EmmyWatch 2011: Movie/Miniseries

22 Jun

Joshua Jackson and Melissa McCarthy are set to announce the nominations for the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards bright and early on Thursday, July 14th. And even though this is a film blog, some of you many know I’m also a pretty obsessive TV-watcher, and I currently watch over 70 television series, so I’d like to think I know a fair bit about what’s on the air right now. And in that spirit, I’ll do what I did with my OscarWatch posts back in January, and tackle the major categories for this years Emmy Awards in 4 EmmyWatch posts: Reality/Variety, Mini/Movie, Comedy and Drama.

In them I’ll give my quick thoughts on a particular race and how I personally think things will eventually shape up, listing both the 6 contenders I would personally pick were the nominations up to me, and then 6 who I actually think will have their names called out come nomination morning. Then once the nominations are announced I’ll do a post with my reactions and my actual predictions for the races. In this, the second EmmyWatch, we’ll take a look at the Made for TV Movie and Miniseries races…

TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES

Look, this is the category in which Carlos competes, and even though I haven’t seen the mini-series version, I have seen the shortened film version and I absolutely adored it, and my guess is that an elongated look will only make it that much better a watch, so I definitely love that. Then we have Mildred Pierce and Downton Abbey and Cinema Verite, and the latest editions of Sherlock and Luther, so yeah, I’m actually really like the Movie/Mini category this year.

My Personal 6 (in specific order)

  1. Carlos – Again, I’ve only seen the shortened movie version of this one, but the longer one I assume only means additional hours with the powerhouse performance that Édgar Ramírez gave in the titular role, which is saying something, so yeah, this is my number one.
  2. Sherlock: A Study in Pink – I’m guessing this one will have a tough time actually cracking the nominations, but I absolutely adore Sherlock and Bennedict Cumberbatch in the title role, so it gets my personal number 2 slot.
  3. Mildred Pierce – This one was made I guess with the sole mission to reap through these awards. And even though I really liked it, and Kate Winslet was perfect as ever in the leading role, I thought I’d find myself liking it more than I ultimately did.
  4. Luther – The stuff Idris Elba does with this character is just magnificent to watch and he should get all the kudos he deserves, he just makes the series an insanely compelling watch.
  5. Too Big to Fail – The cast, the timing of the story, the direction, this one had all the key elements to make it a big player, and even though I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would considering the pedigree, it’s still pretty excellent.
  6. Cinema Verite – In any other year in which Mildred Pierce didn’t have Kate Winslet then my guess is that Diane Lane would be the front runner for the actress award, she makes Cinema Verite very good.

How I think the actual nominations will look like (in specific order)

  1. Mildred Pierce – Read above, they made this one to rule these categories, and it should win the top prize.
  2. Downton Abbey – Not even in my Personal 6 but I think that if Mildred Pierce is to suffer an upset here it’ll be at the hands of this one.
  3. Carlos – It’s my number one but my guess is that in the actual ballots it will end up somewhere in the middle of the pack.
  4. Cinema Verite – It’s good but it should’ve been better in order to have a shot at the big prize.
  5. Too Big to Fail – Read Personal 6.
  6. Luther – I’m torn between this, Sherlock and The Sunset Limited for the final slot that will be given, but I think Luther will eventually prevail.

ACTOR IN TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES

There were some great performance in this field this year actually. As I said in the aforementioned category Édgar Ramírez totally stole the show in Carlos and he’ll obviously be my personal #1 as well as the one I’ll bet on to win the eventual trophy, but other than him there were great ones given by the likes of Laurence Fishburne and Samuel L. Jackson, so you’ll see some really heavy names trying to take it away from the relative unknown.

