran and even a huge moviestar is such a Globes-y thing to do, so count on the HFPA starfuckers to throw him a moment.

film supp actress

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Jane Fonda (“Youth”)
Jennifer Jason Leigh (“The Hateful Eight”)
Helen Mirren (“Trumbo”)
Alicia Vikander (“Ex Machina”)
Kate Winslet (“Steve Jobs”)

PREDICTION: Alicia Vikander (“Ex Machina”). They love Alicia Vikander so much that they nominated her twice, and considering she has no chance in Drama Lead Actress, they’ll reward her here instead.

ALTERNATE: Jennifer Jason Leigh (“The Hateful Eight”). The Globes are more appreciative of Tarantino performances, and this can signal that she’s still in the race like the trajectory of Christoph Waltz in 2012.

film directing

Best Director – Motion Picture
Todd Haynes (“Carol”)
Alejandro G. Iñárritu (“The Revenant”)
Tom McCarthy (“Spotlight”)
George Miller (“Mad Max: Fury Road”)
Ridley Scott (“The Martian”)

PREDICTION: George Miller (“Mad Max: Fury Road”). Surprisingly enough, this is Miller’s first ever Globe nomination so this can be his lifetime award already from the HFPA.

ALTERNATE: Ridley Scott (“The Martian”). Then there’s three-time nominee Ridley Scott who also hasn’t won here yet, and while he has already directed a Globe BP winning movie, Miller has the stronger “technical directorial achievement” narrative.

film screenplay

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Emma Donoghue (“Room”)
Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer (“Spotlight”)
Charles Randolph, Adam McKay (“The Big Short”)
Aaron Sorkin (“Steve Jobs”)
Quentin Tarantino (“The Hateful Eight”)

PREDICTION: Charles Randolph, Adam McKay (“The Big Short”). Never underestimate this contender. Like what I’ve said, it’s just on an upward trajectory for now. Considering the last three wins here are upsets, I’ll give this duo the edge.

ALTERNATE: Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer (“Spotlight”). It’s a battle between the two Best Picture contenders, but Spotlight has the edge in terms of winning more awards in Screenplay thus far.

film animated

Best Animated Feature Film
“Anomalisa”
“The Good Dinosaur”
“Inside Out”
“The Peanuts Movie”
“Shaun the Sheep Movie”

PREDICTION: “Inside Out”. This remains the critical pick of the year, and with huge box office performance to boot. So I’d say it’s still ahead.

ALTERNATE: “Anomalisa”. This isn’t a Globes type of pick, but it has the critics behind it, and the HFPA are more welcoming to stop motion type of animation.

film foreign language film

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language
“The Brand New Testament”
“The Club”
“The Fencer”
“Mustang”
“Son of Saul”

PREDICTION: “Son of Saul”. This is still the frontrunner and no film has yet appeared to challenge it for the win. It has the prestige and the studio to nab this win.

ALTERNATE: “Mustang”. Probably Mustang comes the closest to an alternate, but I still see it falling short.

film score

Best Original Score
Carter Burwell (“Carol”)
Alexandre Desplat (“The Danish Girl”)
Ennio Morricone (“The Hateful Eight”)
Daniel Pemberton (“Steve Jobs”)
Ryuichi Sakamoto Alva Noto (“The Revenant”)

PREDICTION: Ennio Morricone (“The Hateful Eight”). They won’t let a year pass by without giving Harvey a win so it’s between his two films here. I’d give the edge to Ennio as he’s a veteran in this category.

ALTERNATE: Carter Burwell (“Carol”). This can be the place to reward Carol. After all, it’s rare for the top nomination earner movie to not take home at least one prize.

film song

Best Original Song
“Love Me Like You Do” from “Fifty Shades of Grey”
“One Kind of Love” from “Love & Mercy”
“See You Again” from “Furious 7”
“Simple Song No. 3” from “Youth”
“Writing’s on the Wall” from “Spectre”

PREDICTION: “One Kind of Love” from “Love & Mercy”. While this has been ineligible at the Oscars, it actually makes more sense considering that most winners here tend to get snubbed there.

ALTERNATE: “See You Again” from “Furious 7”. The pop songs are probably canceling each other out, but if there’s one who can overcome this, it’s a song about a Hollywood actor who passed away.

TELEVISION:

tv drama

Best TV Series – Drama

“Empire”
“Game of Thrones”
“Mr. Robot”
“Narcos”
“Outlander”

PREDICTION: “Mr. Robot”. With the HFPA’s love for cable shows, it’s not surprising if they went with this critically loved breakout show from USA.

