FINAL EMMY PREDICTIONS 2012 - Miniseries & Movie

These are my last set of predictions for the upcoming 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards. This article is devoted to the miniseries/movie category. However, I do take a stab (if you even want to call it that) at guessing who will win for VARIETY SERIES and REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM.


NOTE: I'm writing this article a little later than I had planned (9/16/12). Because of this, the Creative Emmys have already taken place, so I won't include CASTING, even though I actually would have correctly guessed that Game Change would win! Oh well. . .



1. GAME CHANGE: It's the one to beat, and I don't see an upset on the horizon. It's far and away the best miniseries or movie from the past season. Director Jay Roach and screenwriter Danny Strong work well together (see Recount), so it really shouldn't come as much of a surprise that they hit this one out of the park. The real question is: how many awards will it walk away with?


2. HATFIELDS & McCOYS - It's probably the closest thing to genuine competition Game Change has, mostly because it stands the biggest chance of upsetting in another category.


3. HEMINGWAY & GELLHORN - On paper, this sounds like a bigger threat than it actually is. It may have two big movie stars out in front, but Philip Kaufman's mostly uninteresting sweeping drama is overlong and undercooked.


4. AMERICAN HORROR STORY - Even though this is actually a drama series, it was smart to move it here. Nonetheless, it's probably too weird for some voters, and the fact that Ryan Murphy failed to score a nomination for directing the pilot implies it doesn't have the kind of support it needs to claim a victory.


5. SHERLOCK: A SCANDAL IN BELGRAVIA - The nomination was a surprise, and it's probably still a major long shot. However, it's picked up some steam in the last few days. Did enough voters take notice to bump Game Change from the top spot? Probably not.


6. LUTHER - This was such a deserving nod. It's an engaging British police drama, anchored by the great Idris Elba. It doesn't really have a chance here, but hopefully its star will fare better in his field. . .









1. Idris Elba (LUTHER): This should have been his last year. The Golden Globe win boosts his chances. Hopefully. Frankly, it feels like any of the men could win. Elba commands the screen best, though, which gives him the edge. Even if it's only a slight one.


2. Clive Owen (HEMINGWAY & GELLHORN): He doesn't do or say anything too memorable until the last hour of the film, when Hemingway's relationship with Gellhorn grows more volatile. When he does get to do something awards-worthy, he really nails it. It's a competitive year, though, so it may not be enough.


3. Kevin Costner (HATFIELDS & McCOYS): Say what you will about some of his more recent cinematic choices, there are two things Kevin Costner masters on screen: baseball and westerns. He's in his element as the head of the Hatfield clan. I don't think he'll win, but I'm also not willing to completely write him off either.


4. Woody Harrelson (GAME CHANGE): The momentum his movie has could work in his favor. Like Owen, he doesn't really have a great scene until very late into the film. It is a memorable one, however. In fact, he may have the most memorable scene out of everyone. But when people think of Game Change, they probably immediately picture Harrelson's more high profile co-stars. Their performances may overshadow his.


5. Benedict Cumberbatch (SHERLOCK: A SCANDAL IN BELGRAVIA): He had better material last year, and some of his recent comments (particularly those regarding the new Sherlock-based series, Elementary), paint him as sort of a jerk. That could hurt him in the end, although several experts seem to think he has a legitimate shot as a potential upset.


6. Bill Paxton (HATFIELDS & McCOYS): He's probably the only winner who would legitimately surprise me, and not in a good way. Costner acts circles around him. Then again, I didn't give much thought to Barry Pepper upsetting last year, and look what happened!






1. Julianne Moore (GAME CHANGE): It would make for one of the biggest upsets of the night (and, maybe Emmy history) if she lost. Translation: she won't lose. It was practically in the bag for her as soon as the first production photos surfaced online.


2. Nicole Kidman (HEMINGWAY & GELLHORN): She has a great opening scene (". . .and all that bread. . .isn't worth a hoot in hell"), and she's relatively fine throughout the rest of the film, but she's nothing like the knockout that is Julianne Moore.


3. Connie Britton (AMERICAN HORROR STORY): There's more to Ms. Britton than just playing a coach's wife. Except for one co-star, she's arguably the best actor or actress on the show. She won't win, but maybe Nashville will bring her back next year. . .


4. Emma Thompson (THE SONG OF LUNCH): Name recognition probably garnered her the nomination more than the actual performance. It wouldn't net her a win in a less competitive year, so it definitely isn't happening this time.


5. Ashley Judd (MISSING): It was a good move to place Missing here (Judd would NOT have been nominated in the much stronger Lead Actress in a Drama category). She should be happy with the unexpected nomination.







