Archive for the ‘jessica lange’ Tag

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

longform actress

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”

Full Rankings:
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.

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

Advertisements

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 Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie   2 comments

Emmy TV Movie Miniseries Actress

Welcome back! We’re still in the middle of our Emmy analysis discussions, and for today, we’ll be shifting the focus to the leading ladies of the TV movies and the miniseries. Some notable names missing here include Rebecca Ferguson in The White Queen, Toni Collette in the CBS canceled show Hostages, and Carrie Underwood in that NBC special The Sound of Music Live. As for the actual nominees, our line up this year include…

Helena Bonham Carter for playing screen legend Elizabeth Taylor in the BBC adaptation of Burton & Taylor. Bonham Carter has already received Globe and SAG nods for the same performance earlier this year, and this is pretty much a tempting pick had it only performed stronger and probably a stronger pick in a weaker year. Unlike the Oscars though, Emmys isn’t really fond of portraying other stars, but this is a showy character with some physical transformation involved in it.

Then there’s also Minnie Driver getting in for the Lifetime movie Return to Zero. In the said film, Driver deals with the loss of a child before it was even born and she’s a grieving wife whose relationship with her husband also got jeopardized because of it. This is basically like Rabbit Hole without the young kid factor, and this is a very baity role that I’m quite surprised I didn’t even predict her for a nomination. That said, this gives her a lot of showy moments that I think it’s quite risky to totally eliminate her chances.

From one Lifetime lady to another, we have 3x Emmy winner Cicely Tyson reprising her Tony winning performance in the Oscar winning role in The Trip to Bountiful. This seems the likelier Lifetime actress to pursue a win given the history of the role and the accolades that she has received by far both for the play and the TV movie. It also helps that this is the only film nominated in the TV movie category for this year.

Kristen Wiig received her sixth(!) consecutive nod this year, and her first one outside of Saturday Night Live for the comedy miniseries The Spoils of Babylon. On one hand, this benefits her as this is like an extended SNL performance only she’s the lead of it with her over the top character being front and center in all six episodes. On the other hand, if she can’t win for SNL whether as a supporting performer or a guest actress, then maybe it’s a performance that they just love to nominate and not to reward with an Emmy.

And lastly there’s the pair of American Horror Story: Coven ladies in here. Sarah Paulson gets her third consecutive nod and her first one in Lead. While she gets to be more physical with her performance given that she was blind for a lot of episodes in the season, it’s really hard to see her be prioritized with a stronger co-star and competitor via Jessica Lange. 2009 champ in this category Jessica Lange can actually skate a win here. There seems to be an abundant amount of love for Coven and even manage to surpass expectation of the show cooling down. After all, Lange already managed a win for AHS first season in Supporting, it’s equally deserving if she gets one in Lead as well.

In the end, I see this between the two veterans. Cicely Tyson is obviously some sort of an Emmy favorite here having three Emmys under her name already. This is already an Oscar and Tony winning role, and I won’t be surprised if Emmy won’t give in to it as well. But then again, Jessica Lange is always a contender in this category, and this year is no exception. These two actresses have only battled out with these performances only one time (at the CCTV Awards) and Lange ended up on top. That said, I’m sticking with Cicely Tyson to win a fourth one, but don’t count out Minnie Driver in this race though.

 PREDICTION: Cicely Tyson, “The Trip to Bountiful
ALTERNATE: Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story: Coven

Full Rankings:
01. Cicely Tyson, “The Trip to Bountiful
02. Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story: Coven
03. Minnie Driver, “Return to Zero”
04. Helena Bonham Carter, “Burton & Taylor
05. Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Coven
06. Kristen Wiig, “The Spoils of Babylon

You can still also check the rest of the 2014 Emmy prediction analysis. And follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

 

66th Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations Predictions Part 2: TV Movie and Miniseries   2 comments

Hey again guys! If you may not know (as if that blog header isn’t obvious enough), we’re still on our Emmy week here at Tit for Tat as we gloss over the possible Emmy nominees before Carson Daly and Mindy Kaling announce them on Thursday morning. Yesterday, I started this four part series of predictions by going over the Reality and Variety categories. This time, we’ll be tackling the eight major categories of the Movie and Miniseries genre. Let’s get started!