ALTERNATE: “Empire”. One has to go back nine years ago in 2006 when the top TV drama series went to a network show and that was for ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. The closest comparison to how huge that show was in recent years was the Empire mania that has happened last year .

tv drama actor

Best Actor in a TV Series – Drama
Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”)
Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”)
Wagner Moura (“Narcos”)
Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”)
Liev Schreiber (“Ray Donovan”)

PREDICTION: Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”). Nine of the last 15 years here all came from freshman shows. But considering that the Globes tend to do a package deal of awarding a show + its lead actor (Homeland and Danes, Transparent and Tambor, Brooklyn Nine Nine and Samberg, Girls and Dunham and so on and so forth), Malek makes sense as the winner here.

ALTERNATE: Wagner Moura (“Narcos”). Following that pattern above, maybe its Narcos + Moura who might end up as the winners here.

tv drama actress

Best Actress in a TV Series – Drama
Caitriona Balfe (“Outlander”)
Viola Davis (“How to Get Away With Murder”)
Eva Green (“Penny Dreadful”)
Taraji P. Henson (“Empire”)
Robin Wright (“House of Cards”)

PREDICTION: Taraji P. Henson (“Empire”). Just like at the Emmys, I predict that this will be a Taraji vs. Viola battle. I give the edge to Taraji P. Henson though since Cookie is the type of role that Globes are made to award.

ALTERNATE: Viola Davis (“How to Get Away With Murder”). It can easily be Viola too considering she made history with her Emmy win, but for some reason the HFPA are reluctant to reward her. She lost to Meryl in 2011 despite being the frontrunner, and when she was a shoo-in here last year, she lost to Ruth Wilson of all people. Maybe the HFPA aren’t just fans of her.

tv comedy series

Best TV Series – Comedy
“Casual”
“Mozart in the Jungle”
“Orange Is the New Black”
“Silicon Valley”
“Transparent”
“Veep”

PREDICTION: “Transparent”. The last three shows who have won multiple awards here were GleeDesperate Housewives, and Sex and the City so they’re more into dramedies here, which helps current champ Transparent to go 2/2.

ALTERNATE: “Veep”. It’s surprising to think that this is the first Series nomination of Veep, but maybe its Emmy win can help it win its Globe trophy as well.

tv comedy actor

Best Actor in a TV Series – Comedy
Aziz Ansari (“Master of None”)
Gael Garcia Bernal (“Mozart in the Jungle”)
Rob Lowe (“The Grinder”)
Patrick Stewart (“Blunt Talk”)
Jeffrey Tambor (“Transparent”)

PREDICTION: Aziz Ansari (“Master of None”). We’re sure with besties J.Law and Schumer in the crowd, the HFPA would use the said platform to give Aziz a memorable moent when he gives his speech.

ALTERNATE: Jeffrey Tambor (“Transparent”). That said, it can also be an easy back to back win for Jeffrey Tambor who can just dominate the awards shows with his brave performance for this show.

tv comedy actress

Best Actress in a TV Series – Comedy
Rachel Bloom (“Crazy Ex Girlfriend”)
Jamie Lee Curtis (“Scream Queens”)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”)
Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”)
Lily Tomlin (“Grace & Frankie”)

PREDICTION: Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”). I guess we can consider that the HFPA aren’t just into Veep at all.Not even her one-two punch of film and TV work two years ago ended up with a Globe win despite getting four consecutive Emmy wins already. But this race is a weak one, and with the show getting nominated as well, maybe she can finally inch a win.

ALTERNATE: Lily Tomlin (“Grace & Frankie”). Jamie Lee Curtis makes sense as an alternate, but Scream Queens is too flop of a show that even HFPA won’t bite. So I guess they’d probably give it to Lily Tomlin who’s a double nominee that night!

tv longform

Best TV Movie or Limited-Series
“American Crime”
“American Horror Story: Hotel”
“Fargo”
“Flesh and Bone”
“Wolf Hall”

PREDICTION: “Fargo”. After their surprise victory last year, then a 2/2 is indeed possible knowing that it received the same, if not more, love this year.

ALTERNATE: “Wolf Hall”. But then sometimes, they just want to embrace their British love and award this equally acclaimed series which got the same nominations as Fargo.

tv longform actor

Best Actor in a Limited-Series or TV Movie
Idris Elba (“Luther”)
Oscar Isaac (“Show Me a Hero”)
David Oyelowo (“Nightingale”)
Mark Rylance (“Wolf Hall”)
Patrick Wilson (“Fargo”)

PREDICTION: Oscar Isaac (“Show Me a Hero”). This is the closest that the Globes can ride on the Star Wars wave, and Isaac is a breakthrough star waiting to happen so maybe he wins here?

