Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Oscar Narrative: Post-Festival Predictions: Best Supporting Actress

Post Festival Predictions
Mary J. Blige "Mudbound"
Allison Janney "I, Tonya"
Laurie Metcalf "Lady Bird"
Kristen Scott Thomas "Darkest Hour"
Michelle Williams "The Greatest Showman"

Other Contenders - Carrie Fisher "Star Wars: The Last Jedi", Octavia Spencer "The Shape of Water", Melissa Leo "Novitiate", Hong Chau "Downsizing", Kristen Wiig "Downsizing", Holly Hunter "The Big Sick", Michelle Pfeiffer "mother!", Lesley Manville "Phantom Thread", Margot Robbie "Goodbye Christopher Robin", Catherine Keener "Get Out", Sarah Paulson "The Post", Carrie Coon "The Post", Julianne Moore "Wonderstruck", Lois Smith "Marjorie Prime", Kate Hudson "Marshall", Juno Temple "Wonder Wheel", Julia Roberts "Wonder", Nicole Kidman "The Killing of the Secret Deer", Chloe Sevigny "Lean on Pete", Penelope Cruz "Murder on the Orient Express", Judi Dench "Murder on the Orient Express", Dafne Keen "Logan", Rosamund Pike "Hostiles", Rebecca Feguson "The Greatest Showman", Rebecca Ferguson "The Snowman", Tiffany Haddish "Girls Trip", Michelle Williams "Wonderstruck"

Commentary - I have moved Carrie Fisher out of the top five for a moment, but I still have hope that Oscar voters will finally recognize this role and this incredible woman. In the post-festival world, some previously unknown contenders have emerged. Laurie Metcalf and Allison Janney are known more for their television and stage work, but both are beloved veteran actresses with impeccable resumes. Both have emerged out of the festivals with career-best work, and rave reviews. This category can favor veteran actors, and first-time nominees, so both have a great show if the buzz can be sustained. After Darkest Hour premiered, it was clear that this would be a hit with Oscar voters, so I moved Kristen Scott Thomas into this race. She is a previous nominee, and plays Clemmy Churchill, which is a role that has earned other actresses many accolades. The other two are still hanging from my original summer predictions. If Netflix pushes Mudbound right, it could be a big Oscar contender, including singer Mary J. Blige who earned raves out of Sundance. But Netflix just lost big at the Emmys, and I wonder if their release and marketing strategy will work with Oscar voters. Finally, I am holding out a spot for perennial nominee Michelle Williams. If The Greatest Showman is good enough, she could easily be the front runner. We have seen the narrative of "overdue" play well in recent years with wins from the likes of Viola Davis, Julianne Moore, and others. Williams definitely fits into that category. Beyond those five, there are plenty of contenders waiting in the wings. Octavia Spencer is yet again a scene-stealer in The Shape of Water, which earned raves out of Venice. Melissa Leo is always well-liked, Hon Chau and Kristen Wiig might overcome Downsizing's mixed reviews, Holly Hunter is the best contender from the first half of the year, and despite mixed reactions, mother! could earn Michelle Pfeiffer another Oscar nomination. Lesley Manville is an overdue veteran in a PTA film, Lois Smith is a legend, television stars Carrie Coon and Sarah Paulson could rise with The Post, Julia Roberts could return as the mom in Wonder, Kate Hudson could finally make an Oscar comeback, and Nicole Kidman could make it back to back nominations following her first Emmy win. Also, watch out for the blockbuster contenders Catherine Keener, Dafne Keen, Penelope Cruz, and the fantastic Tiffany Haddish.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards

I will update the winners live!:

