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66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

Emmy Drama Supp Actress

And we’re back with the Emmy coverage! After a ten day hiatus, here’s the second half of the Emmy analysis process over here at Tit for Tat. After doing the guest acting and longform categories last week, let’s move on by doing the supporting ones this week. And we begin with the drama supporting actresses of the year.

Earning her fifth consecutive nomination, Christina Hendricks survives another year of getting nominated for Mad Men. This year, she submitted The Strategy, which isn’t a totally bad submission given how she’s really not much of a non-factor this season. Hendricks surely seems to be one of those affected by the Emmys lack of enthusiasm over giving Mad Men an acting award because she has submitted great episodes before (Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency, The Other Woman) to no avail. I don’t think her fate will change this year though.

Coming off a one year-snub, Joanne Froggatt gets in for a second time for her role as Anna Bates in Downton Abbey. She surely nailed her submission by going with Episode 2 in which her character was raped by the end of the episode. It’s truly a competitive storyline and one that has worked wonders before in the past for other actresses. However, the main detriment to Froggatt’s episode is that her scene comes during the last five minutes of the episode, and I don’t know if it will be impactful enough to be anyone’s top ranked performance.

Then there’s Froggatt’s co-star, 2012 winner Dame Maggie Smith. At this point, Smith is probably a prominent case of name-checking. I really don’t think she herself even bothers anymore, and I won’t be surprised if people involved with the show are the ones submitting for her. That said, I have to say that they did a terrible job this year by submitting for her Episode 8. In this one and a half hour long submissions, Smith rarely appears and is mostly relegated to reacting a thing or two with the other characters. It’s really not worthy to watch the whole episode especially if you’re not the show’s fan.

Speaking of winners, current champ Anna Gunn is in the running for a consecutive win. And that makes that possibility closer because she submitted Ozymandias which is basically one (if not the) of the finest hours of television the past season. Gunn gave a very complex performance here that started with her being calm and quiet and she gets more intense as the episode progressed. She has a breakdown scene, a confession scene, and it has all the makings of a winning tape it’s not even close with how the rest of these women submitted.

Like Hendricks, Christine Baranski is also on her fifth consecutive nomination for The Good Wife. Season wise, it really is an outstanding season for Baranski with everything that has happened to Diane Lockhart from the firm separation and her supposed promotion at the beginning of the season to her dealing with Will Gardner at the bottom end of the show. She has lots of tapes to choose from so it is quite controversial that she went with The Last Call as this is an episode where it’s mostly an ensemble piece. Is it her best submission? I don’t think so. But is it a bad submission? I don’t think so as well. While she’s not the far standout in it, she was given lots to do and showcased an icy Diane at the beginning with the intern scene, vulnerable with her scenes with Alicia, and commanding with the firing of the client. It’s an underrated good tape in hindsight, and a competitive one.

And lastly, replacing her co-star Emilia Clarke last year, Lena Headey is the fourth Game of Thrones actor to receive an individual Emmy nod after Peter Dinklage, Dame Diana Rigg, and Clarke. Headey submitted one of the most buzzed episode of the season The Lion and the Rose. While not as debatable as Baranski’s submission, Headey gets to have that breakdown scene at the end. Hell hath no fury like a mother scorned indeed, and I can see this channeling votes for her.

In the end, Anna Gunn is so far and away this competition it’s not even funny. It seems like stars are written for her to win a second Emmy as the token farewell Emmy acting win, and so she can join multiple Emmy winning co-stars Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston. While this category has been notoriously a venue for these out of the field wins from mid 2000s to 2010, the past three years all went with the frontrunner (Margo Martindale, Maggie Smith, Anna Gunn). Baranski is competitive as well, and she’s the only show’s chance to continue the trend of rewarding one Good Wife female actress per season (Archie Panjabi in 2010, Julianna Margulies in 2011, Martha Plimpton in 2012, and Carrie Preston in 2013). Joanne Froggatt would have had more chance to upset had Maggie Smith’s submission helped her here, but she was non-existent in the latter’s episode that it did not increase her chances at all. But for now, I’m sticking with the thought of 2x Emmy winner Anna Gunn.

Prediction: Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad
Alternate: Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife

Full Rankings:
01. Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad
02. Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife
03. Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey
04. Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones
05. Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey
06. Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

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

66th Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations Predictions Part 4: Drama   Leave a comment

Hi there everyone! You’re still reading Tit for Tat’s 66th Emmy coverage. For the past three days, I have been sharing to you my predictions on who I think will be up for Emmy awards for this year. So before Mindy Kaling and Carson Daly announce the official nominees in the Reality and Variety, TV Movie and Miniseries, and Comedy genres, let’s finish this prediction series with the most serious genre of them all: drama!