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:

Longform Writing

• Dancing on the Edge (Stephen Poliakoff)
• Fargo, “The Crocodile’s Dilemma” (Noah Hawley)
• Luther (Neill Cross)
• Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight (Shawn Slovo)
• The Normal Heart (Larry Kramer)
• Sherlock: His Last Vow (Steven Moffat)

Alternate:  Treme, “To Miss New Orleans

Well aside from The Normal Heart and Fargo, it’s really difficult to pinpoint which direction the voters will go to. I’d have Luther in simply because the last time the show was eligible, it also received a nod in this category. Then Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight won the WGA for Adapted Screenplay albeit a field of two only. Then what I’ve noticed in this category is that they love ’em British pieces. They might not nominate them for the bigger series awards, but the writing branch always have a soft spot for them; thus, I’m going with Sherlock. And lastly, Dancing for the Edge seems like a filler nod for either Writing or Directing, and I’m palcing it here since it’s less competitive than Directing.

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:

Longform Directing

• Fargo, “Buridan’s Ass” (Colin Bucksey
• Fargo, “The Crocodile’s Dilemma” (Adam Bernstein)
• The Hollow Crown, “Henry IV: Part II” (Richard Eyre)
• Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight (Stephen Frears)
• The Normal Heart (Ryan Murphy)
• The Trip to Bountiful (Michael Wilson)

Alternate:  The White Queen, “The Final Battle

The two surest contenders here are definitely Ryan Murphy (at this point, The Normal Heart will just steamroll its way to a lot of nominations) and Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight because come on it’s Stephen Frears. And he’s a well known film director. Plus it’s from HBO. Fargo’s “The Crocodile’s Dilemma” seems like a good bet as well since it’s the pilot of the show, and I’m certain Fargo will get in here. That said, I’m predicting two episodes from the show to get nominated. Aside from the pilot, I also have Buridan’s Ass which has that major shooting episode (it’s Ep 6 for you casual viewers). It’s one of Fargo‘s most buzzed episodes of the series and I think it can penetrate the race. The Trip to Bountiful seems like a better directing contender than a writing one that’s why I’m putting it here instead of Writing. As for the last spot, I think it’s gonna be one of those epic fantasy episodes, so it’s between The White Queen’s Final Battle versus The Hollow Crown’s Henry IV: Part II. I’m going with the latter simply because of the name recognition.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:

Longform Supp Actress

• Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Coven
• Jacqueline Bisset, “Dancing on the Edge
• Ellen Burstyn, “Flowers in the Attic
• Julia Roberts, “The Normal Heart
• Allison Tolman, “Fargo
• Vanessa Williams, “The Trip to Bountiful

Seventh nominee: Audra McDonald, “The Sound of Music Live!

What a crowded category. There’s like ten women in actual contention for this usually barren category. Let’s begin with the easy guesses. There’s Julia Roberts. In a friggin TV movie. In her wheelchair. Throwing papers. I can go on and on but you get the point now. She’s in. Then there’s Kathy Bates too. At this point, I think there’s a slow decline of Emmy love for American Horror Story in general that’s why I’m predicting her as the only supporting actress nominee from this show. If only this was a weak year or if AHS was in its first or second season (both are not), I’d be more lenient with her inclusion. Then there’s an unknown by the name of Allison Tolman? I know you’re probably thinking “Who?”, but this is TV’s biggest breakthrough performances of the season. This is a friggin’ Oscar winning role, and I see her even being the dark horse for the win. Speaking of win, Golden Globe winner Jacqueline Bisset is also in my predictions list simply because her role is something that is a regular in this category.And her Globe win, as infamous as it was, put her to some sort of public consciousness.  Current champ Ellen Burstyn is also in contention, and I think a repeat nod is possible. Sure Flowers in the Attic is no Political Animals, but this is the category that nominated her for a 14 second performance in 2006. They love her here. The last spot is between two Tony nominees: Tony queen Audra McDonald is the only redemption of The Sound of Music Live! and her current Tony good will might translate to a nod, but my bet is on 3x nominee Vanessa Williams reprising her Broadway role here.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:

Longform Supp Actor

• Matt Bomer, “The Normal Heart
• Martin Freeman, “Sherlock: His Last Vow
• Colin Hanks, “Fargo
• Joe Mantello, “The Normal Heart
• Jim Parsons, “The Normal Heart
• Blair Underwood, “The Trip to Bountiful

Seventh nominee: Frank Langella, “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight

This one is basically the extension of The Normal Heart cast with five of their men eligible in this category. That said, I’ll only be predicting three, as I don’t see anything beyond that possible. Of course there’s winner frontrunner Matt Bomer who is the surest guy from the show here. I’m also rpedicting Jim Parsons since it’s somewhat of a departure from him, and he’s current champ (in Comedy Lead Actor) that they won’t shy from giving him double nominations this year. Lastly, I have Joe Mantello since he’s “breakdown” moment is one of the most talked about. It’s a clip made for awards show purposes plus he’s a veteran that I won’t be surprised Emmys going for it. As for the other three guys, I’m going with Martin Freeman to repeat the same nod he got in 2012 for the previous season of Sherlock. I’ quite confident with Colin Hanks as well since he’s the only one that FX is campaigning here (which means no Oliver Platt), so that bodes well for his chances. I’m going with Blair Underwood for the last spot as Cicely Tyson’s son since this is a Tony nominated role, and I fail to see him missing here.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:

Longform Actress

• Helena Bonham Carter, “Burton & Taylor
• Toni Collette, “Hostages
• Rebecca Ferguson, “The White Queen
• Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story: Coven
• Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Coven
• Cicely Tyson, “The Trip to Bountiful

Seventh nominee: Whoopi Goldberg, “A Day Late and a Dollar Short

If the three other acting nominees are somewhat stacked, consider this the Debbie Downer of the group with the lack of possible nominations. I guess it’s safe to begin with Jessica Lange since she’ll easily be nominated for the show’s third season. She won Supporting the first year and was nominated here for the second season, and a third consecutive one is already expected. Cicely Tyson is a sure bet too. She literally translated her Tony winning performance and she’ll likely add “Emmy winning” too come awards ceremony on August. It doesn’t hurt as well that it’s also an Oscar winning role, so a trifecta of best Actress wins for this will be quite historic.  Then there’s Globe and SAG nominee Helena Bonham Carter. She was already recognized for this at the earlier awards show, and it’s not as if this category is full to even consider her missing. Rebecca Ferguson is the unknown here but playing the title role of a Miniseries contender doesn’t hurt her. I’d be more cautious if this was only a field of five, but it’s not. Emmy winner Toni Collette also has a bid via her failed CBS series Hostages. I expect this to be a repeat of Ashley Judd’s nom in 2011 when she got in for a more star studded line up. If Judd made it in a five nominee line up, what more for Emmy champ Collete? The last spot can either go to Whoopi Goldberg or Sarah Paulson. There’s a reason why Goldberg’s EGOT win has an asterisk beside the E, it’s because she hasn’t won a Primetime Emmy yet. Therefore, it’s quite clear Emmy isn’t totally fond of her, thus making me give the last spot to Sarah Paulson who is hitting some career best stride the past few years and was nommed in Supporting for the last two years.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:

Longform Actor

• Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock: His Last Vow
• Chiwetel Ejiofor, “Dancing on the Edge
• Idirs Elba, “Luther”
• Martin Freeman, “Fargo
• Mark Ruffalo, “The Normal Heart
• Billy Bob Thornton, “Fargo

Seventh nominee: Christopher Plummer, “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight

Okay so it didn’t sound as competitive in this category when True Detective announced it will compete in Drama instead, but it makes the prediction part easier. As for starters, the pair of British actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Idris Elba are likely to repeat their nods they got for their roles as Sherlock and Luther respectively. Both of them competed in 2011 as well. Then Cumberbatch’s Sherlock co-star and buddy Martin Freeman is poised to get double acting nominations as he gets one for Fargo as well alongside Billy Bob Thornton. Then it boils down to three Oscar nominees (and one winner). Mark Ruffalo is as sure as one can get, and he’s also one of the frontrunners to win for his role as the gay protagonist in The Normal Heart. While I keep on switching back and forth with Christopher Plummer and Chiwetel Ejiofor, I’d be giving the last slot to the latter since his momentum is pretty much fresher with his Oscar nod earlier this year.