Best Drama Series - The Handmaid's Tale
Best Comedy Series - Veep
Best Actor in a Drama Series - Sterling K. Brown "This is Us"
Best Actress in a Drama Series - Elisabeth Moss "The Handmaid's Tale"
Best Actor in a Comedy Series - Donald Glover "Atlanta"
Best Actress in a Comedy Series - Julia Louis-Dreyfus "Veep"
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - John Lithgow "The Crown"
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series - Ann Dowd "The Handmaid's Tale"
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Alec Baldwin "Saturday Night Live"
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series - Kate McKinnon "Saturday Night Live"
Best Supporting Actress in a TV Movie/Limited Series - Laura Dern "Big Little Lies"
Best Directing in a Drama Series - Reed Morano "The Handmaid's Tale - Offred (Pilot)"
Best Writing in a Drama Series - Bruce Miller "The Handmaid's Tale - Offred (Pilot)"
Best Directing in a Comedy Series - Donald Glover "Atlanta - B.A.N."
Best Writing in a Comedy Series - Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe "Master of None - Thanksgiving"
Best Limited Series - Big Little Lies
Best Made for Television Movie - Black Mirror: San Junipero
Best Actor in a TV Movie/Limited Series - Riz Ahmed "The Night Of"
Best Actress in a TV Movie/Limited Series - Nicole Kidman "Big Little Lies"
Best Supporting Actor in a TV Movie/Limited Series - Alexander Skarsgard "Big Little Lies"
Best Directing in a TV Movie/Limited Series - Jean-Marc Vallee "Big Little Lies"
Best Writing in a TV Movie/Limited Series - Charlie Brooker "Black Mirror: San Junipero"
Best Variety Talk Series - Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Best Variety Sketch Series - Saturday Night Live
Best Directing in a Variety Series - Don Roy King "Saturday Night Live - Host: Jimmy Fallon"
Best Writing in a Variety Series - Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Best Reality Competition Series - The Voice

Saturday, September 16, 2017

2017 Emmy Predictions: Final List

Here we go! The final of the final list. There is no going back:

Best Drama Series - Stranger Things
Best Comedy Series - Veep
Best Actor in a Drama Series - Sterling Brown "This is Us"
Best Actress in a Drama Series - Elisabeth Moss "The Handmaid's Tale"
Best Actor in a Comedy Series - Anthony Anderson "black-ish"
Best Actress in a Comedy Series - Julia Louis-Dreyfus "Veep"
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - John Lithgow "The Crown"
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series - Millie Bobby Brown "Stranger Things"
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Alec Baldwin "Saturday Night Live"
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series - Kate McKinnon "Saturday Night Live"
Best Directing in a Drama Series - Stranger Things - The Vanishing of Will Byers
Best Writing in a Drama Series - The Handmaid's Tale - Offred (Pilot)
Best Directing in a Drama Series - Atlanta - B.A.N."
Best Writing in a Drama Series - Master of None - Thanksgiving
Best TV Movie - Sherlock: The Lying Detective
Best Limited Series - Big Little Lies
Best Actor in a TV Movie/Limited Series - Riz Ahmed "The Night Of"
Best Actress in a TV Movie/Limited Series - Nicole Kidman "Big Little Lies"
Best Supporting Actor in a TV Movie/Limited Series - Alexander Skarsgard "Big Little Lies"
Best Supporting Actress in a TV Movie/Limited Series - Laura Dern "Big Little Lies"
Best Directing of a TV Movie/Limited Series - Big Little Lies
Best Writing of a TV Movie/Limited Series - The Night of - Call of the Wild
Best Reality-Competition Series - RuPaul's Drag Race
Best Variety Talk Series - Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Best Variety Sketch Series - Saturday Night Live
Best Directing in a Variety Series - Saturday Night Live
Best Writing in a Variety Series - Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