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Directing

• Boardwalk Empire, Farewell Daddy Blues (Tim van Patten)
• Breaking Bad, Felina (Vince Gilligan)
• Downton Abbey, Episode 1 (David Evans)
• Masters of Sex, Pilot (John Madden)
• True Detective, Who Goes There (Cary Fukunaga)

Sixth nominee: House of Cards, Chapter 14 (Carl Franklin)

And let’s begin with Directing. Despite Boardwalk Empire falling off the Series and Lead Actor nods that they received during the show’s first two seasons, it’s safe to say that they haven’t lost their touch yet with the directors voting branch. For its past three seasons, the show has received two wins out of four nods, so we can all rely on Tim van Patten receiving his fourth consecutive nomination in here for the season finale Farewell Daddy Blues. You can also count on Downton Abbey to get in here since they’re very strategic about this whole Emmy process that they submit only one episode, so if the voters want to reward the show, Episode 1 is their only option to do so. Probably the most buzzed directorial achievement this year, Cary Fukunaga’s eight minute long track shot in True Detective’s Who Goes There isn’t only a nominee sure bet, but a frontrunner for the win as well. And can we talk about how this category loves its pilots and finales? Yep that’s right. Thus, I’m predicting one a piece for the pilot of Masters of Sex directed by Shakespeare in Love director John Madden, and of course, the finale of Breaking Bad by creator Vince Gilligan. Watch out for House of Cards though since it is the current champ in this category.

OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Writing

• Breaking Bad, Felina (Vince Gilligan)
• Breaking Bad, Ozymandias (Moira Walley-Beckett)
• Downton Abbey, Episode 1 (Julian Fellowes)
• Game of Thrones, The Children (David Benoiff, D.B. Weiss)
• True Detective, The Secret Fate of All Life (Nic Pizzolatto)

Sixth nominee: Mad Men, Waterloo (Carly Wray, Matthew Weiner)

As for the writing, it’s safe to assume that all these Downton Abbey fans in the Academy will simply check it off the Writing and Directing ballot so a nod here is expected (just like the past two years). After years of snubbing, Breaking Bad finally entered the race last year with two nominations, and I expect them to have the same fate this year — one for their finale Ozymandias and the other for their most submitted episode in the Emmy ballot, Felina. Unlike Downton Abbey though, True Detective only has one writer for the whole season; thus it can only submit one episode for consideration, so I’m expecting all its supports to push The Secret Fate of All Life to make it in here. As for the last spot, despite the show being a flashier directorial bet, it seems like the writers branch is the oen appreciative of Game of Thrones given their two nods here for the last two years. Therefore, I placed it here for their season finale episode.

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Guest Actor

• Michael Bowen, “Breaking Bad
• Beau Bridges, “Masters of Sex
• Dan Bucatinsky, “Scandal
• Nathan Lane, “The Good Wife
• Robert Morse, “Mad Men
• Pedro Pascal, “Game of Thrones

Seventh nominee: Louis Gossett Jr., “Boardwalk Empire

Well let’s begin with curent champ Dan Bucatinsky. Without spoiling anything, I think he’s not only in for a consecutive nod, bur he’s very much in for a consecutive win as well with that very baity episode. And since there’s no Michael J. Fox in tow, it paves the way for a repeat Nathan Lane nod as he’s the torchbearer of The Good Wife in this category for this year. Robert Morse of Mad Men has been nominated here four out of the last six times he’s eligible, and with a buzzed season he had, it’s safe to assume he’ll be back in the line up again. The same buzz surrounds Game of Thrones actor Pedro Pascal (and that’s solely not for his shirtless photo that he posted!) and with Game of Thrones‘ haul looking to be its biggest year by far, he’ll definitely be in for the ride. Then there’s semi-favorite Beau Bridges. His lauded performance in Masters of Sex already assures him of a nod, but the fact that he’s been nominated here twice the past four years means he has more support than expected. As for that last spot, I’m giving it to Breaking Bad actor Michael Bowen since I think this will be a redux of the Mark Margolis nom two years ago. He’s in the scenes most with the leads, and that can spread the wealth to his impending nod.

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Guest Actress

• Kate Burton, “Scandal
• Jane Fonda, “The Newsroom
• Allison Janney, “Masters of Sex
• Lisa Kudrow, “Scandal
• Carrie Preston, “The Good Wife
• Diana Rigg, “Game of Thrones

Seventh nominee: Margo Martindale, “The Americans

Aside from current champ Carrie Preston of The Good Wife and current frontrunenr Allison Janney of Masters of Sex, this is quite a lukewarm category as compared to its male counterpart. Sure there’s Dame Diana Rigg whose season wasn’t as sure like the last one, but I don’t see the Emmys dropping her easily this year, so I’m predicting a nod for her. Then there’s Jane Fonda who can’t even win last year with her legend status and baity tape, and with The Newsroom being less of a factor at all, I can see her missing. That said, she’s been visible lately with her tribute, so maybe another nod isn’t totally out of reach. Then for the last two spots, I’m going a bit heavy on Scandal guest actresses. First, there’s Emmy winner Lisa Kudrow. Though her guest appearance doesn’t scream “sure Emmy contender”, I think hers is one of the most buzzed guesting of the TV drama season that she can coast to a nod for it. It’s not surprising if she misses though especially since Kate Burton is also in contention. Shonda Rhimes made Kate Burton a multiple time nominee here for Grey’s Anatomy before, I easily think she can do a repeat of that, this time for her role in Scandal.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Supp Actor

• Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey
• Josh Charles, “The Good Wife
• Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones
• Dean Norris, “Breaking Bad
• Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad
• Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan

Seventh nominee: Charles Dance, “Game of Thrones

Both previous winners Peter Dinklage and Aaron Paul are safe already methinks. And in the tradition of farewell shows getting in more nods for their cast (see Kristin Davis in Sex in the City in 2004, Matthew Fox in Lost in 2010), I expect Dean Norris to finally snatch a nomination for himself as well. I’ve been adamant about Jim Carter, but I already made the mistake of dropping him last year only to be fooled when the noms were announced. So I’m sticking for him now. With how his fate in the show shocked the whole TV crowd, I expect Josh Charles to get his second nod for The Good Wife three years after he received his first. As for that last slot, I think the Globes affirmed more than ever on how it values its movie stars, Jon Voight will get that veteran slot for his first season performance in Ray Donovan. If not him, then maybe Game of Thrones adds another acting performance via another veteran, Charles Dance.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Supp Actress

• Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife
• Emilia Clarke, “Game of Thrones
• Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey
• Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad
• Michelle Monaghan, “True Detective
• Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey

Seventh nominee: Bellamy Young, “Scandal

Clusterfuck. That’s what this category is. Well let’s start with the regulars. Current champ Anna Gunn, 2012 winner Dame Maggie Smith, and perennial nominee Christine Baranski are the three safest in this line up that’s for sure. Then as for the other three, I’m going with a repeat of Emilia Clarke’s nod simply because I think Emmy has a disconnect with who owns which season when it comes to nominating actors from Game of Thrones. If she managed to get in last year with that lackluster of a season, I wouldn’t have high expectations that she will be dropped this year for doing less of that. Then there’s Michelle Monaghan, who I’m really not convinced. It seems like True Detective was 80% McConaughey and 20% Harrelson, that they won’t even care about the others. I can see a scenario where someone who makes sense to get nominated suddenly is nowhere to be found (Nicollette Sheridan in 2005, Corey Stoll last year), though I’m counting on Monaghan’s C-list movie star status to somehow help her here. The last spot is the riskiest of them all, as I’m going with a comeback narrative for Joanne Frogatt simply because her storyline the past season is too in your face to ignore. I have Bellamy Young as a replacement just because I find it weird if Scandal gets five(!) acting nominations and it’s not even close to be a Series contender, so I think she’s the most vulnerable.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Lead Actor

• Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad
• Jon Hamm, “Mad Men
• Woody Harrelson, “True Detective
• Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective
• Michael Sheen, “Masters of Sex
• Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards

Seventh nominee: James Spader, “The Blacklist

Talk about crowded. This category has at least 10 names in contention that makes a whole lotta sense. Let’s begin with Bryan Cranston. We actually can end it now with Cranston as well, but yeah he’s sooo getting in. Then there’s 2x Oscar winner Kevin Spacey. Sure his name didn’t exactly bring him to the podium last year, but this is a tailor made role for him that he’ll be a mainstay at these awards shows even if the show has already faltered. I think regardless of Mad Men‘s fate as a whole, Jon Hamm is another of those perennial nominees that will still get in, so I think he’s safe, albeit a bit vulnerable, for this year. And let’s go to the newbies. As for starters, we have the pair of True Detective actors here, and I predict both of them getting in. Well McConaughey is the more obvious one, and I see him contending for the win as well, but I’m going with Harrelson too since I predict that they’ll just check both of their names off. Plus this is not a priority vote ranking that will hurt the latter. That said, I won’t be surprised if he misses though since as I mentioned above, True Detective was 80% McConaughey and 20% Harrelson. As for that last slot, I contemplated going with James Spader, and he makes sense actually since he’s in a hit show and it’s a comeback performance, and this category really loves him (I mean come on, he won over James Gandolfini for the last season of The Sopranos). Then there’s also Downton Abbey‘s Hugh Bonneville and current champ Jeff Daniels of The Newsroom, but I think we’d see the start of decline of Downton starting this year and The Newsroom is as DOA as one can get per HBO standards. Thus, I’m going with previous Emmy nominee Michael Sheen since I;m quite confident of Masters of Sex delivering on Emmy nomination day.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Lead Actress

• Claire Danes, “Homeland
• Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey
• Vera Farmiga, “Bates Motel
• Juliana Margulies, “The Good Wife
• Kerry Washington, “Scandal
• Robin Wright, “House of Cards