OUTSTANDING MINI SERIES:

Miniseries

• American Horror Story: Coven (FX)
• Dancing on the Edge (Starz)
• Fargo (FX)
• Luther (BBC America)
• The White Queen (BBC America)

Sixth nominee: The Hollow Crown (BBC America)

Of all years where they decided to separate the TV movies and miniseries again, they went with this year goddamit. Anyway, both the FX series are sure things here. American Horror Story got in the last two years and Fargo is the de facto frontrunner here. Luther is poised to make a comeback here as well especially in a weak field. Then in the battle of large ensemble dramas, I’d go with Dancing on the Edge as the first one since this flashy period piece works well in this category. I’m leaning with The White Queen in my last spot though simply because I felt it has an overall mainstream appeal than The Hollow Crown, but all I know is that it’s a slot reserved for BBC America.

OUTSTANDING TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:

TV Movie

• Killing Kennedy (national Geographic)
• Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight (HBO)
• The Normal Heart (HBO)
• Sherlock: His Last Vow (PBS)
• The Trip to Bountiful (Lifetime)

Sixth nominee: Burton & Taylor (BBC America)

As if they still need to have nominees here since The Normal Heart is gonna sweep this away (and deservedly so), but for the sake of competition, the four other nominees here would definitely be Sherlock: His Last Vow. Why the show decides to submit here instead of Miniseries when they can compete now is beyond me. Then you have Lifetime’s The Trip to Bountiful. It’s an acclaimed TV movie and at this point, a Lifetime show is bound to get in so it being their top contender also makes it a surer bet. National Geographic’s Killing Kennedy is a buzzed TV movie as well even reaping nods at the SAGs for its lead actor, so with a divided field for TV Movie and Miniseries, there’s a huge chance of it happening. The last spot, which I call the HBO slot, is reserved for that lesser buzzed HBO TV movie. After all for every Game Change, there’s a Hemignway & Gellhorn. For every Behind the Candelabra, there’s a Phil Spector and for every Temple Grandin, there’s a You Don’t Know Jack. So for this year’s The Normal Heart, I’d go with Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight since it’s the more buzzed one than that other HBO TV movie Clear History whom despite having a more known cast, has a nonexistent presence at the race at all.

There you have it. How many The Normal Heart guys are you predicting in Supporting Actor? Can Whoopi Goldberg change her Daytime Emmy to a Primetime one? And how do you feel if NBC’s Rosemary Baby Suddenly enters the race? Pipe them in the comments section below.

Tomorrow, ready your tummies for the hilarity that will ensue as we discuss the Comedy categories.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

 

65th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie   Leave a comment

actress miniseries

PAST PREDICTIONS:

2005: S. Epatha Merkerson, “Lackawanna Blues[CORRECT]
2006:
Helen Mirren, “Elizabeth I[CORRECT]
2007:
Helen Mirren, “Prime Suspect: Final Act[CORRECT]
2008:
Judi Dench, “Cranford: Masterpiece[WRONG]
2009:
Drew Barrymore, “Grey Gardens[WRONG]
2010:
Claire Danes, “Temple Grandin[CORRECT]
2011:
Kate Winslet, “Mildred Pierce[CORRECT]
2012:
Julianne Moore, “Game Change” [CORRECT]

And here’s the final cap on the longform acting categories: the coveted Best Actress category. The last three years have been easy wins that’s why it’s quite fun that we have some sort of a competition this year. But first, let’s give a moment to recognize those who were snubbed.  Despite scoring in two other acting nods, Golden Globe nominee Sienna Miller was snubbed for her work in The Girl, as well as Rebecca Hall in Parade’s End. HBO wasn’t powerful enough to put the pair of Oscar nominated (and winning) actresses in Mary and Martha (Brenda Blethyn and Hilary Swank) as well.

Last year’s supporting actress winner Jessica Lange moves to the Lead category now after the sophomore season of American Horror Story: Asylum. While she wasn’t able to win any precursors earlier this year, she hasn’t skipped a beat by picking up nominations from the Golden Globes, SAGs, and the BFCA Critics Choice for TV Awards for her performance as Sister Jude.