My Personal 6 (in specific order)

  1. Édgar Ramírez (Carlos) – His performance is just a tour de force, what he does with this character, the journey he so believably takes us through, it’s really something spectacular to watch, he’s at the top of my personal list without even the slightest doubt.
  2. Idris Elba (Luther) – If Edgar Ramirez somehow loses this prize I’ll be pissed no matter what, but if he loses the trophy to Elba I’ll understand, he’s just incendiary as Luther day in and day out.
  3. Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock: A Study in Pink) – Much like the series itself, I think the guy will have tough time cracking the list of nominees, but he’s certainly top 3 in my personal book.
  4. Samuel L. Jackson (The Sunset Limited) – The movie wasn’t as good as many were it expecting it to be, but there’s just no denying the tremendous level of Jackson’s performance in this Cormac McCarthy adaptation.
  5. Kenneth Branagh (Wallander: The Fifth Woman) – Just another fantastic performance by Branagh in this role, I doubt he’ll actually receive the nod but he certainly gets in my Personal 6.
  6. Jim Broadbent (Any Human Heart) – I’m a big Jim Broadbent fan, so he gets my final personal slot.

How I think the actual nominations will look like (in specific order)

  1. Édgar Ramírez (Carlos) – Read Personal 6. He’s just the best in the pack.
  2. Laurence Fishburne (Thurgood) – Something tells me that if Ramirez doesn’t pull it off it’ll be Fishburne who stops him.
  3. Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) – Like Fishburne, Bonneville is another one that didn’t make my Personal 6 but that I put in the Top 3 of eventual nominees. If Downton Abbey starts overperforming come Emmy night then watch out for him
  4. Samuel L. Jackson (The Sunset Limited) – Read Personal 6.
  5. Idris Elba (Luther) – Read Personal 6.
  6. William Hurt (Too Big to Fail) – Picking Hurt over Tommy Lee Jones (for The Sunset Limited) but I think it could really go either way.

ACTRESS IN TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES

This is probably the biggest lock of the night, there is just simply no scenario in which Kate Winslet leaves without a trophy in her hands, and rightfully so. I really don’t know what else to say about this category, there will be four or five other nominees, but they’ll just have to sit pretty and watch the greatest living actress under 60 take the stage.

My Personal 5 (not 6) (in specific order)

  1. Kate Winslet (Mildred Pierce) – She’s the greatest, the classiest, just impossible not to love, and she’ll be taking her second step towards an EGOT, there’s just no possibility she won’t win.
  2. Diane Lane (Cinema Verite) – I actually love this performance, and I think that in any other Winslet-less year she would’ve had a genuinely good shot, but alas that just wasn’t the case.
  3. Katie Holmes (The Kennedys) – Yes, that’s right, I have Katie Holmes as my personal #3 over some other probably more deserving contenders, but I just really thought her performance here was stellar and she should get the nod.
  4. Taraji P. Henson (Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story) – This was a very tough story to tell and Henson just made all the right choices with the titular role, a very emotionally touching performance.
  5. Hayley Atwell (The Pillars of the Earth) – Already nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in this one, I thought she was one of the best things about this adaptation of Ken Follett’s work.

How I think the actual nominations will look like (in specific order)

  1. Kate Winslet (Mildred Pierce) – Read Personal 6.
  2. Diane Lane (Cinema Verite) – Read Personal 6.
  3. Elizabeth McGovern (Downtown Abbey) – Something tells me she, and not Lane, may be the eventual #2, but it doesn’t matter, it’s not like she’s any real threat to Winslet.
  4. Jean Marsh (Upstairs, Downstairs) – She’s terrific in the role she originated in the 1970’s original, and should definitely score a nomination.
  5. Hayley Atwell (The Pillars of the Earth) – Read Personal 6.
  6. Taraji P. Henson (Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story) – Read Personal 6.

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES

Some big big names will battle it out here, and my guess is that it’ll boil down to a match up between Gandolfini and Giamatti for the trophy, but if someone else picks it up then it wouldn’t be that much of a surprise, I think this one is more open than it seems right now.