ALTERNATE: Patrick Wilson (“Fargo”). We know the HFPA loves Idris but he has been rewarded for this role already. Maybe Mark Rylance but I have him pegged in Film Supporting Actor already. So that leaves me with Wilson here as the alternate.

tv longform actress

Best Actress in a Limited-Series or TV Movie
Kirsten Dunst (“Fargo”)
Lady Gaga (“American Horror Story: Hotel”)
Sarah Hay (“Flesh & Bone”)
Felicity Huffman (“American Crime”)
Queen Latifah (“Bessie”)

PREDICTION: Kirsten Dunst (“Fargo”). I predict that Fargo is winning an acting one alongside its Series win, and rewarding Kirsten Dunst makes more sense than Wilson in that more competitive race.

ALTERNATE: Queen Latifah (“Bessie”). Everyone’s predicting Lady Gaga just for the sheer “Globesness” of it, but I think the HFPA is serious about being taken seriously again, so I don’t think they’d go that road. Queen Latifah makes more sense as an alternate.

tv supp actor

Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Limited-Series or TV Movie
Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife”)
Damian Lewis (“Wolf Hall”)
Ben Mendelsohn (“Bloodline”)
Tobias Menzies (“Outlander”)
Christian Slater (“Mr. Robot”)

PREDICTION: Tobias Menzies (“Outlander”). The surge of love for Outlander would not go home unrewarded, as I think Menzies’ very challenging dual role would end up with a Globe win for him.

ALTERNATE: Christian Slater (“Mr. Robot”). Slater makes sense as the runner-up here, as I don’t think Mr. Robot is going 3/3.

tv supp actress

Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited-Series, or TV Movie
Uzo Aduba (“Orange is the New Black”)
Joanne Froggatt (“Downton Abbey”)
Regina King (“American Crime”)
Judith Light (“Transparent”)
Maura Tierney (“The Affair”)

PREDICTION:Regina King (“American Crime”). After that surprising Emmy win back in September, I can see the Globes following suit with a win here.

ALTERNATE: Uzo Aduba (“Orange is the New Black”). Aduba’s upset loss last year reminded me of when Jane Lynch lost the first time in 2010 only to win the succeeding year. Aduba can still follow suit to this.

So what are you predicting this year to win at the Globes? Happy Golden Globes weekend!

Talk to me about it by tweeting me: @nikowl

Ranking the 1990s Oscar Best Actress Winners   3 comments

bloggerhead

So I have decided to start another project here which obviously from the title of this post already gives you a clue on what it’s about. Inspired from a poll on a forum, I’ve decided to watch all the 90s Best Actress Oscar champs arranged from the earliest up to the last of the decade in order to revisit, rekindle, and look how these performances stood the test of time. The focus will be on the performances so little to no mentions of Anjelica Huston in The Grifters, Emily Watson in Breaking the Waves, and Judi Dench in Mrs. Brown and how they were all robbed here. Okay I take it back. Will mention them as well but in small doses. Okay let’s begin!

1990

And we begin the decade with that surprise win of Kathy Bates for breathing life to the big fan turned obsessed creep Annie Wilkes in the adaptation of the Stephen King novel “Misery.” While the writing of Annie Wilkes can be a bit one note, Bates brings a certain humanity to the character thus encompassing emotions that show her character’s vulnerability. How Kathy Bates managed to show defeat and hurt of Annie when she spilled the wine on their dinner to bringing in the crazy when the officer visited her house and that composed demeanor she had after she tied Paul Sheldon is a testament of her range given the limitations of the role. And one has to appreciate the humor that Bates has brought to the role that makes the achievement more appreciated such as her rant against the coupon bond issue as for starters.  Of course at this stage, no one knew that Bates would  play another Stephen King character via Dolores Clairborne five years later, and while that one had the better performance, it does not take away the complexity that Kathy brought to the role of Annie Wilkes. It is difficult to laugh and be scared with the same character at the same time, and she does it so well that it’s hard to take this win from her. It’s also quite a special win considering how much the Academy rarely touches anything from the thriller/horror genre (unless one counts that win by Jessica Tandy just a year before) and that then unknown Bates, whose popularity only exists on the four walls of Broadway, managed to beat then it girl Julia Roberts, Hollywood royalty Anjelica Huston, Oscar favorite Meryl Streep, and legendary actress Joanne Woodward. Bittersweet indeed.

1991

Just a year after I commented on how this category rarely touches performances from horror or thriller films, AMPAS then decides to reward them back to back. In 1991, The Silence of the Lambs defied all odds by being released exactly one whole year prior to its Oscar sweep the following year. Of course that includes the win for its lead actress Jodie Foster, who herself was already a recipient of this same exact trophy three years before for The Accused. However, this remains to be an iconic role and performance from Jodie, which is nothing to question about. As for starters, it is very refreshing for a woman to headline a thriller such as this one and gain much critical and commercial success. of course it would be unfair to dismiss the efforts of Anthony Hopkins who churned in an iconic performance himself, but Foster’s Clarice Sterling is basically the heart of the movie. And how it succeeds is definitely a gender bending milestone of how thrillers are associated with only male actors front and center. It also does not hurt that this performance is really great as well. In it, Foster rarely (or none at all) relied to histrionics and made Clarice driven but not totally ambitious, subtle but never forgettable, and complex without being one-sided. This is the same year when both Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis were nominated for their team up in Thelma and Louise and part of me thinks that’s also another reason which helped Foster’s road to the podium at all. While one can argue that those two are better than Foster (I belong to that camp to be honest), it is easier to reward this performance than pulling a Sophie’s Choice between the two. But in the end, it must not limit the merits that Jodie has brought into this performance, as it’s probably one of the most respected wins in this category especially for non-Oscar aficionados.