Sigourney Weaver is due for any award for anything, so I thought this would have been the avenue to reward her. To be fair, she commanded the short lived series Political Animals and served as the show’s core base, and in any weak year, this would have been a sure winner. Unfortunately for her, this year has been anything but weak in this category.

Elisabeth Moss picked up a second nod for this year, thanks to her lead performance in Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake. This is the perfect consolation to Moss if voters want to reward her with an Emmy already after years of losses for playing Peggy on Mad Men. After all, she already earned a BFCA CCTV in the same category last July. It’s also a different performance from her usual nominated ones, so it shows her range and versatility as an actress.

Then we have Laura Linney. Prior to her 2011 loss to Melissa McCarthy, Linney actually has a perfect Emmy track record reaping in three wins in the past with two victories in this category for 2002’s Wild Iris and 2008’s John Adams. If anything, she’s very competitive here seeing she’s 2/2 for her. On the flip side, her only loss (in Comedy Lead Actress) is for the same role she’s contending now. So odds are, it’s really up in the air when it comes to her actual chances. One thing I’m certain of is that if anybody can pull that upset, it’s definitely her.

Lastly, we have Dame Helen Mirren. Like Linney, Mirren is a force to be reckoned with in this category, as she’s the most rewarded actress here with four wins in the past in 1996, 1999, 2006, and 2007 and having 10 nominations here altogether. With that said, one can count her out for this year as she’s clearly a filler nominee for an HBO movie that stars two big movie stars. If anything, she’s the only one we can safely count here.

I really have no idea on who will win here, so you can ask me and I’ll probably change my answer every other day. However, I’m convinced that all voters will not be watching the whole seasons of American Horror Story: Asylum and Top of the Lake, but it’s between Jessica Lange and Elisabeth Moss. The only deciding factor I have is that Lange was a tour de force by the start of the season while Moss’ better episodes come in the latter part of the series. That plus the fact that voters are probably aware that Lange has won for that horror show and they will continue to vote for her. The only thing on Moss’ favor is if they find her overdue and want to give her a win already. I’d say Lange has the upperhand, but never disregard Elisabeth Moss or a possible upset from Laura Linney here.

Prediction: Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum”
Runner-Up: Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake

Full Rankings:
1. Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum”
2. Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake
3. Laura Linney, The Big C: Hereafter”
4. Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals
5. Helen Mirren, Phil Spector

To check out other Emmy predictions, you can check them here.

If you like, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

19th Screen Actors Guild Awards Best Dressed List   2 comments

Hey everybody! The SAG Awards just happened two hours ago, but let’s get this one over and done with. After all, this was the last time this year that both TV and movie stars are honored in the same room. As for the red carpet, there’s a lot of interesting looks this time and as always, lots of colors everywhere. Some have been recycled, some were misfits, but for the most part, here are 16 personalities who were dressed to kill that night.

You can click the photos or open it in new tab to make the photos bigger.

jaimie alexander

16. JAIMIE ALEXANDER in Marc Bouwer

Nurse Jackie’s Jaimie Alexander was sexy and classic in this black Marc Buower creation that highlights her upper body in a flirty and very interesting manner.

idina menzel

15. IDINA MENZEL

Truth be told, it’s not as if Tony winner Idina Menzel needs to impress people with her red carpet appearances. But then again, she just did her homework when she appeared in this red and pink combination that highlights her impressive figure.

jane krakowski

14. JANE KRAKOWSKI in Kaufman Franco

From one Tony winner to another, Jane Krakowski was a sight to be seen in this Kaufman Franco creation that the 30 Rock star described as orangey-sherbet. Yum!

nancy o dell

13. NANCY O’DELL

While it’s the stars that are usually the people you look forward to the most, red carpet interviewers aren’t spared from dressing the part as well. That’s just what Entertainment Tonight‘s Nancy O’Dell did when she wore this aquamarine blue with impressive bead works in it.

keirnan shipka

12. KEIRNAN SHIPKA in Oscar dela Renta

It’s probably the Mad Men effect, but Keirnan Shipka is channeling the classic look in this Oscar dela Renta dress that highlights both her youthful aura and the stylish animal in her.