Seventh nominee: Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men

And here’s another crowded one. Let’s begin by saying that despite Homeland turning into some mega shit show for its third season, Claire Danes still rises above the occasion, and I don’t think she’ll be snubbed ala Margulies last year. After all, she’s still the reigning champ in here. Speaking of Margulies, I believe that last year was just a fluke and a case where everyone thought she’s safe already that’s why they’re spreading the wealth (like how Allison Janney was snubbed in 2005), and with The Good Wife‘s heavily buzzed season, she’s so coming back for another nomination. If Robin Wright managed to get in last year for a borderline supporting role, I see no problem for her getting in this year again with even a winning tape in her hands. I’m sticking with Michelle Dockery still just because I really don’t think they’d dropped anything Downton that quick, and I have Hugh Bonneville as the sacrificial lamb of the show already. Kerry Washington who can’t even win for the love of God a Golden Globe or a SAG for Scandal, has a stronger narrative last year than this year, but I think she’s still safe at least this year. As for that last spot, I keep going back and forth with Elisabeth Moss and Vera Farmiga, but I really don’t think they’ll drop the Oscar nominee instantly especially after her surprise nomination last year as opposed to Mad Men who’s on a decline with their nods. Now watch them nominate all seven of them now.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Series

• Breaking Bad (AMC)
• Downton Abbey (PBS)
• Game of Thrones (HBO)
• House of Cards (Netflix)
• Masters of Sex (Showtime)
True Detective (HBO)

Seventh nominee: Mad Men (AMC)

As if we haven’t had any headaches with the Drama categories yet, but yes, Series is tough to predict. Unless, you know, they go with seven nominees. Bu let’s assume there are only six. I think we can separate them into this: Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and True Detective are safe no matter what. They’re clearly the upper tier in this one. No matter what happens to the rest of the line up, we can expect to see these three here. And then I’d go and say Downton Abbey is fourth here. Like I’m sure you’re also wondering who effin still supports Downton Abbey, the answer is: Emmy voting panel. I’d love to be wrong here, but let’s not kid ourselves. Then we have Showtime’s slot. I think Masters of Sex is being quite underrated as a whole, but this is clearly Showtime’s priority this year, and they have been doing a smooth run for its campaign. I think this will be the surprise of the contenders here. For that last spot, there’s Mad Men who is a 4x champ and has been nominated for all of its seasons by far, but really, the show’s buzz has just been absent all along. Not even at the guild precursors. It’s literally MIA as far as buzz is felt, though who knows? After all, the Emmys are the last group to react to buzz of shows. Then there’s also House of Cards. After its premiere last February, the show has been eclipsed by it’s Netflix sister Orange is the New Black. But to its favor, there’s still some clout left under its rug, and this is Netflix’ drama priority while Mad Men plays second fiddle to Breaking Bad. there’s a big chance they’d go seven nominees still (or even The Good Wife making that comeback), but for now I’d choose House of Cards by a small  margin.

Finally it’s over! Are you excited for the announcement later? Do you think Mad Men will be able to maintain its perfect Series nomination record? How much of Downton Abbey will go down in terms of nominations? And can Jeff Daniels overcome the jinx and get a chance to retain his title? Go on and share your thoughts in the comments section. 🙂

Don’t forget you ca follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

65th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

supp actress drama

PAST PREDICTIONS:

2005: Blythe Danner, “Huff[CORRECT]
2006:
Sandra Oh, “Grey’s Anatomy[WRONG]
2007:
Sandra Oh, “Grey’s Anatomy[WRONG]
2008:
Rachel Griffiths, “Brothers and Sisters[WRONG]
2009:
Rose Byrne, “Damages[WRONG]
2010:
Sharon Gless, “Burn Notice[WRONG]
2011:
Margo Martindale “Justified[CORRECT]
2012:
Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey[WRONG]

And boy does I suck in this category. LOL. However, it’s really the most bizarre acting category every year. If you want to find a WTF winner that wins out of nowhere, this category is the one you’re looking for. Though the past two years were from the undeniable frontrunners, so that probably says something with regards to how this category is changing. For this category, Archie Panjabi of The Good Wife finally bids goodbye as she misses for the first time. However, the biggest snub here goes to Monica Potter who definitely was so close to the nod, and I’m still sad that she failed to get one. Off to the contenders.

After three seasons, Game of Thrones finally managed to get a supporting actress nod. However, it’s sad that it went to Emilia Clarke, as a.) this is not her best season and b.) she is not the best supporting actress for the last one. The lack of a solid submission speaks so much about her chances this year. Nevertheless, submitting And Now His Watch is Ended is a good choice, since it has her money scene at the end, but for a 58 minute tape, appearing in the last five minutes won’t do you any favors.

Current champ Maggie Smith is back, and despite winning the last two years for the show, she still hasn’t appeared in any of the recent telecasts.  This can push the voters to look for other direction. But then again, it’s Maggie Smith. Maybe they just don’t care enough. After all, her team submitted the first episode of the third season where she has the interactions with Shirley Maclaine. That might be too irresistible for voters to pass up on.