1992

And from one Anthony Hopkins leading lady to another, queen of British period pieces Emma Thompson won the following year for her performance as Margaret Schlugel in Howard’s End. It was one of those easy Oscar calls as she has been the frontrunner all season long, and it’s not difficult to figure out why. Thompson brought a warm touch to a likable human being that isn’t a scene stealing, attention grabbing character. She was the voice of sense and reason, and Emma was quick to figure that her character balances the story in between her hands. Margaret was a sympathetic character but not one who you’d feel pity for, and there’s a certain glow that Thompson just radiates while playing this character. Whether it’s her tea sessions with Vanessa Redgrave or finding out about Anthony Hopkins’ romantic past, she inhabits Margaret’s confidence effortlessly reflecting Emma’s class act performance. 1990 winner Kathy Bates, Emma Thompson would go on and play another period character in another James Ivory film, The Remains of the Day, for which she nabbed another Oscar nomination, but whether it is arguable if she did well better in the former or the latter, the heart of Howard’s End will always belong to Emma Thompson and with that, she is certainly deserving of this Oscar recognition.

1993

1993 was all about talking (or lack thereof). With Whoopi Goldberg hosting the Oscars — being the first black woman (and up to now still remains the only one) to do so, this was also the last previous bid for a black actress to win the coveted Best Actress Oscar prior to Halle Berry’s historic win in 2001. The person in talks was Angela Bassett for portraying iconic performer Tina Turner in What’s Love Got To Do With It? And the talks are loud, perhaps really loud, that this is still the subject of some debates years after. But the woman who ended up with the Oscar needs no talking in her film, at least. The Piano‘s Holly Hunter became the seventh person in Academy history to win an Oscar for not uttering a word on screen (except the narration at the beginning and the end). In hindsight, why people argue Holly Hunter’s win years after is beyond me. In a really strong field that includes Stockard Channing in Six Degrees of Separation and last year’s winner Emma Thompson in The Remains of the Day, Hunter towered above the rest of the field with her performance. The mute aspect isn’t gimmicky nor calculated for me, as she was able to translate a performance that started as a mail ordered bride who was cold but willing to open up, just given the opportunity to do so. Hunter has always been praised for her delivery and the energy she inserts into the role she plays, but she managed to overcome all that and give an equally impressive one stripped off her usual assets. The stares, the body language, and the actions are far from a stunt performance and on top of that, the emotions that she just poured in it. I doubt performances like this could win an Oscar in this period now where showy OMG acting in this category seemed to be the key to be considered an “actress.” It’s a performance that stood well the test of the time, and it’s one of the times when Oscar go against the norm and ultimately get it right.

1994

There is such a stigma being labeled to the 1994 Best Actress line up to be one of the weakest in this category’s history. After all, this was the year when Linda Fiorentino should have swept all the awards if only The Last Seduction wasn’t shown briefly on HBO, thus making her ineligible for the rest of the season. But while there’s a hint of truthfulness with that, you can all spare Jessica Lange’s winning performance in it. Say what you want about her weak ass nominees, but Lange is nowhere a weak winner this year. Playing a mentally unstable wife of a military man and causing troubles to his career, Jessica was able to amp up the physical, emotional, and mental requirements of the role effectively that it’s definitely one of the underrated wins in this category’s history. Much of the talks about this performance and film was how it was dumped in the shelf three years after its completion, when in fact we should be talking about Jessica Lange slaying the hell out of this role. It’s a very complex performance which suited a woman of her age as she oozes her sexuality and shifts to calm to showy in a snap. While some performances get carried along the strength of their overall films, the opposite can be said about here as Blue Sky ended up as inferior to what Jessica brought to the role. Besides, her only Oscar until this year was a thank you for a great year supporting win in 1982, and if someone fits the narrative of a multiple Oscar winning actress, her name would definitely be up on that list. So this one albeit a weak year is an inspired win and one who should overcome, if anything else, the weak field she’s been grouped with.