lea michele

11. LEA MICHELE in Valentino

See, this is the Lea Michele that suits her better. Instead of doing all the trying hard sultry looks that she’s been doing the past few years, the Glee star looks better and more comfortable when she shows her sweetheart side such as this pink Valentino gown she’s wearing.

nina dobrev

10. NINA DOBREV in Elie Saab

Having a body built that most designers would kill to dress, The Vampire Diaries star Nina Dobrev was rocking the part in this pink Elie Saab creation that made her look edgy but cute as well.

viola davis

09. VIOLA DAVIS in Monique Lhuillier

Last year’s Best Actress winner Viola Davis’s presence was clearly a light in the room. Thank to this Monique Lhuillier creation she sported when she presented Daniel Day Lewis the Best Actor trophy.

jessica lange

08. JESSICA LANGE in J. Mendel

Who says you can’t dress the part when you’re already in your 60s? You probably haven’t seen Best Actress nominee Jessica Lange as she strutted in this J. Mendel ensemble that appropriately made her look years younger.

amanda seyfried

07. AMANDA SEYFRIED in Zac Posen

I’ve always thought of Seyfried as a boring red carpet entity. But after nailing this blue Zac Posen creation that she donned just a few hours ago, I need some serious reconsideration.

jennifer garner

06. JENNIFER GARNER in Oscar dela Renta

Despite Jennifer Garner being just a plus one of Ben Affleck last night, she’s definitely a top notch plus one. Her golden Oscar dela Renta gown might be the lucky charm for her husband’s ensemble win.

naomi watts

05. NAOMI WATTS in Marchesa

Best Actress nominee Naomi Watts was perfect in this Marchesa outfit that she partnered with soft curls and bright lipstick. She perfectly showed the soft and tender looks that made her look every inch a star.

nicole kidman

04. NICOLE KIDMAN in Vivienne Westwood

The two time nominee tonight who was Keithless was also giving early circa 2000s fierceness in this Vivienne Westwood creation that showed a slit and her current favorite trend: see throughs. Her shorter flat hair can be a hit or miss, but she handles it just like a real movie star.

jennifer lawrence

03. JENNIFER LAWRENCE in Christian Dior

Tonight’s Best Actress winner was about to skip the ceremonies due to pneumonia. Good thing that did not happen as we would have missed the opportunity to see her rock this dark blue Christian Dior gown she wore.

marion cotillard

02. MARION COTILLARD in Dior Haute Couture

It’s such a shame that Cotillard missed the Best Actress Oscar nod, as we could have seen more of how she slay the red carpet just like how she did with this blue and white combo of this Dior Haute Couture creation. Plus point to the new short bob do also fits her perfectly.

jessica chastain

01. JESSICA CHASTAIN in Alexander McQueen

And despite her not winning Best Actress tonight, Jessica Chastain tops my list of the best dressed in this fiery red Alexander McQueen that she sported. It was simple but less is definitely more as it highlighted her youthful beauty. Incidentally, Jessica Chastain also topped my SAG best dressed list last year so maybe a three-peat next year?

That’s it! Who are your best dressed list from this year’s SAG Awards?

As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

Weekend Update (March 18 – March 24, 2012)   Leave a comment

So here’s a recap of the different things that happened the past week:

 * The Philippines won two awards at the 6th Asian Film Awards last Monday at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. Shamaine Buencamino won Supporting Actress for Nino while Eugene Domingo  won the People’s Choice for Best Actress. This is the second time that a Filipino won an acting award after Gina Pareno won in the same category for Serbis way back in 2009. Iran’s A Separation swept the awards this year winning Picture, Director and Screenplay for Asghar Farhadi, and Editing. Eugene Domingo, who was shimmering in gold, was the crowd favorite, thanks to her funny banter with Andy Lau. She also gets to present Best Supporting Actor that night. Hurray for Pinoy pride!

Photo courtesy of pep.ph

* FX’s American Horror Story officially campaigns in the Miniseries categories at the Emmys this year. Given the format of the series, this is the logical thing to do in order to earn more Emmy nods. However, their eligible material (13 episodes) is 12 times more than their possible competition this year. While I don’t think Connie Britton will defeat Julianne Moore or Nicole Kidman for the Emmy, she is now guaranteed a nomination. Jessica Lange will transfer her frontrunner status at the Miniseries Supporting Actress category with literally no one having a chance against her.