2017 Emmy Predictions: Best Drama Series and Best Comedy Series

Best Drama Series
Will Win - Stranger Things

Could Win - The Handmaid's Tale, This is Us, or Westworld

Should Win - This is Us or Stranger Things

Commentary - This is still a tight race, and until the envelope is opened, we will all be waiting with anticipation. With 22 nominations, Westworld had every opportunity to continue HBO's streak. But only winning five Creative Arts Emmys is actually not great for a show with film quality technical achievements. Westworld should have been this year's Game of Thrones or Boardwalk Empire, and it fell way short. But it is still in this, because HBO is an Emmy juggernaut. The Handmaid's Tale is the newest of the contenders, and had some nice, some surprising wins last weekend. But in my mind this is a battle between two. This is Us is the one that stands out in this race. It is the only broadcast show, it is emotional, feel-good, and it is a massive phenomenon across all ages. It could win, despite missing out in directing and writing, and it would be a massive win for the veterans or traditionalists in this industry who still believe in joy and exuberance on television. But I think that after it over-performed last week, this is Stranger Things' to lose. It is nostalgic, emotional, beautifully crafted, and like This Is Us, can be categorized as a phenomenon. I think Netflix, with its clout, finally conquers one of these big races. Streaming finally eclipses its competition. And a brilliant, genre series that has enticed millions, will win a well-deserved Best Drama Series Emmy.

Best Comedy Series
Will Win - Veep

Could Win - Atlanta or Master of None

Should Win - black-ish

Commentary - Duh. Atlanta and Master of None are auteur brilliance. But neither are going to get enough votes to beat Veep. Let's face it. Emmy voters like their comedies funny. Master of None is, but Atlanta is really not. It's great. But it's not funny. Veep is the kind of show that wins this category a lot, and a third win in a row is going to happen. If anything else wins, I will eat crow, but I find it highly unlikely that anything can upset.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

2017 Emmy Predictions: Best Actor and Actress in a Drama Series

Best Actor in a Drama Series
Will Win - Sterling K. Brown "This is Us"

Could Win - Bob Odenkirk "Better Call Saul"

Should Win - Either Brown or Odenkirk

Commentary - Bob Odenkirk finally has a shot this year, but I think that Sterling K. Brown is a juggernaut in this race. He just won last year, he is beloved among these voters, and of the two shows, This is Us has a lot more support across the acting branches compared to Better Call Saul. I think it is Brown to the podium again. On a personal note, either win would make me happy, both are great actors in great roles.

Best Actress in a Drama Series
Will Win - Elisabeth Moss "The Handmaid's Tale"

Could Win - Claire Foy "The Crown" or Evan Rachel Wood "Westworld"

Should Win - Moss

Commentary - A few months ago, this was Foy's to win, with Wood as the spoiler. But since the premiere of The Handmaid's Tale, Elisabeth Moss has shot to the top. The show did surprising well at the Creative Arts, including the win for Alexis Bledel, Moss is overdue after her Mad Men run, and this role really has the buzz compared to the other nominees.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

2017 Emmy Predictions: Best Actor in a Comedy Series

Will Win - Anthony Anderson "black-ish"

Could Win - Jeffrey Tambor "Transparent" or Donald Glover "Atlanta"

Should Win - Anthony Anderson "black-ish"

Commentary -  So let's be honest, I have been playing this safe; and it would not be an Emmy season without at least one out of the box choice. So here it is: Anthony Anderson. Jeffrey Tambor could easily win a third, as Transparent remains popular with the actors, despite a Comedy Series snub. Zach Galifianakis could pull a Louie Anderson playing a clown, which has won several folks Emmys including Eric Stonestreet recently. Aziz Ansari is popular, William H. Macy is a beloved veteran, and Donald Glover, while an unusual choice considering Emmy history, would be a bold one for this industry. Most folks are predicting either Glover or Tambor, and it would not be surprising if either won. Honestly, any of these six winning would not shock me. This is why I am going out on a limb for this category. In my opinion, there are too many maybes, and that usually spells surprise at the Emmys. In this, the year of the anti-Trump, Anthony Anderson's Lemons episode is just the fodder that led McCarthy and Chappelle to guest acting Emmys. It will probably help McKinnon and Baldwin in these categories as well. Of course, some would argue that Tambor and Glover winning would also make political statements, but theirs would be a bit more subtle. I think that Anderson is overdue for some recognition for this role, I think the climate is right, and I think this category is ripe for an upset.