1995

After a weak 1994 line up, we’re bound to have a strong one no? But to say the 1995 Best Actress line up is a strong one is even an understatement if we are to look past the performances that were left off that year (Nicole Kidman in To Die For, Julianne Moore in Safe, Kathy Bates in Dolores Clairborne among others). Now if we are to look at those actual nominated performances, then it makes the case even stronger with Elisabeth Shue acting opposite the eventual Best Actor winner and Meryl Streep in the second best performance of her career are unrewarded with Oscars. But then, it’s all about Susan Sarandon. Sure, her overdue status would have pushed her the win that year especially since she was nominated four times the last five years, but to consider that as a demerit to her performance is reaching it. Playing real life nuin Helen Prejean, Sarandon would always be on the odd side of the film. On the outer, you have to act opposite Sean Penn’s more interesting and showy character as Susan is relegated to facial reactions to what his character is saying. To act with such a very complex character and not be overshadowed is a feat itself, but Sarandon perfectly crosses the line of being receptive but not totally eaten and distinct without overshadowing her co-star. If anything, it was a perfectly arranged harmony that she has showed here. And beyond that, she plays the character of a nun. It’s hard to play a character who is morally good and be believable in it, but Sarandon’s Prejean’s cling in her “faith” does not only resonate to Matthew Poncelet but to humanity is an acting accomplishment that is deserving to be honored with an Oscar.

1996

On one hand, it would be a waste to hate on Frances McDormand’s win here especially since she’s a very talented actress whose charisma really transcends through her works. On the other, this was the year when the revelation that is named Emily Watson brought one of the best performances I’ve ever seen on screen via Breaking the Waves, that even if I know Oscar won’t touch it, I still feel like my hopes were dashed. But since I’ve let that one out of the way, let’s go back to our 96 champ Frances McDormand. Playing police officer Marge Gunderson, McDormand certainly made the most of all of her scenes in Joel Coen’s Fargo. It is very hard to root for a character as lovable and likable as Marge, and like Thompson’s Margaret, there’s a certain amount of rooting for that you feel with the character. Much of Marge’s magic — if I may call it that — can be attributed to Frances McDormand’s own wit and charisma. Her confident personality seems to play a factor with the end result of Marge’s character and that it will make you want to see more of her (granted she’s only in the film half of the time). There is a reason why Marge, despite limited screentime and borderline supporting appearance, is an iconic character and Frances is the main reason why. On a totally unrelated note, I would just like to share that I am amazed with Alison Tollman’s portrayal of such role in the FX adaptation series of Fargo because even if she wisely did not copy the same approach that McDormand did in her character, you can see the influences and nuances that McDormand indelibly left in her portrayal 18 years before.

1997

Before we start the 1997 discussion, let’s get this one out of the way: Nope, Helen Hunt did not win just because she’s battling against four British actresses in here. If anything, Helena Bonham Carter and Dame Judi Dench are in British period pieces, Julie Christie has been rewarded an Oscar already, and Kate Winslet is the reason why Leonardo di Caprio died  serviceable but in no way awards worthy in Titanic. There’s a certain level of vitriol spawn on Helen Hunt’s Oscar win and that’s probably because her post-Oscar career sizzled or that like any others, she was perceived as the darling of that year’s awards season. In As Good As It Gets, Helen plays the longer version of what makes her a prominent American that time: a big TV star sweeping off Emmys for her show Mad About You. But that is not to say that Hunt wasn’t good in what she did in the film. As waitress Caroline who found love in the most unusual way, Hunt was pleasantly and delightfully sweet that it charms the Oscar voters to give her that trophy. It’s a performance where she’s acting off one of Hollywood’s finest Jack Nicholson, and how he did not swallow her in their scenes together must be credited to the both of them. I still don’t think Helen Hunt had any business winning an Oscar that year, but she was convincing for the most part, albeit sitcom-ish as well, in her performance in the film.

1998

Now think of the vitriol that Helen Hunt received in 1997 and double it to come up with the reception that Gwyneth Paltrow’s Oscar win had earned over the years especially from fans of the performances of co-nominees Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth and Fernanda Montenegro in The Central Station. But then I think it is unfair to simply attach Paltrow’s competition to the performance that she has given in Shakespeare in Love. This is not the same case as that of the previous year’s winner since Shakespeare in Love is mighty ahead in terms of being the better film. As a matter of fact, Paltrow and the film itself carried the same burden with regards to their Oscar legacy — she and the film are perceived to tackle lighter subjects; thus they are easier to dispose. This is not to say that both her and the movie are rightfully and every inch deserving of their wins but more of an underestimation with the accomplishments that they have achieved. Focusing back on Gwyneth, her gender bending role as Viola de Lesseps provides the perfect heroine accessory to the film. Given that great screenplay and lavish production of the movie, it does not need an actress that will overshadow all of that but instead one that will understand the circumstances and just go with it, which she did in the movie. It is not easy to be charming and delightful as your film’s heroine and she possesses both of that in her performance. So while I understand that this leans on the lighter fare of stuff as compared to playing a queen, it does not warrant the notorious image that it has since then received.