Morena Baccarin closed out the Homeland acting love this year, as she completes the foursome of acting categories for the show. Judging by her episode State of Independence, I think she’s in contention for the win, as this gives her the big speech scene in the end about how a devotes wife she is to her husband. With that said, as much as Homeland can easily sweep this year, this category is the last of all the four acting ones that can win the trophy. I don’t think the Emmys will really show THAT much love to the show itself.

After losing last year for The Other WomanChristina Hendricks is probably just not destined for that Emmy. Maybe it’s the role, maybe it’s the show, but clearly, she’s not the type that voters want to reward. With that said, it’s still good to see her submit her best possible work of the season, and that’s A Tale of Two Cities. She gets the crying drama and confrontational scene in the end. It might be a consolation prize for losing last year, but then again, the show still hasn’t produced any acting win yet for its past five seasons. Who knows?

Anna Gunn is perceived to be the frontrunner this year especially since she has that slam dunk tape with Fifty-One. And boy did she really deliver; however, I’m worried that increasing expectations with her tape can possibly result to a disappointment as it’s not the showy histrionic type of tape that usually ends up winning Emmys. But then again, Breaking Bad is enjoying an immense amount of love for the show, and if they love it more, she might be the next one after co-stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul to clutch an Emmy.

Lastly, despite not having a co-star anymore, Christine Baranski adds another nomination as she’s 4/4 for The Good Wife. I actually am surprised that she still hasn’t won an Emmy yet, hers is the type of role that usually lands instant wins. As for her tape The Seven Day Rule, I think she has other better submissions this year, but I guess she’s going for impact more than screentime, as her episode ends with a confrontational talk to Juliana Margulies’ character. If she can push her veteran status more, then maybe she still has that little chance.

All in all, the huge amount of buzz can bring Anna Gunn to the top with a win this year. After all, she’s still urnewarded, and the show will definitely end up with at least a major win come Emmy night. Of course, it’s still not right to dismiss Maggie Smith at all, as she can sashay this role to a third win with no sweat. I guess I just have to give in to with my personal thoughts, and pick Gunn for the win.

Prediction: Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad
Runner-Up: Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey

Full Rankings:
1. Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad
2. Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey
3. Morena Baccarin, “Homeland
4. Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men”
5. Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife
6. Emilia Clarke, “Game of Thrones” 

You can see my other Emmy predictions by clicking them here.

Meanwhile, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

ANALYSIS: Emmy Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series 2012   Leave a comment

EPISODE SUBMISSIONS:

• Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife” (Alienation of Affection)
• Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey” (Episode 7: Christmas Episode)
• Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad” (Cornered)
• Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men” (The Other Woman)
• Archie Panjabi, “The Good Wife” (The Dream Team)
• Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey” (Episode 1)

Christine Baranski is on her third consecutive nomination and is still Emmyless for this role. What I particularly like about her submission is how vital her character and storyline is on the whole episode. She has a very huge amount of screentime that focuses not only on the case, but on her Diane’s personal struggles as well. This is also her best season on the show, and if The Good Wife fans want to spread the wealth between her and Panjabi, they might opt to go with her this time. First time nominee Joanne Froggatt is an unknown actress in terms of Emmy radar, but after viewing her tape, I’d say she’s every inch in this race considering how much baity her tape is. She gets to have a breakdown scene, trial scenes, and crying moments throughout her whole episode. If the Christmas episode of Downton Abbey is a motion picture, I’d even dare say that she’ll get notices for an Oscar. These are the stuff that awards are made of, and it also helps her that Smith’s tape showcases her as well. The only thing she needs to overcome is her being unknown but Archie Panjabi made it happen two years ago. The other first time nominee, Anna Gunn, finally gets an overdue nomination, but it’s sad that it was not one of her better seasons on the show, and she doesn’t even have the slam dunk tape to submit this year. In her episode, she gets to have a confrontation with husband Walter, and goes on a major decision by the end of the episode. I actually like this tape for her; but I don’t think this showcases her acting talents the most. Now that she’s in the club already, I think they might wait another season before finally rewarding her with that elusive Emmy. After all, she already has a winning tape this season and for next year’s eligibility. One can argue that this is Christina Hendricks‘ best season on the show so far. She gets to have more moments, and we get to know more about Joan as the season progresses. For this year, she submitted “The Other Woman” which is one of the show’s top episodes this season. It was a strong episode altogether and it was a highlight for the main cast… which is also the problem. Hendricks gets to share the episode with both Hamm and Moss (which also submitted these episodes), so she does not get to own this episode as one could hope for. While her moments are certainly effective in here, there are other equally impressive storylines that can drown hers. If voters manage to overcome all of those and focus on Hendricks’ instead, then she might have a chance. 2010 champ Archie Panjabi is also on her third nod for the show, and this year, she submitted the season finale. It involves a mysterious bank check and a cliff hanger confrontation scene in the end. She was not given a lot to do in this episode, though her scenes are memorable, but it can also drown with the other storyline re: The Dream Team. I don’t think Panjabi has what it takes to reap a second win, but everyone also underestimated her during the year when she won her Emmy, so one can not really tell what her chances are. Last year, Dame Maggie Smith already took home an Emmy for this role beating three actresses from Mildred Pierce in the Miniseries/TV movie category. This year, I don’t think it’s as slam dunk as one thinks when it comes to her chances. Her submitted episode (the season opener) does not require her to do much, but it contains her trademark reactionary ice queen conversations. If voters still dig that, then she can win this one in a cakewalk. After all, she’s Dame Maggie Smith. She also has a “second” tape this year via Froggatt’s so that increases her chances, but if viewers focus on tapes this year, I don’t feel she’ll be gaining majority of those number ones.