* In other Jessica Lange news, she now replaces Glenn Close in the Elizabeth Olsen starrer Therese Raquin. For the longest time, Close has been attached to the project despite some names literally coming and going. However, it’s now official that Lange will be replacing her for the role of Madame Raquin. Between this and Sally Field’s role in Lincoln, it’s safe to say that Meryl Streep is NOT hogging all the roles for 60+ aged actresses.

 * For some reality show news, Erika van Pelt finally left Idol stage, as she was eliminated at last Thursday’s results show. Sporting a new  Adam Lambert look-a-like makeover, it seems like the change of look didn’t provide her any luck. While it was Heejun Han who everybody predicted to be a goner that night, it will only take a few weeks before EVP will also be a goner. Take it as a case of foregone conclusion. Next week will probably be Heejun’s farewell unless he turns into a Sanjaya or John Stevens.

 Photo courtesy of gossip,whyfame.com

* Over at The Voice, I’ve witnessed probably the advancement of the worst vocals into the live shows in the longest time that I have been watching singing reality shows. Erin Martin’s butchering over The Garage Brothers of Tina Turner’s classic “What’s Love Got to Do With It” is a big slap to genius Jamie Lono for not making it last week. Dear Erin made it sound as if Ke$ha is a Mariah or a Celine. She’s not even singing! Between this and Chessa three weeks ago, we all know that Purrfect the Cat and not Cee-Lo, should be the one tp choose the victors for his battle rounds.

* The women of Wisteria Lane a.k.a the Desperate Housewives get one last time to cover Entertainment Weekly as a group. As the nearing series finale comes, we get to see more juicy and interesting storylines among the four Housewives. While the show was never able to regain the glory of their first season heydays, I think that they were still able to come up with decent to good seasons and the performances of the Housewives has been underrated in terms of awards consideration. For the first time, they’ll be talking about that infamous Vanity Fair cover in 2005. Very juicy, indeed!

* The Hunger Games is now in theaters, and while this hasn’t topped any box office records, it’s slowly joining the bandwagon. In fact, with a good ratings from the critics and impressive box office returns, it is safe to say that it is the new book to film sensation that will keep everyone gaga. Catching Fire, though, is premiering to theaters much later than usual on November 2013.

* Oscar winner Taylor Swift? Not gonna happen folks. While T-Swift’s efforts with another T (T-Bone Burnett, that’s who) gets critical praise, together with the whole Hunger Games soundtrack, it won’t be hearing it’s name come Oscar time, as it was the second song to be featured at the credits of the movie. Oscar contenders for Best Original Song must be played in the course of the movie, up until the first song in the credits. This is the same thing that happened to Madonna’s Golden Globe winning song “Masterpiece” for W.E. Luckily for Swift though, she can count on a Globe and Grammy nods in the Original Song categories.

* Kate Winslet wants that EGOT title right? Winslet is set to appear on her first Broadway show: a play written by two time Oscar nominee (The Hours, The Reader) playwright David Hare. There is no tentative date yet for this play, but Winslet is probably going gaga over the thought of her achieving the EGOT now. If she managed to accomplish that, she’ll be the youngest member of the club whose latest inductee is producer Scott Rudin.
 * Lastly, it’s the Golden Screen Awards tonight. This is the closest to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Golden Globes, as they separate the awards into Drama and Comedy categories. While I’m hoping for an Angel Locsin repeat win in the Best Actress: Drama category, that and Best Actor are the most difficult to predict. Martin Escudero (Zombadings), Eugene Domingo (Babae sa Septic Tank) are the frontrunners for the Comedy Lead acting while John Regala and Nonie Buencamino are the most buzzed for Supporting Actor. Nino stars Raquel Villavicencio and Shamaine Buencamino are the frontrunners for Supporting Actress while both Solenn Heusaff and Rocco Nacino might have repeat victories in the Brakthrough Acting categories.

photo courtesy of mykiru.ph

That’s it for this week’s report of Weekend Update! 😀