1999

Now after three comedic performances in a row, the decade closed with one of its closest and most infamous Oscar rivals. In 1999, Annette Bening, one half of the power couple with Hollywood legend Warren Beatty, is up for her performance as part of eventual Best Picture winner American Beauty. Prior to the Oscars, she has won the SAG and there’s a really great chance that the film will join the elite few of winning the four major awards (Picture, Director, Actor and Actress). Then there’s up and coming actress Hilary Swank, whose probably known for her remake of Karate Kid sometime in the mid 90s, playing the role of real life transgender Teena Brandon in the small indie film Boys Don’t Cry. And in a Cinderella moment, David beats G0liath as Hilary Swank became the last winner of the decade. That is probably one of the boldest moves made by the Academy and one of the best upsets if I may say. In one of the best breakthrough performances by an actress here, she was raw, heartbreaking, and every inch convincing in this performance. Swank never made the movie about her tics or her adjustments, but she assured that it will be about Brandon’s journey, and it is within this fearlessness that she made this character and performance remarkable. If anything, I think it’s even braver that she denied the easily to use sentimentality nor trademarks that in the hands of a lesser actress would rely to, and instead let it breathe and parade it with so much clarity and confidence. Whatever Hilary Swank did for the remaining of her career after this is hers to celebrate or to blame, but in this one particular performance, she made it clear that she would be remembered.

The 90s Best Actress winners line up in general have been less receptive to biopics (with only two out of the ten winners were for playing real persons) and more to poetic costume pieces films. There’s also a stage where humor works best (even three in a row from 96-98) and if you’d even include, Kathy Bates in Misery. Ranking this is difficult since there’s a lot of performance here that I admire and the ones I appreciate and respect aren’t even totally deserving of a low ranking. That said, I guess I’m gonna go with…

01. 1993 (Holly Hunter, The Piano)
02. 1999 (Hilary Swank, Boys Don’t Cry)
03. 1995 (Susan Sarandon, Dead Man Walking)
04. 1992 (Emma Thompson, Howard’s End)
05. 1991 (Jodie Foster, The Silence of the Lambs)
06. 1996 (Frances McDormand, Fargo)
07. 1994 (Jessica Lange, Blue Sky)
08. 1990 (Kathy Bates, Misery)
09. 1998 (Gwyneth Paltrow, Shakespeare in Love)
10. 1997 (Helen Hunt, As Good As It Gets)

So who is your favorite 1990s Best Actress winner? Who would you consider as the best of the decade? And how many of those performances have stood the test of the time? Chime in the Comments section below and let’s converse! 🙂

You can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Writing and Directing in a Movie or Mini Series   Leave a comment

Tit for Tat continues its 66th Primetime Emmy coverage by discussing the winners predictions for this year’s awards ceremony. Over the past week, we have discussed all the rest of the Longform categories from TV Movie to the four acting ones up to yesterday’s Miniseries. That said, it’s enough to finally close this part by completing it with the Writing and Directing ones. Unlike the pas few years though, this year isn’t much of an easy guess. But here’s what I think will happen starting in the Writing categories.

Emmy Longform Writing

For the Writing category, it’s really The Normal Heart‘s to lose. Larry Kramer is a well known name, and it was one of the more consistently praised parts when it comes to the reviews. This can turn into some sort of a career honor, but a very deserving one indeed. However, there are two more names that can challenge him for the win. First up, there’s Noah Hawley. If the voters prove that they are really head over heels crazy with Fargo, then I can see it sweeping both the directing and writing ones alongside its impending Miniseries win. I think it’s also wise to keep Treme in the conversation. Sure the miniseries hasn’t received much love during its whole course, but I can see this win validating a late apology from the Academy. After all, this category just surprised us last year with the direction it went to, so no frontrunner is really safe here. While less possibility of snatching the win, Sherlock received both directing and writing nods as well and what worked in its favor is that it only focused on one part of the series. Coven finally enters the race, but I think the nomination is its reward even if it has Ryan Murphy on the writing credits. After all, his other project is the one poised to win awards. Lastly, Luther scoops up its second Writing nod, but I feel it’s a filler more than anything else. That said, this category is really ripe for upset that I’m going to take a risk and predict Sherlock to win in the end.