This category has been the one that provides the upset of the night for the past few years (except Martindale last year), so the person who’s usually ranked last or second to the last wins this race. If viewers based it on season long performance, I’d say expect Hendricks to win it. If they solely based it on name factor, Smith wins it easily. If they want to reward another veteran, then Baranski might be what they’re looking for. But if they focus on tapes, maybe Joanne Froggatt has a chance. I’m actually risking the fact that they’re basing it on the tapes and pushing unknown Froggatt for the win.

Prediction: Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey
Dark Horse: Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife

Complete Rankings:
1. Froggatt
2. Baranski
3. Hendricks
4. Smith
5. Gunn
6. Panjabi

20 Most Deserving Oscar Best Actress Wins   3 comments

In one of many Oscar traditions, I will be doing a best of the best Oscar list. Sure, winning an Oscar is one of the best career highlights for any actor in Hollywood. However, it’s better if you win for your a very deserving performance. While the likes of Jodie Foster (The Accused), Elizabeth Taylor (Butterfield 8), Gwyneth Paltrow (Shakespeare in Love), Halle Berry (Monster’s Ball), Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line), and Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) always get the flack for most controversial wins, we will focus on those who tailored some of the most inspiring performances that actually deserved to win the coveted gold statuette. Here are 20 of them:

20. NATALIE PORTMAN, “Black Swan” (2010)

Role: Nina Sayers, a confused ballerina on her way to a major break
Competition: Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right), Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole), Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone), Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)

Portman, in probably her flashiest role to date, managed to deliver both the physical and mental demands necessary to master the role of Nina. In the movie, not only does she master ballet for every other scene, and while most people question whether it was actually her doing all the dancing in the film, it is nonetheless unquestionable that her best scenes in the film (including the overexposed yet very effective He picked me, mommy! scene) are the most memorable ones.

19. JOANNE WOODWARD, “Three Faces of Eve” (1957)

Role: Eve White, Eve Black, and Jane, a woman suffering from a multiple personality disorder
Competition: Deborah Kerr (Heaven Knows, Mr. Alison), Anna Magnani (Wild is the Wind), Elizabeth Taylor (Raintree Country), Lana Turner (Peyton Place)

Sounds such a very baity role made for award hogging? Yeah, that one is not new. However, for what its worth, Woodward sold the hell out of all her scenes in the movie. The shifting of her persona for the three personalities is so complicated, yet she makes it look so natural. That alone makes her win one of the best in this category.

18. INGRID BERGMAN, “Anastasia” (1956)

Role: Anna Koreff/Anastasia, the questioned Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna
Competition: Caroll Baker (Baby Doll), Katharine Hepburn (The Rainmaker), Nancy Kelly (The Bad Seed), Deborah Kerr (The King & I)

Bergman is probably one of the best actresses to grace the screen, and her performance as the chosen lady to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia is a clear testament of this. In Anastasia, it was never clear if Bergman is actually Anastasia, and while some hints here and there were given that she actually is, Bergman’s performance not only convinced the characters in the movie, but the moviegoers as well.

17. HELEN MIRREN, “The Queen” (2006)

Role: royal monarchy Queen Elizabeth II
Competition: Penelope Cruz (Volver), Judi Dench (Notes on a Scandal), Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada), Kate Winslet (Little Children)

Probably one of the most rewarded performances in film history, it was an easy stroll for the Dame on her road to the Oscar. However, she was up against a fantabulous  group of co-nominees which all gave superb, if not iconic, performances as well. What made Mirren very deserving of the Oscar though was that she made Queen Elizabeth II human, and with that comes a very natural approach to all her scenes in the movie.

16. HOLLY HUNTER, “The Piano” (1993)

Role: Ada McGrath, mute pianist living in the mid-19th century
Competition: Angela Bassett (What’s Love Got to Do With It), Stockard Chaning (Six Degrees of Separation), Emma Thompson (The Remains of the Day), Debra Winger (Shadowlands)

Always contested as one of the closest Oscar fights in this category, Hunter was probably helped over by the fact that she was double nommed that year. Nevertheless, I believe that it was her performance as Ada McGrath that won over the voters. it just goes to show that even acting at it’s most quiet still gets rewarded with Oscars.