1. Ed Harris (GAME CHANGE): Like Moore, he's been the heavy favorite for a while now, and the buzz never fizzled. It's his to lose. Additionally, the stats work in his favor, assuming Moore wins. The last four supporting actor winners were in the same movies or miniseries as the actresses who won for their leading performances.


2. Denis O'Hare (AMERICAN HORROR STORY): O'Hare is a talented character actor who never disappoints, whether he's playing a thankless role in an Oscar-winning film (Milk, Michael Clayton) or chewing scenery in a popular vampire series (True Blood). Winning isn't exactly out of the realm of possibility, but it's not too far off.


3. Tom Bereneger (HATFIELDS & McCOYS): Known for the gruff characters he's played in the past (like the soulless Sergeant Barnes in Platoon), Berenger is surprisingly sensitive at various points throughout the miniseries. Playing against type helps, generally, but mostly if the performance is flashy enough. He's got the first part down. The second, however, is another story.


4. Martin Freeman (SHERLOCK: A SCANDAL IN BELGRAVIA): Like his co-star, Freeman was much better in the first series. He's a good straight man. This just isn't a role that allows for a lot of scene-stealing moments.


5. David Strathairn (HEMINGWAY & GELLHORN): Strathairn's a great actor who only just won this very trophy two years ago (and he'll probably be back again sometime soon). That being said, even with his new look here, he does anything but stand out.









1. Jessica Lange (AMERICAN HORROR STORY): She's almost as big a lock as Moore. As soon as she brought up the quip about the Home Shopping Network, this was hers. While her show definitely benefited from moving into the miniseries field, Lange would probably still be the frontrunner in the drama category.


2. Sarah Paulson (GAME CHANGE): Like Harrelson, we have to wait for her big moment, which she nails. Unlike Harrelson, even if Game Change developed a strong amount of momentum on Emmy night, Lange is still looking pretty much unbeatable.


3. Judy Davis (PAGE EIGHT): Whenever her name is in the mix, it usually means she's a threat (assuming it doesn't mean she's the frontrunner). This time, however, even though she's fantastic as usual, Davis is part of a boring drama (one Emmy voters clearly did not find to their liking), and she's absent too long for her performance to really resonate.


4. Frances Conroy (AMERICAN HORROR STORY): She can be a lot of fun to watch, but her co-star has all of the buzz.


5. Mare Winningham (HATFIELDS & McCOYS): She's okay here, but she isn't given much to do. It's not at all on par with the great performance she had in Mildred Pierce.








1. GAME CHANGE (Jay Roach): Roach has already won this award for directing Recount. This political biopic is even better, and he wasn't even expected to win last time. Since Game Change is the heavy favorite, Roach is in the driver's seat.


2. HATFIELDS & McCOYS (Kevin Reynolds): It's been a while since a director in this category won another Emmy (eight years, to be precise). That works against Roach. Reynolds is next in line. Gritty, violent series require expert direction. It's the one area where Hatfields & McCoys is most likely to upset.


3. SHERLOCK: A SCANDAL IN BELGRAVIA (Paul McGuigan): It's the only other nominee that stands a legitimate shot. The writing is typically more impressive than the directing, but if the series has enough support (and it actually might), you can't count it out.


4. HEMINGWAY & GELLHORN (Philip Kaufman): Were the film as good as it looked, it'd be a viable threat. The missing writing nomination hurts (great directing and writing typically go together).



5. LUTHER (Sam Miller): Some of the episodes (like the finale) are gorgeously shot. Nevertheless, for this series, the nomination will have to act as the reward.







1. GAME CHANGE (Danny Strong): The script is fantastic. Plus, unlike Roach, Strong was overlooked the last time. He's due for a win.


2. SHERLOCK: A SCANDAL IN BELGRAVIA (Steven Moffat): There's actually a very good chance of this happening. It's cleverly put together, and Moffat was even more deserving of it last year.


3. LUTHER (Neil Cross): Even though the first series might have been a little bit better, there's no clumsy dialogue this time around ("She didn't yawn. Yawning's contagious"). Still, the show isn't expected to factor into this year's ceremony.


4. HATFIELDS & McCOYS ("Part 2" - Ted Mann; Ronald Parker; Bill Kerby): If it's going to win somewhere (assuming there isn't an upset in the acting categories), it will be for directing.


5. THE HOUR (Abi Morgan): Considering how many of us expected this show to make more of an impression on Emmy voters (nominations for Outstanding Miniseries, Lead Actor for Dominic West), the lone writing nod is all the proof we need that voters just didn't connect with this nice-looking but flat series.





These will hardly register as bold predictions, but here they are nonetheless:


VARIETY SERIES

REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM

My Personal Picks. . .

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