Monday, September 11, 2017

2017 Emmy Predictions: Best Actress in a Comedy Series

Will Win - Julia Louis-Dreyfus "Veep"

Could Win - Allison Janney "Mom" or Tracee Ellis Ross "black-ish"

Should Win - Tracee Ellis Ross "black-ish"

Commentary - Will anyone de-throne the reigning queen? Probably at some point, but I don't think it is going to be this year. Until Julia Louis-Dreyfus loses, I am picking her to win. If anyone can pull off a miracle, I think that it is either Allison Janney or Tracee Ellis Ross. Janney is beloved among these voters, and has won for this role before. Ross would have been in a better position had black-ish earned more nominations, but never discount a pregnant story line. It has afforded many actresses Emmys over the years.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

2017 Creative Arts Emmy Awards: Part II

Once again, I will update the winners live!:

Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series - Gerald McRaney "This is Us"
Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series - Alexis Bledel "The Handmaid's Tale"
Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series - Dave Chappelle "Saturday Night Live"
Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series - Melissa McCarthy "Saturday Night Live"
Best Casting in a Drama Series - Stranger Things
Best Casting in a Comedy Series - Veep
Best Casting in a Movie/Limited Series - Big Little Lies
Best Children's Program - Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas
Best Short Form Comedy or Drama Series - Los Pollos Hermanos Employee Training
Best Actor in a Short Form Series - Kim Estes "Dicks"
Best Actress in a Short Form Series - Jane Lynch "Dropping the Soap"
Best Cinematography for a Multi-Camera Series - The Ranch
Best Cinematography for a Half-Hour Single Camera Series - Veep
Best Cinematography for a One-Hour Single Camera Series - The Handmaid's Tale
Best Cinematography for a Limited Series/Movie - The Night Of
Best Commercial - Calling JohnMalkovich.com - Squarespace
Best Costumes, Contemporary for Comedy, Drama or Limited Series - Big Little Lies
Best Costumes, Period/Fantasy for Comedy, Drama, or Limited Series - The Crown
Best Multi-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series - The Big Bang Theory
Best Single Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series - Stranger Things: Chapter 1
Best Single Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series - Master of None
Best Single Camera Picture Editing in a Limited Series for Movie - The Night Of
Best Hairstyling in a Single Camera Series - Westworld
Best Hairstyling in a Movie or Limited Series - Feud: Bette and Joan
Best Creative Achievement in Interactive Media in a Scripted Series - Westworld
Best Original Interactive Program - The People's House - Inside The White House With Barack And Michelle Obama
Best Makeup for a Single-Camera Series - Westworld
Best Makeup Movie/Limited Series - Feud: Bette and Joan
Best Prosthetic Makeup - American Horror Story: Roanoke
Best Main Title Design - Stranger Things
Best Main Title Music Theme - Stranger Things
Best Music Composition for a Series - House of Cards
Best Music Composition for Movie/Limited Series - Fargo
Best Music Supervision - Big Little Lies
Best Production Design for a Contemporary/Fantasy Series - The Handmaid's Tale
Best Production Design for a Period One-Hour Series - The Crown
Best Production Design for a Half-Hour Narrative - Veep
Best Sound Editing for a Series - Stranger Things
Best Sound Editing for a Movie/Limited Series - The Night Of
Best Sound Mixing for a One-Hour Comedy/Drama Series - Westworld
Best Sound Mixing for a Half-Hour Comedy/Drama Series - Mozart in the Jungle
Best Sound Mixing for a Movie/Limited Series - The Night Of
Best Stunt Coordination for a Comedy or Variety Series - Shameless
Best Stunt Coordination for a Drama, Movie or Limited Series - Marvel's Luke Cage
Best Special Visual Effects - Westworld
Best Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role - Gotham

Saturday, September 9, 2017

2017 Creative Arts Emmy Awards: Part I

I will be updating the winners live!:

Best Structured Reality Program - Shark Tank
Best Unstructured Reality Program - United Shades of American with W. Kamau Bell
Best Special Class Program - The 70th Annual Tony Awards
Best Reality Host - RuPaul Charles "RuPaul's Drag Race"
Best Variety Special - Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special 2017
Best Animated Program - Bob's Burgers
Best Short Form Animated Program - Adventure Time
Best Writing for a Variety Special - Full Frontal with Samantha Bee Presents Not the White House Correspondents Dinner
Best Directing for a Variety Special - Glenn Weiss "The Oscars"
Best Voiceover Performance - Seth MacFarlane "Family Guy"
Best Narrator - Meryl Streep "Five Came Back"
Best Documentary or Nonfiction Series - Planet Earth II
Best Documentary or Nonfiction Special - 13th
Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking - LA 92
Best Informational Series or Special - Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath
Best Directing in a Nonfiction Program - Ezra Edelman "O.J.: Made in America"
Best Writing in a Nonfiction Program - Ava DuVernay and Spencer Averick "13th"
Best Short Form Reality or Nonfiction Series - Viceland at the Women's March
Best Short Form Variety Series - The Daily Show - Between the Scenes
Best Casting in a Reality Program - Born This Way
Best Choreography - (TIE) Mandy Moore "Dancing with the Stars" and Travis Wall "So You Think You Can Dance?"
Best Cinematography in a Nonfiction Program - Planet Earth II - Islands
Best Cinematography in a Reality Program - Born This Way
Best Costumes in a Variety, Nonfiction, or Reality Program - RuPaul's Drag Race
Best Picture Editing for a Nonfiction Program - O.J.: Made in America
Best Picture Editing for a Structured or Competition Reality Program - RuPaul's Drag Race
Best Picture Editing for an Unstructured Reality Program - Life Below Zero
Best Picture Editing for a Variety Program - Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
Best Hairstyling in a Multi-Camera Series or Special - Hairspray Live!
Best Interactive Program - Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Best Creative Achievement in Interactive Unscripted - The Oscars: All Access
Best Innovation in an Interactive Program - Pearl
Best Lighting Design in a Variety Series - Dancing With the Stars
Best Lighting Design in a Variety Special - Super Bowl XI Halftime Show with Lady Gaga
Best Makeup for a Multi-Camera Series - Saturday Night Live
Best Motion Design - (TIE) 13th and Beyond Magic
Best Music Direction - Taking the Stage: African American Music and Stories that Changed America
Best Music and Lyrics - Common, Robert Glasper, and Karriem Riggins "13th - Letter to the Free"
Best Production Design in a Variety, Nonfiction or Reality Series - Saturday Night Live
Best Production Design in a Variety, Nonfiction or Reality Special - Hairspray Live!
Best Sound Editing in a Nonfiction Program - The Beatles: Eight Days a Week
Best Sound Mixing in a Nonfiction Program - The Beatles: Eight Days a Week
Best Sound Mixing in a Variety Program - (TIE) 59th Grammy Awards and 2017 Rock and Roll Hal of Fame Induction Ceremony
Best Technical Direction for a Movie, Limited Series or Special - Hairspray Live!
Best Technical Direction for a Series - Saturday Night Live

2017 Emmy Predictions: Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Will Win - John Lithgow "The Crown"

Could Win - Ron Cephas Jones "This is Us", David Harbour "Stranger Things", or Jeffrey Wright "Westworld"

Should Win - Ron Cephas Jones "This is Us"

Commentary - John Lithgow has been ahead in this race for months now. He won the SAG, and lost the Golden Globe to an Emmy contender from last. So not much stands in his way right? This category has haunted me the last few years, because it has been forever since I actually got it right. It also has been a category ripe for upsets. Like when Jonathan Banks lost for the first season of Better Call Saul, or Ben Mendelsohn's shocking win last year over Banks and the Game of Thrones guys. That is why I am keeping three other potentials in my back pocket and might even switch one out as we enter the final stretch. First on the list is Ron Cephas Jones, who could be this year's Margo Martindale. He is one that was borderline in getting in, but now that he is, the popularity of his show, and the emotional performance he gives might equal Emmy gold. Jeffrey Wright is fantastic in Westworld, a previous Emmy winner, and could be a harbinger of the show's popularity if he wins. Finally, Stranger Things is on track to potentially win Drama Series, which could pull in David Harbour. I recently re-watched Stranger Things, and was surprised at how good he was. I loved his character, but a second viewing shows a lot of depth and could be the surprise of the night.