15. DIANE KEATON, “Annie Hall” (1977)

Role: Annie Hall, quirky ex girlfriend of main character Alvy Singer
Competition: Anne Bancroft (The Turning Point), Jane Fonda (Julia), Shirley Maclaine (The Turning Point), Marsha Mason (The Goodbye Girl)

The thing I love the most about Keaton’s victory is that it was her best performance to date.  She was very natural and fit to the role of Annie Hall, and she complimented Woody Allen’s Alvy Singer perfectly. Sure while Reds, Manhattan, Marvin’s Room, and even Something’s Gotta Give showed her flair for acting, Annie Hall was its prime predecessor.

14. JODIE FOSTER, “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)

Role: Clarice Sterling, FBI trainee assigned to the case of Hannibal Lecter
Competition: Geena Davis (Thelma and Louise), Laura Dern (Rambling Rose), Bette Midler (For the Boys), Susan Sarandon (Thelma and Louise)

While peope can question Anthony Hopkins’ 14 minute portrayal of Hannibal Lecter as a Lead performance, there is no doubt that Jodie Foster deserves the Oscar for her fierce portrayal of Clarice Sterling. Foster made the viewers feel as if we were on a journey with her; it’s as if we were actually beside her during the whole movie. She was tough when the scenes need to, and she was vulnerable during the moments that require that. Oscar worthy in my eyes.

13. JANE FONDA, “Klute” (1971)

Role: Bree Daniels, prostitute slash accomplice to a detective in solving a case
Competition: Julie Christie (McCabe and Mrs. Miller), Glenda Jackson (Sunday Bloody Sunday), Vanessa Redgrave (Mary, Queen of Scotts), Janet Suzman (Nicholas and Alexandra)

It’s such a head scratcher why Jane Fonda stopped doing quality movies (Remember Monster in Law?) when she gave layered performance one after the other such as this one of Bree Daniels. Political beliefs aside, it is truly magnificent how much attached Fonda was with the role of Bree, and this (together with her another win for Coming Home) goes to show that Fonda has the chops to match the rich material she is capable of delivering.

12. JANET GAYNOR, “Sunrise” (1928)

Role: Indre, the wife
Competition: Louise Dresser (A Ship Comes In), Gloria Swanson (Sadie Thompson)

The very first recipient of the Oscar in this category is also one of the best winners ever. Granted she was also recognized for two other performances that year, it was her role as the wife in Sunrise that showed her captivating flair for acting. Seems like she was a good omen in this category after all.

11. SISSY SPACEK, “Coal Miner’s Daughter” (1980)

Role: Loretta Lynn, country icon
Competition: Ellen Burstyn (Resurrection), Goldie Hawn (Private Benjamin), Mary Tyler Moore (Ordinary People), Gena Rowlands (Gloria)

Before starring in biopics have become the easy route on your way to the Oscar (coughSandraBullockReeseWitherspooncough), there was a time when portraying real people is as special as it can get especially when you Sissy Spacek’s Oscar winning performance as Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner’s Daughter. As music icon Lynn, it was clear that Spacek wasn’t in for lone imitation but more of a characterization. It is clear injustice why Spacek has only one Oscar on her mantle.

10. SIMONE SIGNORET, “Room at the Top” (1959)

Role: Alice Aisgill, an unhappy married old woman who’s bored with her life
Competition: Doris Day (Pillow Talk), Audrey Hepburn (The Nun’s Story), Katharine Hepburn (Suddenly Last Summer), Elizabeth Taylor (Suddenly Last Summer)

It was somehow a surprise back then how French actress Simone Signoret won the Oscar over close competitor and still then unrewarded Elizabeth Taylor. However, it will only take one viewing of Room at the Top to understand why. To give a gritty treatment to the character of Alice Aisgill and made you see the vulnerability of the character perfectly why she won that year. It won’t also hurt that she swept the Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Cannes for this performance.

09. KATHARINE HEPBURN, “The Lion in Winter” (1968)

Role: Eleanor of Aquitaine, estranged wife of King Henry II
Competition: tied with Barbra Streisand (Funny Girl), Patricia Neal (The Subject Was Roses), Vanessa Redgrave (Isadora), Joanne Woodward (Rachel, Rachel)

The Academy’s most rewarded actress is also the biggest victor in this category with all four of her trophies are in this category. My favorite, though, is her third win for The Lion in Winter as Eleanor of Aquitaine. Such fierceness yet also restraint at some parts with equally wonderful and snubbed Peter O’Toole. It sucks though that she has to share it with Barbra Streisand who was great but obviously inferior to Hepburn’s performance.

08. MAGGIE SMITH, “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” (1969)

Role: Jean Brodie, a committed teacher in an all girls school
Competition: Genevieve Bujold (Anne of a Thousand Days), Jane Fonda (They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?), Liza Minnelli (The Sterile Cuckoo), Jean Simmons (The Happy Ending)

Before she took on teaching duties at Hogwarts, Professor McGonagall was Jean Brodie first, and her role as a committed teacher in an all girls is one of the best portrayed films about an instructor. This is mostly due to Smith’s remarkable performance that is so relatable and charismatic that even non-students will fight to have a slot in her class.