My Personal 6

  1. Paul Giamatti (Too Big to Fail) – I’m a huge huge Giamatti fan, he’s just a scene stealer always and he was the best part about this one, a TV film that was just full of terrific male supporting performances.
  2. James Gandolfini (Cinema Verite) – My guess is that he’ll actually have the edge when the nominations are announced over Giamatti, but he’s my personal #2.
  3. Guy Pearce (Mildred Pierce) – Kate Winslet is obviously what everyone talks about when referring to this mini, but Guy Pearce alongside her is one of the reasons why she shined so much, he does a truly phenomenal job.
  4. Tom Wilkinson (The Kennedys) – Another guy I’m a huge fan of, and alongside Katie Holmes he was probably the best part about this mini series that had such a hard time getting to air.
  5. Billy Crudup (Too Big to Fail) – If two supporting actors of this one end up in this category I doubt it’ll be Crudup who joins Giamatti, but I just loved him in this one so he gets a slot on my Personal 6.
  6. Tim Robbins (Cinema Verite) – Another one I think will have multiple nominees in this category, Robbins is pretty damn good here.

How I think the actual nominations will look like (in specific order)

  1. James Gandolfini (Cinema Verite) – He has 3 of these already, so this group definitely loves him, and my guess is that he has the edge in this category.
  2. Paul Giamatti (Too Big to Fail) – Read Personal 6.
  3. Guy Pearce (Mildred Pierce) – Read Personal 6.
  4. James Woods (Too Big to Fail) – In my Personal 6 I had Billy Crudup as the co-star that would join Giamatti in this category, but in reality it’ll most likely be Woods, who gives another one of his terrific commanding performances.
  5. Tim Robbins (Cinema Verite) – Read Personal 6.
  6. Tom Wilkinson (The Kennedys) – He won this one a few years ago, so just for that I’m giving him the edge over Downton Abbey’s Brendan Coyle to return to the nominees circle.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES

This one seems to be a likely fight between Maggie Smith and Evan Rachel Wood for the trophy, and I would love nothing more than to see the latter take the stage come Emmy night.

My Personal 6

  1. Evan Rachel Wood (Mildred Pierce) – Yes, Winslet is a mortal lock to win the Leading Actress race, and with good reason because she’s perfect in it, but Guy Pearce in the above discussed category and Evan Rachel Wood here are the two biggest reasons why she shined like she did, they gave the perfect supporting turns.
  2. Gillian Anderson (Any Human Heart) – I love this woman in everything she does, and though she probably won’t end up this high on the actual ballots she gets the slot in my personal list.
  3. Melissa Leo (Mildred Pierce) – Yet another shining piece in the stellar cast of this mini series, she’s terrific here, though not as great as her other female supporting co-star (but then again she wasn’t as good as Amy Adams in The Fighter and she won the Oscar, so who knows…)
  4. Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey) – Yes, she probably is the favorite but she’s just middle of the pack in my opinion.
  5. Cynthia Nixon (Too Big to Fail) – Another woman I really like, plus she’s just an Oscar away from the EGOT so that makes her even cooler.
  6. Betty White (The Lost Valentine) – She’s Betty White, there really isn’t much more to be said here, everyone loves her and she’ll surely get a nod here.

How I think the actual nominations will look like (in specific order)

  1. Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey) – A past winner, I think she’ll eventually have the advantage over my personal favorite…
  2. Evan Rachel Wood (Mildred Pierce) – Read Personal 6… nothing would make me happier than to see her take the stage.
  3. Melissa Leo (Mildred Pierce) – She’s really well liked and might ride the wave of kudos she’s now currently enjoying.
  4. Eileen Atkins (Upstairs, Downstairs) – Another legendary British past winner, she didn’t make my Personal 6 but my guess is that she’ll get in there.
  5. Cynthia Nixon (Too Big to Fail) – Read Personal 6.
  6. Betty White (The Lost Valentine) – Again, she’s Betty White, she’s gotta keep on racking up them nods.
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