Prediction: Steven Moffat, “Sherlock: His Last Vow”
Alternate: Noah HawleyFargo (The Crocodile’s Dilemma)”

Full Rankings:
01. Steven Moffat, “Sherlock: His Last Vow” 
02. Noah HawleyFargo (The Crocodile’s Dilemma)”
03. Larry Kramer, The Normal Heart”
04. David Simon, Eric Overmyer, Treme”
05. Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, “American Horror Story: Coven (Bitchcraft)”
06. Neil Cross, “Luther”

Emmy Longform Directing

Now while The Normal Heart is what I’m predicting for Writing, I think the voters will spread the love and give Fargo the advantage here. After all, it received two nominations in this category, but then again it can vote split its possibilities granted there are two options for them to reward to. The safer choice, of course, is The Crocodile’s Dilemma since it’s the pilot episodes of the series. But then, Buridan’s Ass has that very big climax gun scene that , in my opinion, is the better directed of the two nominees. I’m sticking with the pilot though. In the event of a vote splitting, then watch out for Ryan Murphy to win this one too. I mean I really won’t be shocked if he does win this since I think there’s  a large part of the voting bloc that will just go crazy with The Normal Heart and check it in all their ballots, so watch out for him. Oscar nominee Stephen Frears is also nominated for Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, but I think his name won’t manage to bring him all the way to a victory, but it’s more than enough to natch himself a nomination. The flashy aspect of Bitchcraft might be appealing for some, though the nature of the episode might still be hard to overcome for voters. After the surprise overperformance at the Creative Emmys, I tend to think that Sherlock can be a dark horse in here.

Prediction: Colin Bucksey, “Fargo (The Crocodile’s Dilemma)”
Alternate: Nick Hurran, “Sherlock: His Last Vow

Full Rankings:
01. Colin BuckseyFargo (The Crocodile’s Dilemma)”
02. Nick Hurran, “Sherlock: His Last Vow
03. Ryan Murphy, The Normal Heart” 
04.  Adam BernsteinFargo (Buridan’s Ass)”
05. Stephen Frears, “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight”
06. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, “American Horror Story: Coven (Bitchcraft)”

Now that I’m done with the longform series categories, it’s time to move on to the other areas. I originally intended to discuss Reality/Competition and Reality/Competition Host next, but since the submissions aren’t publicized yet, I’m gonna go ahead and tackle the four guest acting categories starting next week! Don’t forget to see the other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

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

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Miniseries   Leave a comment

Emmy Miniseries

Hey, you’re still reading Tit for Tat’s 2014 Emmy coverage. After discussing the TV movie and its four acting categories, it’s time to close of this section with the newly revived Miniseries category. Since the combination of both TV movies and miniseries three years ago, only one miniseries has won against a TV movie. So this is quite a refreshing comeback. That said, this is a very empty category as proven by the fact that there are only 16 miniseries eligible, and with that small group, it even ended up with six nominees (as opposed to the regular five). Here are the six nominees for this year:

For the third year in a row, the American Horror Story series gets in, and Coven is a great departure from the underrated Asylum.  As for starters, it has the trio of Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, and Angela Bassett at the helm. Just when you think that the Emmys interest with AHS would decline, they come back not only with a whimper but with a bang. This year’s series received 17 nominations, the same as last year, but now with Directing and Writing to boot. I’d say this is the closest year they ever had of possibly scoring that Emmy win.

Then we also have A&E’s Bonnie & Clyde. Welp there’s really nothing much to say about it given that this is the show’s only nomination, so it’s pretty much obvious that this is the filler sixth contender here. Maybe having the prominent duo of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron would siphon some votes, but even I really doubt that.

The miniseries adaptation of the Oscar winning movie Fargo was a risk for FX, but it’s a risk that certainly paid off. The first season wasn’t only met with critical acclaim, it also had ratings under its belt. And surely, some Emmys as well (with the Allison Tolman upset that I’m currently predicting). This show garnered 18 Emmy nominations this year, the highest for any miniseries, and the second overall only behind HBO powerhouse Game of Thrones. It’s clear that the nominating panel love it, and I can’t blame them for doing so.

Now to represent the British bloc comes second time nominee Luther. After getting its first nod in 2012, the show’s final season is nominated once again this year alongside a Writing nod and one for lead actor Idris Elba. While the Emmys doesn’t have a total hard on as compared to the Oscars, history has shown that they give exceptions every now and then as proven by Downton Abbey‘s domination in 2011 and last year’s Screenplay upset by The Hour‘s Abi Morgan. Let’s see if Luther can have the same fate too.

Like Bonnie & ClydeThe White Queen also gets their only Emmy nod this year for miniseries. The lack of both Rebecca Ferguson and Janet McTeer in the acting categories, nor The Final Battle in Directing indicates that the Emmys aren’t just into this show at all.

And lastly, HBO’s bet in this category is True Detective Treme. Now on its closing season, the show has finally gotten into a series category for the first time and even with a writing nod to boot. Prior to that though, its only Emmy mentions were a Directing nod and a Song nod way back during its initial season. This indicates to me that this, more than anything else, is just the result of a weak and empty category.