07. ELIZABETH TAYLOR, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” (1966)

Role: Martha, a hard-drinking wife who’s waiting for a visitor
Competition: Anouk Aimee (A Man and a Woman), Ida Kaminska (The Shop on the Main Street), Lynn Redgrave (Georgy Girl), Vanessa Redgrave (Morgan!)

We all know the history of Taylor’s first Oscar. It was given to her out of pity because of her personal problems during that time. However, it won’t take too long of a time and deliver a performance actually worthy of an Oscar, and it was her Martha who was sassy and unstoppable in Mike Nichols’ Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf that will actually do the trick.

06. MARION COTILLARD “La Vie En Rose” (2007)

Role: Edith Piaf, French singing superstar
Competition: Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth: The Golden Age), Julie Christie (Away From Her), Laura Linney (The Savages), Ellen Page (Juno)

This was a case of the little one that could. Who said that non-English performances are at a disadvantage when it comes to Oscar? Sure they just happen as rare as a blue moon, but they won’t pass the chance to reward the really deserving ones. take the case of Marion Cotillard in 2007. As French singer Edith Piaf, it wasn’t Cotillard’s singing voice used in the movie, but the emotions she showed is clearly Marion authentic.

05. MERYL STREEP, “Sophie’s Choice” (1982)

Role: Sophie Zawistowski, a mother subjected in making a life change decision
Competition: Julie Andrews (Victor/Victoria), Jessica Lange (Frances), Sissy Spacek (Missing), Debra Winger (An Officer and a Gentleman)

Always regarded as one of the best pieces of acting showcases in the history of film, Academy’s favorite actress, Meryl Streep’s Sophie Zawistowski ineded lives up to its title. The “choice” scene, as much as it was repetitive and over shown, never lost any ounce of magic in it. This performance raised the pedestal that all the other succeeding film performances tries to reach, but only a few have matched it since then. Streep was still at her finest and that short piece of moment is definitely worthy of an Oscar.

04. HILARY SWANK, “Boys Don’t Cry” (1999)

Role: Brandon Teena, a confused young woman who is in  a complicated relationship with another woman
Competition: Annette Bening (American Beauty), Janet McTeer (Tumbleweeds), Julianne Moore ( The End of the Affair), Meryl Streep (One True Thing)

Swank was in her first lead role back then, and it was for a very controversial role as Brandon Teena, a woman playing a man. The movie was a bit overlong, but that was one thing you can never describe about Swank’s performance. It was affectionate, poignant, and definitely effective. When she cries, you cries. When she’s hurt, you’re hurt. And when Swank won the Oscar, you’re happy because it was such a very inspired win.

03. VIVIEN LEIGH, “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1951)

Role: Blanche Dubois, delusional pretentious Southern belle
Competition: Katharine Hepburn (The African Queen), Eleanor Parker (The Detective Story), Shelley Winters (A Place in the Sun), Jane Wyman (The Blue Veil)

Vivien Leigh is a very effective actress that even starring in large epic films doesn’t limit her as an actress (see: Gone with the Wind). While her Scralett O’Hara is pretty much iconic already, I still prefer her Blanche Dubois performance because not only did it stand out from the group ensemble, it was also a layered and sweetheart performance that showcases Leigh’s greatest assets as an actress.

02. CHARLIZE THERON, “Monster” (2003)

Role: Aileen Wuornos, killing prostitute
Competition: Keisha Castle Hughes (Whale Rider), Diane Keaton (Something’s Gotta Give), Samantha Morton (In America), Naomi Watts (21 Grams)

One of the most heartbreaking performances of the past decade, it was indeed a surprise how Theron nailed the physical requirements to portray Aileen Wuornos. But more than that, she aced the emotional scenes with so much depth and honesty that it’s hard not to get carried away with it. The role of Aileen Wuornos has a tendency to receive a histrionic approach to it, but Charlize manages to maintain balance in between what needs to be done and what needs not to be done in order to act this role. For that plus a lot of other things, she is oh so deserving of that Best Actress Oscar in 2003.

01. OLIVIA DEHAVILLAND, “The Heiress” (1949)

Role: Catherine Sloper, rich woman trying to find her true love
Competition: Jeanne Crain (Pinky), Susan Hayward (My Foolish Heart), Deborah Kerr (Edward, My Son), Loretta Young (Come to the Stable)

And the queen of them all, is none other than screen legend Olivia de Havilland in her performance as Catherine Sloper. In The Heiress, the role was already given a nice twist to it by playing the rich woman card instantly. de Havilland was on fire with her performance in this one, and if there’s one word to describe it, I;m opted to go with flawless. Watch the last ten minutes of the film, and you’ll see acting at its finest.

That’s it. How about you? What are your choices? Did you agree with this list? Who would you have removed from the list? And also, can you name the six actresses in the cover photo? 🙂