Basically, it all boils down to American Horror Story: Coven vs. Fargo. While Coven got 17 nods, Fargo topped it with 18. Meanwhile, Fargo is less one total acting nod with 4 as compared to Coven‘s 5. Both shows got in for Directing and Writing but Fargo has two Directing nods as compared to AHS‘ one. That said, I think the telling factor here is that the clamor and acclaim for Fargo is definitely much stronger and more consistent than AHS. I think that’s what makes me predict for a Fargo win. Now if only we got this one a real race between True Detective and Fargo, it would have made the race more enjoyable to predict.

Prediction: Fargo
Alternate: American Horror Story: Coven

Full Rankings:
01. “Fargo
02. “American Horror Story: Coven
03. “Luther”
04. “Treme
05. “The White Queen
06. “Bonnie & Clyde

You can see my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

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

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie   Leave a comment

Emmy TV Movie Miniseries Supp Actress

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

Full Rankings:
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

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie   Leave a comment

Emmy TV Movie Minseries Actor

While it’s the ladies that were from and center yesterday, we now shift the spotlight to the gents as we discuss the Lead Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie race in our continuous coverage of the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards. It’s the third year in a row that I have a perfect track record of predicting the line up here, so I don’t know if it’s jsut the predictability of the race or just a good summation of who Emmy’s favorites were. Anyway let’s begin.

Speaking of third year in a row, this is Benedict Cumberbatch‘s third consecutive nomination in this category after being nominated for the second season of Sherlock in 2012 and the HBO movie Parade’s End last year. While His Last Vow rakes its biggest nomination haul for the series by far, I don’t think Cumberbatch is much in the race especially with likelier movie star frontrunners in here. He can count on an Oscar nod for himself though come January for The Imitation Game to be released late this year.

And while at the topic of Oscar nod, coming off from an Oscar nomination earlier this year, Chiwetel Ejiofor follows it up with an Emmy nomination, this time for the Starz  miniseries Dancing on the Edge. Sadly for Ejiofor, his nomination is his reward given how much the Emmys snubbed the show altogether (he’s the lone nomination from it). I would have wanted a follow up to the Ejiofor-McConaughey Oscar race tho had True Detective stayed to compete here in the longform categories.

But while we didn’t get an Ejiofor-McConaughey repeat, we can resort to the alternate one of a race between Ejiofor and Idris Elba instead. Both were twice nominated for the same two categories at the Golden Globes earlier this year: one is for Movie Actor Drama (former for 12 Years a Slave, latter for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom). The other one is for their respective roles in this category. Like in 2012, Elba nabs a repeat nomination for his role in Luther. This was confirmed as the show’s last season already, and though I don’t think it will chaneg the voting game, it will probably have at least a bit of an effect to the voting (…or not).

Then we also have Mark Ruffalo who’s enjoying a career best 2014 by far. Starting at Sundance in January for Infinitely Polar Bear to his run at Cannes for Foxcatcher in May, and the good reviews he received from John Carney’s Begin Again, he’s definitely on a roll. That said, his Emmy vehicle this year is the TV movie frontrunner The Normal Heart where he played gay activist Ned Weeks. After all, the current winner in this category is Michael Douglas for playing gay pianist Liberace.

Now to cap this off, it’s not only the Lead Actress category where we have two nominees from the same show. If the women has American Horror Story: Coven, then the men has Fargo. Billy Bob Thornton comes back with a bang in this project where he plays sinister Lorne Malvo. His is the more awards-baity character between the two as he’s the flat out villainess evil character here. The other nomination is for Martin Freeman, who plays insurance salesman Lester Nygaard, who was caught in the series of incidents involving him and Malvo. Personally speaking, I preferred Freeman’s performance more than Thornton, but between his two nominations, they might reward Freeman instead in the Supporting category.

While the consensus thinks it will be an easy win for Mark Ruffalo, I don’t think this is an easy win as one perceives. I feel that this will be a tight race between the two one-time Oscar Supporting Actor nominees. Ruffalo is seen as the obvious choice. I mean he’s a straight actor playing the gay lead in a TV movie with a strong political statement. If this was Oscar, he’s certain to be winning it already. That said, Fargo is the most nominated miniseries this year and the support for it is really staggering. If there’s anything this category loves more than portraying gay characters, that is rewarding veteran movie stars with wins here as evidenced by Geoffrey Rush in 2005, Robert Duvall in 2007, Kevin Costner in 2012, and Michael Douglas last year. I keep going back and forth, but I guess I’m going with Mark Ruffalo by a hair.

Prediction: Mark Ruffalo, “The Normal Heart
Alternate: Billy Bob Thornton, “Fargo

Full Rankings:
01. Mark Ruffalo, “The Normal Heart
02. Billy Bob Thornton, “Fargo
03. Martin Freeman, “Fargo”
04. Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock: His Last Vow
05. Idris Elba, “Luther
06. Chiwetel Ejiofor, “Dancing on the Edge

Click here to see my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis. For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl