Sunday, September 22, 2019

71st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards

I will update the winners live:

Best Drama Series - Game of Thrones
Best Comedy Series - Fleabag
Best Actor in a Drama Series - Billy Porter "Pose"
Best Actress in a Drama Series - Jodi Comer "Killing Eve"
Best Actor in a Comedy Series - Bill Hader "Barry"
Best Actress in a Comedy Series - Phoebe Waller-Bridge "Fleabag"
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Peter Dinklage "Game of Thrones"
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series - Julia Garner "Ozark"
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Tony Shalhoub "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series - Alex Borstein "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"
Best Directing in a Drama Series - Jason Bateman "Ozark - Reparations"
Best Writing in Drama Series - Jesse Armstrong "Succession - Nobody is Ever Missing"
Best Directing in a Comedy Series - Harry Bradbeer "Fleabag - Episode 2.1"
Best Writing in a Comedy Series - Phoebe Waller-Bridge "Fleabag - Episode 2.1"
Best Limited Series - Chernobyl
Best Television Movie - Bandersnatch: Black Mirror
Best Actor in a Limited Series/TV Movie - Jharrel Jerome "When They See Us"
Best Actress in a Limited Series/TV Movie - Michelle Williams "Fosse/Verdon"
Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series/TV Movie - Ben Whishaw "A Very English Scandal"
Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series/TV Movie - Patricia Arquette "The Act"
Best Directing in a Limited Series/TV Movie - Johan Renck "Chernobyl"
Best Writing in a Limited Series - Craig Mazin "Chernobyl"
Best Competition Program - 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 - Don Roy King "Saturday Night Live - Host: Adam Sandler"
Best Writing in a Variety Series - Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Saturday, September 21, 2019

2019 Emmy Predictions: Final List

I haven't made too many changes, but have tweaked a few categories. Check out my final list before tomorrow night's ceremony!:

Best Drama Series - Game of Thrones
Best Comedy Series - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Best Actor in a Drama Series - Billy Porter "Pose"
Best Actress in a Drama Series - Sandra Oh "Killing Eve"
Best Actor in a Comedy Series - Bill Hader "Pose"
Best Actress in a Comedy Series - Julia Louis-Dreyfus "Veep"
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Peter Dinklage "Game of Thrones"
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series - Julia Garner "Ozark"
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Tony Shalhoub "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series - Olivia Colman "Fleabag"
Best Directing in a Drama Series - Succession - Celebration
Best Writing in a Drama Series - Game of Thrones - The Iron Throne
Best Directing in a Comedy Series - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - We're Going to the Catskills
Best Writing in a Comedy Series - Fleabag - Episode 2.1
Best Limited Series - When They See Us
Best Television Movie - Deadwood: The Movie
Best Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie - Jharrel Jerome "When They See Us"
Best Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie - Michelle Williams "Fosse/Verdon"
Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie - Ben Whishaw "A Very English Scandal"
Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie - Patricia Clarkson "Sharp Objects"
Best Directing in a Limited Series or TV Movie - When They See Us
Best Writing in a Limited Series or TV Movie - Chernobyl
Best Competition Program - RuPaul's Drag Race
Best Variety Talk Series - Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Best Variety Sketch Series - Saturday Night Live
Best Directing in Variety Series - Saturday Night Live
Best Writing in a Variety Series - Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

2019 Emmy Predictions: Best Drama and Comedy Series

Best Drama Series
Will Win - Game of Thrones
Could Win - Killing Eve, Better Call Saul, or Ozark
Should Win - Better Call Saul 
Commentary - Can anything beat Game of Thrones? The short answer: no. The long answer: hell no. Better Call Saul, Killing Eve, and Ozark all did very well with nominations, mostly because big competitors like Big Little Lies, The Crown, Stranger Things, The Handmaid's Tale, and Westworld all sat this Emmy season out. Next year, all of these categories are probably going to look a lot different, as these juggernauts all air seasons, and knock them out. They sat out this season because they knew nothing could beat Game of Thrones. I don't care about the complaints, the reviews, or the backlash. 34 nominations, already having won so many last week. This is one final chance for voters to reward this series, and they are not going to pass up the chance.

Best Comedy Series
Will Win - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Could Win - Fleabag, Barry, or Veep
Should Win - Maisel or Fleabag
Commentary - I think Barry is a solid fourth place, but its incredible increase in nominations shows it has strength. Veep could easily win just out of love for the series, but I feel like its decreased nominations hurts it. Voters love it, but I think many of them have moved on. I feel like this is a race between Maisel and Fleabag, two truly deserving shows. While there is clearly not as much passion for Maisel as last year, it also increased nominations, did incredibly well at the Creative Arts, including winning the two Guest Acting awards, and even beat Game of Thrones in a craft category. That shows strength across the board. Fleabag's casting and editing win though show that it is really a threat, and in terms of passion, buzz, and critical acclaim, it has a lot going for it. Also, this is the last time for voters to reward it (especially since they ignored season 1). In a tight race, I am leaning Maisel, but I am expecting the unexpected.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

2019 Emmy Predictions: Best Actor in a Drama Series

Will Win - Billy Porter "Pose"

Could Win - Odenkirk, Bateman, Brown, or Harington

Should Win - Bob Odenkirk "Better Call Saul"

Commentary - This is such a wide open race this year, I could honestly see several possibilities. I am picking Billy Porter. Pose did get into Drama Series, he is one of the brightest stars of the moment, and season 2 aired during voting, which received rave reviews. But I could literally see four other guys winning instead. Bob Odenkirk has patiently waited to win this award, and this might finally be the year that he is able to finally win, and honestly, he deserves to get that recognition. Sterling K. Brown is always a threat, as he is a previous winner for this character, and is beloved among voters. Jason Bateman won the SAG for Ozark, and is a perennial nominee, who has never won an Emmy. This could be his chance. Finally, don't discount Kit Harington. Once again, it is easy to argue that his story line was not great this season. But with 34 nominations, voters love Game of Thrones, and that matters more than the quality of the final season.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

2019 Emmy Predictions: Best Actress in a Drama Series

Will Win - Sandra Oh "Killing Eve"

Could Win - Laura Linney "Ozark" or Emilia Clarke "Game of Thrones"

Should Win - After all of her wins during the precursors, and how well Killing Eve did across the board this year, I am still predicting Sandra Oh. She deserves to win, I don't think Jodi Comer is too much internal competition, and honestly they owe her from Grey's Anatomy. So is she a lock? Hell no. Laura Linney has only ever lost one of her previous Emmy nominations, and she lost to the (at the time) up and coming star power that was Melissa McCarthy. Is Oh's star power as bright? This will be the test. Also watch out for Emilia Clarke. I don't care what critics thought. I don't care if her story line was disappointing. Game of Thrones got 34 nominations. They got almost every actor on the ballot into a nomination slot. She is a threat.

2019 Emmy Predictions: Best Actor in a Comedy Series

Will Win - Bill Hader "Barry"

Could Win - Ted Danson "The Good Place" or Michael Douglas "The Kominsky Method"

Should Win - Danson

Commentary - All of these tight races, and I feel like Hader has this one in a walk. Ted Danson is an Emmy-winning legend, and should not be discounted. Also, this year, The Good Place got into Comedy Series, which helps his case. If The Kominsky Method had made the Comedy Series cut, I might be more apt to put Michael Douglas higher. He is still an Oscar and Emmy winning legend, and will inspire votes. But this is Hader's to lose. He won last year and Barry did even better with voters this year than it did last year. I think he wins again.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

71st Annual Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards: Part II

I will update the winners live:

Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series - Bradley Whitford "The Handmaid's Tale"
Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series - Cherry Jones "The Handmaid's Tale"
Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series - Luke Kirby "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"
Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series - Jane Lynch "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"
Best Short Form Comedy or Drama Series - State of the Union
Best Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series - Chris O'Dowd "State of the Union"
Best Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series - Rosamund Pike "State of the Union"
Best Creative Achievement in Interactive Media Within a Scripted Program - Bandersnatch: Black Mirror
Best Original Interactive Program - NASA's InSight Mars Landing
Best Casting in a Drama Series - Game of Thrones
Best Casting in a Comedy Series -  Fleabag
Best Casting in a Limited Series/TV Movie - When They See Us
Best Children's Program - When You Wish Upon a Pickle: A Sesame Street Special
Best Cinematography for a Half Hour Single Camera Series - Russian Doll
Best Cinematography for a One Hour Single Camera Series - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Best Cinematography for a Multi-Camera Series - The Ranch
Best Cinematography for a Limited Series/TV Movie - Chernobyl
Best Commercial - Dream Crazy - Nike
Best Period Costumes - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Best Contemporary Costumes - Russian Doll
Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costumes - Game of Thrones
Best Single Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series - Game of Thrones - The Long Night
Best Single Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series - Fleabag
Best Single Camera Picture Editing or a Limited Series/TV Movie - Chernobyl
Best Multi Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series - One Day at a Time
Best Hairstyling in a Single Camera Series - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Best Hairstyling in a Limited Series/TV Movie - Fosse/Verdon
Best Makeup for a Single Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic) - Game of Thrones
Best Makeup for a Limited Series/TV Movie (Non-Prosthetic) - Fosse/Verdon
Best Prosthetic Makeup - Star Trek: Discovery
Best Main Title Design - Game of Thrones
Best Original Main Title Theme Music - Nicholas Britell "Succession"
Best Music Composition for a Limited Series/TV Movie - Chernobyl
Best Music Composition for a Series - Game of Thrones
Best Music Supervision - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Best Production Design for a Narrative Program Half Hour - Russian Doll
Best Production Design for a Narrative Period/Fantasy (One Hour) - Chernobyl
Best Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary Program (One Hour) - The Handmaid's Tale
Best Sound Editing for One Hour Comedy or Drama Series - Game of Thrones
Best Sound Editing for a Half-Hour Drama or Comedy Series - Barry
Best Sound Editing for Limited Series/TV Movie - Chernobyl
Best Sound Mixing for a One Hour Comedy/Drama Series - Game of Thrones
Best Sound Mixing for a Half Hour Comedy/Drama Series - Barry
Best Sound Mixing for a Limited Series/TV Movie - Chernobyl
Best Stunt Coordination for a Comedy Series or Variety Program - GLOW
Best Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series/TV Movie/Limited Series - Game of Thrones
Best Special Visual Effects - Game of Thrones
Best Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role - Chernobyl

Saturday, September 14, 2019

71st Annual Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards: Part I

I will update the winners live!:

Best Variety Special (Live) - Live In Front Of A Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All In The Family’ And ‘The Jeffersons'
Best Variety Special (Pre-Recorded) - Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live From Liverpool
Best Structured Reality Program - Queer Eye
Best Unstructured Reality Program - United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell
Best Reality Host - RuPaul Charles "RuPaul's Drag Race"
Best Animated Program - The Simpsons
Best Character Voiceover Performance - Seth MacFarlane "Family Guy"
Best Narrator - Sir David Attenborough "Our Planet"
Best Interactive Program - NASA And SpaceX: The Interactive Demo-1 Launch
Best Creative Achievement in Interactive Media within an Unscripted Program - Free Solo
Best Documentary or Nonfiction Series - Our Planet
Best Documentary or Nonfiction Special - Leaving Neverland
Best Informational Series or Special - Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking - (TIE) RBG and The Sentence
Best Short Form Animated Program - Love, Death, and Robots
Best Short Form Reality or Nonfiction Series - Creating Saturday Night Live
Best Short Form Variety Series - Carpool Karaoke: The Series
Best Directing for a Nonfiction Program - Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin "Free Solo"
Best Directing for a Reality Program - Hisham Abed "Queer Eye"
Best Directing for a Variety Special - Thom Zimny "Springsteen on Broadway"
Best Writing for a Nonfiction Program - Anthony Bourdain "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown"
Best Writing for a Variety Special - Hannah Gadsby "Hannah Gadsby: Nanette"
Best Casting in a Reality Series - Queer Eye
Best Choreography for a Variety or Reality Program - Tessandra Chavez "World of Dance"
Best Cinematography for a Nonfiction Program - Free Solo
Best Cinematography for a Reality Program - Life Below Zero
Best Costumes for a Variety, Reality or Nonfiction Program - RuPaul's Drag Race
Best Picture Editing for a Nonfiction Program - Free Solo
Best Picture Editing for Structured Reality or Competition Program - Queer Eye
Best Picture Editing for an Unstructured Reality Program - United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell
Best Picture Editing for a Variety Program - Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Best Hairstyling for a Multi-Camera Series or Special - RuPaul's Drag Race
Best Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Series - Saturday Night Live
Best Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Special - Rent
Best Makeup for a Multi Camera Series or Special - Saturday Night Live
Best Music Direction - Fosse/Verdon
Best Music Composition for Documentary Series or Special - Marco Beltrami and Brandon Roberts "Free Solo"
Best Original Music and Lyrics - Crazy Ex Girlfriend - Antidepressants Are So Not A Big Deal
Best Production Design for a Reality, Variety or Competition Series - Saturday Night Live
Best Production Design for a Variety Special - Rent
Best Sound Editing for a Nonfiction Program - Free Solo
Best Sound Mixing for a Nonfiction Program - Free Solo
Best Sound Mixing for a Variety Series or Special - Aretha! A Grammy Celebration For The Queen Of Soul
Best Technical Direction for a Series - Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Best Technical Direction for a Special - The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special 2019

45th Annual Saturn Award Winners

Best Comic-to-Motion Picture Release
Avengers: Endgame

Best Science Fiction Film Release
Ready Player One

Best Fantasy Film Release
Toy Story 4

Best Horror Film Release
A Quiet Place

Best Action/Adventure Film Release
Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Best Thriller Film Release
Bad Times at The El Royale

Best Animated Film Release
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Best Independent Film Release
Mandy

Best International Film Release
Burning

Best Actor in a Film
Robert Downey Jr. "Avengers: Endgame Marvel"

Best Actress in a Film
Jamie Lee Curtis "Halloween"

Best Supporting Actor in a Film
Josh Brolin "Avengers: Infinity War Marvel"

Best Supporting Actress in a Film
Zendaya "Spider-Man: Far From Home"

Best Performance by a Younger Actor 
Tom Holland "Spider-Man: Far From Home"

Best Film Director
Jordan Peele "Us"

Best Film Screenplay
Bryan Woods, Scott Beck, John Krasinski "A Quiet Place"

Best Film Production Design
Avengers: Endgame Marvel

Best Film Editing
Avengers: Endgame

Best Film Music
Marc Shaiman "Mary Poppins Returns"

Best Film Costumes
Aladdin

Best Film Make-Up
Avengers: Endgame

Best Film Special/Visual Effects
Avengers: Endgame

Best Superhero Television Series
Supergirl

Best Science Fiction Television Series
Westworld

Best Fantasy Television Series
Game of Thrones

Best Horror Television Series
The Walking Dead

Best Action/Thriller Television Series
Better Call Saul

Best Animated Series on Television
Star Wars: Resistance

Best Actor on a Television Series
Sam Heughan "Outlander"

Best Actress on a Television Seriees
Emilia Clarke "Game of Thrones"

Best Supporting Actor on a Television Series
Peter Dinklage "Game of Thrones"

Best Supporting Actress on a Television Series
Danai Gurira "The Walking Dead"

Best Performance by a Younger Actor on a Television Series
Maisie Williams "Game of Thrones"

Best Guest Starring Performance on a Television Series
Jeffrey Dean Morgan "The Walking Dead"

Best Streaming Superhero Television Series
Marvel’s Daredevil

Best Streaming Science Fiction, Action, & Fantasy Series
Star Trek: Discovery

Best Streaming Horror & Thriller Series
Stranger Things

Best Actor in Streaming Presentation
Henry Thomas "The Haunting of Hill House"

Best Actress in Streaming Presentation
Sonequa Martin-Green "Star Trek: Discovery"

Best Supporting Actor in Streaming Presentation
Doug Jones "Star Trek: Discovery"

Best Supporting Actress in Streaming Series
Maya Hawke "Stranger Things"

2019 Emmy Predictions: Best Actress in a Comedy Series

Will Win - Julia Louis-Dreyfus "Veep"

Could Win - Phoebe Waller-Bridge "Fleabag" or Rachel Brosnahan "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"

Should Win - Really any of them

Commentary - This is a three-way race. Or is it? I would not be shocked to see Phoebe Waller-Bridge win. Fleabag has been on meteoric rise in terms of Emmy recognition. But I think she will win writing, and that is what she will be remembered for, instead of the performance. I also think Rachel Brosnahan could repeat. She was on such a winning streak for Mrs. Maisel, including over the winter precursors, that it could continue. But how can I bet against Julia Louis-Dreyfus? She has never lost a Emmy race as Selina Meyer, she had another great season, and this is the last time for voters to recognize this role. I think she makes it a clean sweep. 

Friday, September 13, 2019

The 9th Annual Awards Psychic Television Award Winners

Best Drama Series
Winner - Better Call Saul
Runners Up - Killing Eve, Pose, and The Good Fight
Commentary - I am not diving into the Game of Thrones battle. It is not my place. As you will see below, it does not walk away empty handed. One award to make up for lost time and one for a personal favorite honor the show's final season. I have my thoughts on the final season, like everyone else, but I want to instead focus on my pick for this year's Best Drama Series. For years, Better Call Saul has been living in the shadow of its predecessor. It is consistently ranked among the best in television, but always seems to lose out to flashier, more popular, and more buzzed shows and performances. It is time for folks to finally recognize the brilliance of Better Call Saul. The TCA did earlier this month, and it was a well-deserved, albeit a bit surprising recognition. Better Call Saul may not have the same buzz as Breaking Bad, but as it closed out its fourth season, it proved that in terms of quality, it is certainly at least its equal. Brilliantly written, impeccably acted, and bold, Better Call Saul continues to churn out impeccable television drama, and it's time it got kudos.

Best Comedy Series
Winner - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Runner Up - Better Things, The Good Place, Insecure, and Schitt's Creek
Commentary - I am late to the Mrs. Maisel awards party, but it's better late than never. The first season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was pitch-perfect fun. So I was worried whether the cast and crew could capture the same magic in Season 2. Sophomore slump is a real thing. Luckily, viewers didn't have to slog through a slump. The second season had the same Amy Sherman-Palladino zing and fizz, the cast were impeccably on point, and even get more room to grow in their world. Zany, fun, infectious, Mrs. Maisel is a bright spot in the television lineup, and one of the best shows on television today.

Best Actor in a Drama Series
Winner - Bob Odenkirk "Better Call Saul"
Runners Up - Billy Porter "Pose" and Richard Madden "Bodyguard"
Commentary - One of the biggest reasons Better Call Saul has been so successful is because the great Bob Odenkirk stepped up from a comedic relief bit character and became the fully-fledged leading man Saul is today. Still cranking out dark humor, but throwing in emotional pathos, and truly dramatic talent, Odenkirk has proven that he is an amazing actor, and has created a character that rivals any on television today.

Best Actress in a Drama Series
Winner - (TIE) Jodi Comer and Sandra Oh "Killing Eve"
Runners Up - Christine Baranski "The Good Fight", Julia Roberts "Homecoming", and Maggie Gylleenhaal "The Deuce"
Commentary - Killing Eve Season 2 was great, although I agree with most folks that it had a bit of a sophomore slump compared to its first season. That being said though, what never slumped was the dynamic duo at is center. One of them could win an Emmy next month, which would be great. But it would feel like something was missing since the other one would be left out. Because how can you reward one, but not the other? Comer and Oh's characters are so intertwined, their sick, loving, utterly fascinating mind-bending cat and mouse relationship is so mesmerizing. It is what keeps the show afloat. I simply cannot reward one, without rewarding the other.

Best Actor in a Comedy Series
Winner - Andy Samberg "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
Runners Up - Ted Danson "The Good Place" and Jim Parsons "The Big Bang Theory"
Commentary - Brooklyn Nine-Nine's last minute save from NBC reminded me how much I love that show. This last season didn't miss a beat, and each and every week, one of the best ensembles on television is led by a great performance from Andy Samberg. He always did well with the sketch comedy on SNL. But the first season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, his character was so obnoxious, I almost didn't stick around for season 2. I'm glad I did. The writers and Samberg figured out how to make his character work. Now, entering its seventh season, Samberg has found his rhythm. He has matured as an actor, as his character has matured. It makes the comedy funnier, and the emotional scenes more effective. It is time he got recognition for a great performance, a great role, in a great show.

Best Actress in a Comedy Series
Winners - (TIE) Pamela Aldon "Better Things" and Rachel Brosnahan "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"
Runners Up - Issa Rae "Insecure", Debra Messing "Will & Grace", and Phoebe Waller-Bridge "Fleabag"
Commentary - Rachel Brosnahan is epic in her role on Maisel. She is hilarious, fast, funny, fierce, and lights up every scene she is in. She truly is marvelous. But I could not leave this television season without also rewarding Pamela Adlon. Better Things is an incredible show, but it had to survive the bad publicity around the Louis C.K. findings, and had to trudge on without one of its creative producers. I actually think that not having C.K. made it a much better show. I respected the comedy in Louie, but it was always just one beat too dark, and yes, it had its creepy moments too. Without C.K., Adlon's voice was able to reign supreme. The show was funnier, more emotional, and filled with a lot more feminist punch. Adlon gets a lot of credit for her directing and her writing, but she deserves as much, or more for her acting. Sam is a great character, and Adlon is just jaw-dropping good in every episode. I can't wait for season 4.

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Winner - Peter Dinklage "Game of Thrones"
Runners Up -  Jonathan Banks "Better Call Saul", Chris Sullivan "This is Us", and Alfie Allen "Game of Thrones"
Commentary - Once again, I am not diving into the Game of Thrones controversial last season. I will say that in a normal year, Dinklage would not have won for his performance. This past season of Game of Thrones, he was simply not given enough to do to win an award. But I am playing catch up here, and while I'm sure it will incur the wrath of some, I don't really care. Tyrion is one of my favorite characters over the course of Game of Thrones, and despite Dinklage's brilliant portrayal for years, I have never given him an Awards Psychic award. He deserves one. He has won plenty of Emmys for his role, and it's time I caught up. Maybe its not for this season, but it makes up for the rest of the seasons where he was nothing short of phenomenal on screen.

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Winner - (TIE) Gwendoline Christie "Game of Thrones" and Maisie Williams "Game of Thrones"
Runners Up - Susan Kelechi Watson "This is Us" and Rhea Seehorn "Better Call Saul"
Commentary - There are two things I will defend openly about this season of Game of Thrones: Gwendoline Christie and Maisie Williams. Whatever you think of the story, these two actors rose above the material and delivered emotional, complex, and compelling characters that both were beloved by fans. Christie's best episode was A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, the best episode of the season by far, as her character's long arch to become a true knight was fulfilled. The look on her face, the emotion in her eyes, it showed a truly talented actress. Williams got to be the bad ass this season. Yes, that one important scene (I won't spoil although at this point, everyone should know), gave her triumph, but it was the maturity and the confidence that Williams displayed that made Arya George R.R. Martin's favorite character, and the audience's as well.

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Winner - Tony Hale "Veep"
Runners Up - Joe Lo Truglio "Brooklyn Nine-Nine", Timothy Simons "Veep", and Tony Shalhoub "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"
Commentary - Once again, I am late to the party, and am making up for lost time. In all the years of Veep, I have never given one of my awards to the great Tony Hale. He had yet another fantastic season as Gary, the obsessed, ridiculous, punching bag of Selina Meyer. Hale is a master comedian, who relished his sidekick role, and made it so much more over the years. We all know that Selina Meyer will go down as one of the iconic comedic roles of all time. But comedy has always relished the supporting players who do their part. I think Tony Hale's Gary Walsh will also join those ranks of television comedy icon.

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Winner - D'Arcy Carden "The Good Place"
Runners Up - Alex Borstein "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel", Yvonne Orji "Insecure", and Molly Shannon "The Other Two"
Commentary -The Good Place's inclusion in the Comedy Series category at the Emmys was a welcomed sight for those of us that are fans. That is because it is one of the funniest and most clever shows on television. This season, which had its characters moving around a lot, one of the anchors of the show was D'Arcy Carden's brilliant take on Janet. In its third season, Janet was finally able to really let loose from her robotic constraints and become a fully fledged part of the ensemble. In particular, the episode "Janet(s)", the show's best of the season, gave Carden full range to prove why she is such an essential part of one of television's best ensembles, and one of the best, and most underrated comedic actors working on television today.

Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Winner - Michael McKean "Better Call Saul"
Runners Up - James Cromwell "Succession" and Ron Cephas Jones "This is Us"
Commentary - Better Call Saul brings a great balance of humor and darkness, and Michael McKean's recurring role as Chuck McGill is a perfect representation of that. It is an amazing role for an actor that has been around for a long time. He perfectly plays off of Odenkirk's Saul, and creates a fully-fledged character that is mesmerizing to watch. So happy to see his Emmy nomination, which is, shockingly, the first in his long career.

Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Winner - Phylicia Rashad "This is Us"
Runners Up - Cherry Jones "The Handmaid's Tale" and Cicely Tyson "How to Get Away With Murder"
Commentary - Our Little Island Girl was one of the season's best episodes on This is Us. First, it gave us so much depth to the character of Beth. The other main reason was because it was smart to cast Phylicia Rashad as her mother. In all of her years, Rashad has never won an Emmy award, and that fortune might change this year. She is always good, in every role she was in, but was particularly effective and emotionally complex on This is Us.

Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
Winner - John Mulaney "Saturday Night Live"
Runners Up - Peter MacNicol "Veep" and Craig Robinson "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
Commentary - So SNL had its share of good hosts this season, but John Mulaney's episode was easily the best. The stand-up comedian, who won an Emmy last year for his work, could take home another Emmy this year. He easily stepped right into the sketch comedy (which is not always easy to do for a lot of actors, even great ones), and the sketches were sharp. It is so nice to see a writer step up on that stage and take it by storm. He is following in the footsteps of so many comedy legends. If he keeps it up, it will not be long before he joins their ranks.

Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Winner - Molly Shannon "Will & Grace"
Runners Up - Maya Rudolph "The Good Place" and Kristin Scott Thomas "Fleabag"
Commentary - I have loved the character of Val for so many years on Will & Grace, and this season was no exception. Every time you see Molly Shannon appear on that show, you know you are in for a crazy and incredibly funny episode. Shannon is always churning out great comedic work, and has proven that she is a quality dramatic actor as well. Her role as Val is one of those that stands out and showcases the talents of one of our finest comediennes.

Best Directing in a Drama Series
Winner - Debbie Allen "Grey's Anatomy - Silent All These Years"
Runners Up - Andrew Stanton "Better Call Saul - Pinata" and Adam McKay "Succession - Celebration"
Commentary - Grey's Anatomy has been on the air for now fifteen years, and in that time, it has had its ups and downs. While it is far away from its days as an Emmy powerhouse, the show has seen itself continue to click along at a nice pace, even with so few original cast members left. For those of us who are still fans, the last couple of seasons, while not as dynamic, have served as comfort food. That being said, Grey's has never let itself completely fall into complacency, and has always tried to remain relevant in its story lines. And every once in a while, it manages to pack such an emotional gut punch, you remind yourself why it is one of the most successful drama series in television history. Debbie Allen behind the camera created a powerhouse episode in Silent All These Years. Tackling the subject of abuse, Allen and her team brought emotion, clarity, empathy, and a jaw-dropping scene to make this one of the most talked about episodes of the year on television. It was not only an important episode, it was a incredibly well-made one.

Best Writing in a Drama Series
Winner - Peter Gould and Thomas Schnauz "Better Call Saul - Winner"
Runners Up - Emerald Fennell "Killing Eve - Nice and Neat" and Kay Oyegun "This is Us - R&B"
Commentary - Better Call Saul's Season 4 finale was a brilliant ending to a magnificent season. There was a lot going on in Season 4, and the writers used the finale to brilliantly tie them all together, and set up a dark and scary Season 5. We ultimately know where is this all going, but the  journey to get there, the slow burn of the inevitable, has been fascinating to watch. The writers deserve so much credit for crafting this brilliant series, and this episode is a perfect representation of their masterwork.

Best Directing in a Comedy Series
Winner - Daniel Palladino "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - We're Going to the Catskills"
Runners Up - Pamela Adlon "Better Things - Shake the Cocktail" and Regina King "Insecure - Ghost-Like"
Commentary - Maisel's second season had some great set pieces, and took its show to new places and new horizons. I honestly do not think this is anywhere near the season's best episode, but the directing, the camerawork, and the creation of this Catskills town in that time period are impeccable, and showcase the talent that is Daniel Palladino behind the camera.

Best Writing in a Comedy Series
Winner - (TIE) Phoebe Waller-Bridge "Fleabag - Episode 1" and Josh Siegel and Dylan Morgan "The Good Place - Janet(s)
Runners Up - Amy Sherman-Palladino "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - Midnight at the Concord" and
Pamela Adlon "Better Things - Shake the Cocktail"
Commentary - How can you choose? You have that brilliant family dinner episode in Fleabag, which was the most uncomfortable, squirmy, darkly hilarious piece of writing I have witnessed in a long time. But then you also have that brilliant Janet(s) episode in The Good Place, a fun, crafty, unique look at one of our favorite characters, and easily the best episode of a great comedy. So how do you choose? Well it's my party, so I do what I want, and I choose both.

Best Limited Series
Winners - (TIE) Chernobyl and When They See Us
Runners Up - Fosse/Verdon, A Very English Scandal, and Sharp Objects
Commentary - Once again, I have to pose the question: how do you choose? I don't envy Emmy voters for having to only pick one. Chernobyl and When They See Us came blazing in to the Emmy race at the last minute, knocking out front runners that have been sitting in that status for months. Chernobyl is a quiet horror about one of the most tragic events in world history. It's slow build, beautifully haunting and meticulous script, and its cast, give Chernobyl both a sense of urgency, but also a subtle glance at the terrors of history. When They See Us is a bold, emotionally electrifying series that examines one of the darkest moments in recent race history in the United States. Its bold direction, powerful script, and knock-em-dead cast all bring a sense of urgency and continued relevancy to a story that still asks questions and still shocks to this day. These two series both are historical series that feel eerily modern and prevalent. That is the power of two captivating and must-see stories that both deserve as much recognition as they can get.

Best Television Movie
Winners - Deadwood: The Movie
Runner Up - Native Son
Commentary - This race is almost worthless at this point (although the same was said of miniseries about a decade ago when they combined the two categories). I think television movies will make a comeback, but luckily, despite lack of competition, there was one incredibly exceptional film this Emmy season, and that was Deadwood. One of the most underrated series of all time, Deadwood fans have been lamenting the lack of a true conclusion to their beloved series for over a decade. David Milch has been not so quietly lobbying to get his series that proper finale. Finally, HBO delivered with the Deadwood: The Movie. Reuniting the old cast, rebuilding and recreating that world, and finding the same brilliance as its show was a tall task to take on. Milch and his team did with style, and gave fans a well-deserved conclusion.

Best Actor in a TV Movie/Limited Series
Winner - Jharrel Jerome "When They See Us"
Runners Up -  Jared Harris "Chernobyl" and Hugh Grant "A Very English Scandal"
Commentary - The heart of When They See Us is truly Jharrel Jerome. This category has taken so many twists and turns this Emmy season. Jerome went from being a borderline nominee to being the front runner for this first Emmy award. That is the power of his performance. The anger, the confusion, the hurt, the exasperation in Jerome's character of Korey serve as a conduit for the same emotions being felt by the audience watching. It was a confident, emotional, and impeccable performance from a young actor who has a bright career ahead of him.

Best Actress in a TV Movie/Limited Series
Winner - Michelle Williams "Fosse/Verdon"
Runners Up - Niecy Nash "When They See Us" and Amy Adams "Sharp Objects"
Commentary - Compared to Bob Fosse, not much is known about the real Gwen Verdon, her life, her thoughts, her desires, her story. We know bits and pieces as the general public, with much of her story reserved for her hardcore fans. That is until now. Michelle Williams studied Verdon, spent time their her daughter, and worked overtime to make sure she got the unknown details right. It pays off, and now because of the passion, skill, and utter star power that Williams brought to her role, fans know more about Gwen Verdon than ever before. She was mesmerizing in the role, a difficult role to learn, and was the underappreciated guiding light, not only in Bob Fosse's life, but in the Fosse/Verdon's success.

Best Supporting Actor in TV Movie/Limited Series
Winner - Ben Whishaw "A Very English Scandal"
Runners Up - Michael Kenneth Williams "When They See Us" and Stephen Dorff "True Detective"
Commentary - A Very English Scandal may not have ended up as big of a contender as some of the other quality limited series this year, but it doesn't lessen its greatness. At its center were two fantastic performances from Hugh Grant, and particularly Ben Whishaw. He was perfectly cast, emotionally wrought, and beautifully brought his character to life. I hope that Emmy voters haven't forgotten just how fantastic he was.

Best Supporting Actress in a TV Movie/Limited Series
Winner - Patricia Clarkson "Sharp Objects"
Runners Up - Eliza Scanlan "Sharp Objects", Vera Farmiga "When They See Us", and Robin Weigert "Deadwood: The Movie"
Commentary - Damn if Patricia Clarkson wasn't the most interesting villain on television in a long time. She plays her psychotic character perfectly. She is the perfect housewife, the underappreciated mother, and yet lurking under the surface is a demon. Sharp Objects builds this character over each episode, and Clarkson's transformation is always subtle. That does not mean that she was not effective. In fact, that slow burn of a characterization made a much more of a gut punch when the finale rolled around. If Clarkson wins the Emmy this year, she will have a three for three winning streak, having never lost a race. Watching Sharp Objects, I understand why.

Best Directing in a TV Movie/Limited Series
Winner - Ava DuVernay "When They See Us"
Runner Up -  Jean-Marc Vallee "Sharp Objects"
Commentary - When They See Us is an emotional gut punch. It is bold, powerful, and even though it was set decades ago, feels timely, fresh, and unfortunately relevant. That is thanks to the impeccable eye, amazing leadership, and power of Ava DuVernay's magnificent direction. She keeps proving time and time again, that she is one of our finest directors working today, and When They See Us is yet more proof of her greatness.

Best Writing in a TV Movie/Miniseries
Winner - Craig Mazin "Chernobyl"
Runners Up - Ava  DuVernay and Micahel Starrbury "When They See Us - Part Four"and Steven Levenson and Joel Fields "Fosse/Verdon - Providence"
Commentary - The brilliance of Chernobyl lies in its writing. It could have been flashy, loud, pure screaming horror. Instead it slow builds, it lets you get to know the characters, see the internal emotions. It still is horrific, no series made about Chernobyl could have avoided it. But Mazin's brilliant slow build makes more impact, and absorbs you into the horror instead of keeping you at a distance. Simply put, Chernobyl is a masterwork of writing.

Best Variety Series
Winner - The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Runners Up - Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Commentary - When Stephen Colbert first took over The Late Show, it was a bit rough. The transition was not as smooth as assumed, and it took awhile to adjust to Colbert when he was not in his Colbert Show persona. But eventually he got his groove, and these last two years or so have been Colbert doing his thing, and doing it well. He is sharp, funny, has shed his old character, and has become an important voice in late night television. I am personally glad to see him back on top.

Best Animated Series
Winner - Bob's Burgers
Runner Up - BoJack Horseman
Commentary - BoJack Horseman had another great season, but I felt like Bob's Burgers had its best season in at least two years. There seemed to be more energy in the episodes, and I've decided to loop back and reward it again.

2019 Emmy Predictions: Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Will Win - Peter Dinklage "Game of Thrones"

Could Win - Jonathan Banks "Better Call Saul" or Nikolaj Coster-Waldau "Game of Thrones"

Should Win - Banks

Commentary - With only two other competitors, Peter Dinklage is almost being universally picked to win this award. I get it. He has won several times, including last year, and Game of Thrones is the biggest contender on the block. But, I am nervous since Alfie Allen got that surprise nod. It is just hard for a contender to overcome that much internal competition. I think Jonathan Banks could sneak in here, if the vote is split. He is a well-liked veteran, has been nominated over and over again for this role, and its about damn time Better Call Saul win a big award. If anyone can overcome two co-stars in the mix it is Dinklage, but don't be shocked if he doesn't pull it off.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

2019 Emmy Predictions: Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Will Win - Fiona Shaw "Killing Eve"

Should Win - Gwendoline Christie "Game of Thrones"

Could Win - Julia Garner "Ozark", any of the Game Of Thrones actresses

Commentary - Maisie Williams or Gwendoline Christie winning would be wonderful. They are fan favorites, both actually had good story arcs this season (something that cannot be said of other characters). But with Turner and Headey also on the ballot, there is just too much vote splitting. As popular as the show is, I just don't see it rising above a four-way vote split. Most prognosticators have put Julia Garner in instead. I think she could easily win, but I am now leaning more towards Fiona Shaw. She is also nominated for Fleabag, so is clearly popular this year, and I personally think Killing Eve is a bigger contender overall compared to Ozark. It's a close one, but I am predicting a Shaw upset.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

2019 Emmy Predictions: Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Will Win - Tony Shalhoub "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"

Could Win - Henry Winkler "Barry" or Alan Arkin "The Kominsky Method"

Should Win - Shalhoub

Commentary - Henry Winkler finally won an Emmy award last year.  He could easily win a second one, but he has a few obstacles in his way. First, his win this year would not have the same buzz or historic importance that it did last year. Now that he has won, voters don't feel that pressure to reward him again. Also, this year, he has two internal competitors with Stephen Root and Anthony Carrigan. You can easily win with one co-star, it is a lot harder to win with two. So who takes the spot? If The Kominsky Method had done better across the board, I might be more willing to pick Alan Arkin. He could win this, no doubt, but the show is clearly not as beloved by Emmy voters as it was by Golden Globe voters. Instead, I am falling back on Tony Shalhoub. He is a three-time winner, just won the SAG Award this year (beating both Winkler and Arkin), and his show is probably the biggest contender overall of the three shows. It's not an easy race, but I think Shalhoub will pull it off.

2019 Emmy Predictions: Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Will Win - Olivia Colman "Fleabag"

Could Win - Alex Borstein "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" or Anna Chlumsky "Veep"

Should Win - Colman, Borstein, or Chlumsky

Commentary - Alex Borstein could easily walk away with a second Emmy in this category for her incredible turn on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. But this year, the competition is stiff. Fleabag is clearly on the rise, and Olivia Colman just charmed the world with a brilliant Oscar speech. Oscar winners do well in Emmy categories, as do genuine movie stars. I think that her star power, plus Fleabag's rise will put her over Borstein this year. I could also see Anna Chlumsky pull an upset. She has never won for Veep, and this is the last time voters have to honor her. She also had a pregnancy story line this season, which often plays well with actors in the Television Academy. I still think its Colman versus Borstein, but I think there is a dark horse lurking.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

2019 Emmy Predictions: Best Writing and Directing in a Comedy and Drama Series

Best Directing in a Drama Series
Will Win - Miguel Sapochnik "Game of Thrones - The Long Night"
Could Win - Adam McKay "Succession - Celebration" or Daina Reid "The Handmaid's Tale - Holly"
Should Win - McKay or Sapochnik
Commentary - Three Game of Thrones nominees makes me nervous in picking one to win. Three is a lot. Although, I think that most voters will rally behind The Long Night, which was the directorial achievement of the bunch. If there is vote splitting I expect Adam McKay (who won the DGA this year) to win for Succession. He is the Oscar-winning writer/director whose name on a ballot inspires other directors to vote for him. I also think that, in its shortened season, that Holly from The Handmaid's Tale could benefit from the splitting, if voters are still high on the show.

Best Writing in a Drama Series
Will Win - David Benioff and D.B. Weiss "Game of Thrones - The Long Night"
Could Win - Emerald Fennell "Killing Eve - Nice and Neat" or Bruce Miller and Kira Snyder "The Handmaid's Tale - Holly"
Should Win - Peter Gould and Thomas Schnauz "Better Call Saul - Winner"
Commentary - Game of Thrones winning a directing award for this season? Sure, I see it. A writing award? No one really thinks that it deserves to win here, which is why Killing Eve and The Handmaid's Tale have a real shot at upsetting. But, Game of Thrones is so popular this year, and unlike in directing, it does not have any internal competition. Pure populism could earn it another win in writing.

Best Directing in a Comedy Series
Will Win - Daniel Palladino "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - We're Going to the Catskills"
Could Win - Bill Hader "Barry - ronny/lily"
Should Win - Daniel Palladino
Commentary - This is a tough one. A lot of pundits have moved toward Hader's directing role in Barry. I understand that Marvelous Mrs. Maisel may not win Comedy Series this year, with so much competition. But do pundits really think it is going to go from sweeping the Emmys to nothing? There is precedent, as seem by The Handmaid's Tale last year. But that was because by the end of the season, the quality and controversy around the show hurt it. Maisel had great reviews for Season 2, and people loved the whole season. I think that Palladino's work in We're Going to the Catskills is going to inspire directors to vote for it. It is not the greatest episode, but it is brilliant constructed and shows some cool new looks, something not often seen in a comedy series. Its a tough race, but I am sticking with Palladino.

Best Writing in a Comedy Series
Will Win - Phoebe Waller-Bridge "Fleabag - Episode 2.1"
Could Win - David Mandel "Veep - Veep"
Should Win - Waller-Bridge
Commentary - Fleabag's first episode of the season is one of the most brilliantly written episodes seen on television in a long time. I think that writers will particularly appreciate this episode, and it fits in line with many of their recent past winners. Can something beat it? Despite its lack of total nominations, Veep is experiencing a rise among prognosticators, probably due to the nostalgia of its last season. I could see voters giving David Mandel one last trophy for his work. Of course, this is also Fleabag's last season too.

2019 Emmy Predictions: Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, and Guest Actor and Actress in a Drama Series

Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
Will Win - John Mulaney "Saturday Night Live"
Could Win - Peter MacNicol "Veep" or Luke Kirby "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"
Should Win - Mulaney
Commentary - John Mulaney is an Emmy winner, a popular comedian, and easily had the most talked about performance of the bunch. His SNL episode easily ranks as the best of the season, and that makes his buzz strong. But, there are a lot of SNL guys in this category. Four is a lot, and we have seen that in this era of voting that too many can hurt a front runner. That leaves room for Peter MacNicol or Luke Kirby to sneak in and take the prize away. I just think that Mulaney is so far out in front of his SNL peers that it won't matter in the end.

Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Will Win - Bradley Whitford "The Handmaid's Tale
Could Win - Michael McKean "Better Call Saul" or Ron Cephas Jones "This is Us"
Should Win - McKean
Commentary - I would love to see Michael McKean win an Emmy, which happens to come from his first nomination ever (still shocked that he has never managed a nomination all these years). I also think that the always fantastic Ron Cephas Jones should not be discounted after winning for this role last year. But it is hard to argue against Bradley Whitford (another personal favorite of mine). He is fantastic in this role, there is still a lot of love for The Handmaid's Tale, and he is a multiple-Emmy winner with a rich history with these voters. I think he wins another one.

Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Will Win - Phylicia Rashad "This is Us"
Could Win - Jessica Lange "American Horror Story: Apocalypse" or Cherry Jones "The Handmaid's Tale"
Should Win - Rashad
Commentary - Phylicia Rashad has never won an Emmy award, and she gives a magnificent turn in This is Us, which once again did well with Emmy voters, particularly the acting branch. But she is up against two Emmy-winning legends that could stop her from getting that first and overdue award. Jessica Lange is back in AHS in a role that has already won her an Emmy award. She is always a threat, and has racked up a lot of nominations and wins recently. I don't know if voters still want to reward American Horror Story, which could hurt her, but they are always ready to reward Lange. The other one to watch for is Cherry Jones. The Handmaid's Tale has taken this category twice in a row, and could make it three.

Friday, September 6, 2019

2019 Emmy Predictions: Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

Will Win - Jane Lynch "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"

Could Win - Kristin Scott Thomas "Fleabag" or Maya Rudolph "The Good Place"

Should Win - Maya Rudolph "The Good Place"

Commentary - I never get these guest categories right. Every time I think I have them figured out, they throw a curveball. Jane Lynch is a beloved multiple Emmy winner, who has an incredible role in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Of course, all of this was true last year, and she lost this race. Of course last year, she was up against the star power that was Tiffany Haddish. This year, there isn't quite that level of breakthrough among the nominees that could swing the voting. But Kristin Scott Thomas on a ballot gives me pause. Fleabag is suddenly a huge Emmy hit, she is a genuine movie star, Oscar nominee, and respected actress. But there is also Fiona Shaw in the mix for Fleabag, who is a two-time nominee this year, and is sure to inspire voters. I am betting on this vote splitting to help Lynch win another Emmy. I also think that Maya Rudolph could benefit this year. Like Lynch, this is her second nomination for her role in The Good Place. Unlike Lynch however, she is a beloved veteran who has yet to win an Emmy award. Maybe voters think it is her time at the podium. I'm sticking with Lynch, but this race could a surprise.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

2019 Emmy Predictions: Creative Arts Part II

Best Main Title Design - Game of Thrones
Best Makeup for a a Single-Camera Series - Game of Thrones
Best Makeup for a Multi-Camera Series or Special - Saturday Night Live
Best Makeup for a Limited Series or TV Movie - Chernobyl
Best Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Limited Series or TV Movie - Game of Thrones
Best Music Composition for a Series - Game of Thrones
Best Music Composition for a Limited Series or TV Movie - When They See Us
Best Music Composition for a Documentary Series or Special - Our Planet
Best Music Direction - Homecoming: A Film By Beyonce
Best Original Music and Lyrics - Saturday Night Live - The Upper East Side
Best Original Main Title Theme Music - Succession
Best Music Supervision - Fosse/Verdon
Best Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series - Patton Oswalt "An Emmy for Megan"
Best Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series - Rosamund Pike "State of The Union"
Best Narrator - David Attenborough "Our Planet"
Best Short Form Comedy or Drama Series - Special
Best Short Form Variety Series - Carpool Karaoke: The Series
Best Short Form Reality or Nonfiction Series - Pose: Identity, Family, and Community
Best Children's Program - When You Wish Upon a Pickle: A Sesame Street Special
Best Documentary or Nonfiction Special - Leaving Neverland
Best Documentary or Nonfiction Series - Our Planet
Best Informational Series or Special - Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking - RBG
Best Sound Editing for a Series (One Hour) - Game of Thrones
Best Sound Editing for a Series (Half Hour) - Russian Doll
Best Sound Editing for a Limited Series or TV Movie - Chernobyl
Best Sound Editing for a Nonfiction Program - Our Planet
Best Sound Mixing for a Series (One Hour) - Game of Thrones
Best Sound Mixing for a Series (Half Hour) - Russian Doll
Best Sound Mixing for a Limited Series or TV Movie - Fosse/Verdon
Best Sound Mixing for a Variety Series or Special - Aretha! A Grammy Celebration for the Queen of Soul
Best Sound Mixing for a Nonfiction Program - Our Planet
Best Special Visual Effects - Game of Thrones
Best Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role - Chernobyl
Best Stunt Coordination for a Comedy or Variety Series - GLOW
Best Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Limited Series or TV Movie - Game of Thrones
Best Technical Direction for a Series - Saturday Night Live
Best Technical Direction for a Special - Rent
Best Writing in a Nonfiction Program - Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

2019 Emmy Predictions: Creative Arts Part I

Best Character Voice-Over Performance - Alex Borstein "Family Guy"
Best Animated Program - BoJack Horseman
Best Short Form Animated Program - Love, Death and Robots
Best Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary Program - The Handmaid's Tale
Best Production Design for a Narrative Period or Fantasy Program - Game of Thrones
Best Production Design for a Narrative Half-Hour Program - Russian Doll
Best Production Design for a Variety, Reality or Nonfiction Program - Saturday Night Live
Best Production Design for a Variety Special - Rent
Best Casting for a Comedy Series - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Best Casting for a Drama Series - Game of Thrones
Best Casting for a Limited Series or TV Movie - When They See Us
Best Casting for a Reality Program - Queer Eye
Best Choreography for a Variety or Reality Program - So You Think You Can Dance
Best Cinematography for a Multi-Camera Series - Will & Grace
Best Cinematography for a Single Camera Series (Half-Hour) - Russian Doll
Best Cinematography for a Single Camera Series (One Hour) - Game of Thrones
Best Cinematography for a Limited Series or TV Movie - When They See Us
Best Cinematography for a Nonfiction Program - Free Solo
Best Cinematography for a Reality Program - Life Below Zero
Best Commercial - Point of View - Sandy Hook Promise
Best Period Costumes - Pose
Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costumes - Game of Thrones
Best Contemporary Costumes - Russian Doll
Best Costumes for a Variety, Reality or Nonfiction Program - RuPaul's Drag Race
Best Directing for a Documentary/Nonfiction Program - Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin "Free Solo"
Best Directing in a Reality Program - Nick Murray "RuPaul's Drag Race"
Best Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series - The Handmaid's Tale
Best Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series - Fleabag
Best Multi-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series - The Big Bang Theory
Best Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Limited Series or TV Movie - Fosse/Verdon
Best Picture Editing For a Variety Series - Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live from Liverpool
Best Picture Editing for a Nonfiction Program - Free Solo
Best Picture Editing for a Structured Reality Program - Queer Eye
Best Picture Editing for an Unstructured Reality Program - Life Below Zero
Best Hairstyling for a Single-Camera Series - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Best Hairstyling for a Multi-Camera Series or Special - RuPaul's Drag Race
Best Hairstyling for a Limited Series or TV Movie - Fosse/Verdon
Best Interactive Program - NASA And SpaceX: The Interactive Demo-1 Launch
Best Original Interactive Program - NASA's InSight Mars Landing
Best Creative Achievement In Interactive Media Within A Scripted Program - Game Of Thrones- Fight For The Living: Beyond The Wall Virtual Reality Experience
Outstanding Creative Achievement In Interactive Media Within An Unscripted Program - The Oscars - Digital Experience
Best Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Series - Dancing with the Stars
Best Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Special - Rent

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

2019 Emmy Predictions: Best Limited Series and Television Movie

Best Limited Series
Will Win - When They See Us
Could Win - Chernobyl, Fosse/Verdon, or Escape at Dannemora
Should Win - When They See Us or Chernobyl
Commentary - With the exception of Sharp Objects (no writing or directing nominations hurt it), I think this is much tighter race than most folks think. Yes, the initial impression out of nominations was that When They See Us is unstoppable. So many surprise nominations across the categories shows unmatched strength. This is why I am picking it to win. I also think that it is relevant, politically aligned with most voters, and has all of the buzz. But I would not discount a surprise upset. Fosse/Verdon also surprised in a lot of categories, and did extremely well in the technical categories showing below the line support. Chernobyl was the most critically acclaimed of the bunch (although all five were critical favorites), and Escape at Dannemora was at one point a huge front runner. I think When They See Us will pull it off, but I'm not going to be jaw-dropped if something else upsets in this incredibly competitive category.

Best Television Movie
Will Win - Deadwood: The Movie
Could Win - Bandersnatch: Black Mirror
Should Win - Deadwood: The Movie
Commentary - Can Black Mirror win again? Of course it can. Netflix is pushing it hard, and it does have a history in this category. Of course it shouldn't. Bandersnatch was a gimmick that did not wholly pay off, and this new season was just dreadful. Instead, I think voters will reward the return of Deadwood. The film got rave reviews, was a wonderful conclusion for fans of the show, and was well-liked when the original show was on. I think Emmy voters will want to reward a series they never gave any wins to, and if quality matters, it will win in a walk.

Monday, September 2, 2019

2019 Emmy Predictions: Best Actor and Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie

Best Actor in Limited Series or TV Movie
Will Win - Jharrel Jerome "When They See Us"
Could Win - Jared Harris "Chernobyl" or Mahershala Ali "True Detective"
Should Win - Jerome or Harris
Commentary - This race has changed so much in the last couple of months. Jharrel Jerome was barely a nominee according to the odds, and now he is the front runner to win his first Emmy award. When They See Us is on such an astronomical rise in terms of the Emmy awards, and Jerome is the beating heart of the show. His performance is so emotionally compelling, so utterly devastating, that voters will be drawn to him. I also think that veteran Jared Harris could ride the Chernobyl upward rise, and never discount Mahershala Ali. He has just won the Oscar, and even though True Detective didn't have quite the Emmy impact this year that some thought it would, never discount the movie star at the Emmys.

Best Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie
Will Win - Michelle Williams "Fosse/Verdon"
Could Win - Patricia Arquette "Escape At Dannemora" or Amy Adams "Sharp Objects" or Niecy Nash "When They See Us"
Should Win - Williams
Commentary - This is a heated four-way race that could go any which way. Arquette led this race after sweeping the fall awards, and is still very much in the running. I would not discount Amy Adams, because movie stars do well with Emmy voters. Finally, Niecy Nash has snagged several surprise Emmy nominations in recent years, and is clearly a well-liked veteran with voters. Plus, the normally funny actress is truly playing against type which actors love. But in the end, I think that Michelle Williams will squeak this one out. She doesn't have internal competition (like Nash), is in a series that is fresh on voters minds (unlike Adams or Arquette), and she is playing a real-life person in a series about show business. This feels like the perfect formula for Emmy voters, who clearly love Fosse/Verdon, love Michelle Williams (she is also a movie star like Adams), and she absolutely knocks it out of the park. In a tight race, I pick Williams for the win.

2019 Emmy Predictions: Best Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie

Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie
Will Win - Ben Whishaw "A Very English Scandal"
Could Win - Michael Kenneth Williams "When They See Us" or Stellan Skarsgard "Chernobyl"
Should Win - Whishaw
Commentary - Ben Whishaw has rightfully been in the front runner status for this category since he won the Golden Globe earlier this year. His role in A Very English Scandal is mesmerizing, and the center of that great miniseries. He though has developed some late breaking competition that could sneak up and take the prize. First is Michael Kenneth Williams. A multiple Emmy nominee, Williams is one of the key players in When They See Us. However, he has two co-stars up against him. We have seen folks pull off Emmy wins with only one co-star, but adding a second one is difficult in this new age of more populist voting (in the old days of episodes, it could actually help not hinder a nominee). But maybe it is not Whishaw that benefits from the three-way When They See Us split. Maybe it is Stellan Skarsgard. A well-liked veteran actor in a series that is nominated for Limited Series (which A Very English Scandal is not), could end up being the name called.

Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie
Will Win - Patricia Clarkson "Sharp Objects"
Could Win - Patricia Arquette "The Act" or Emily Watson "Chernobyl"
Should Win - Clarkson
Commentary - Another Golden Globe winner, Patricia Clarkson, is hoping she maintained her front runner status through the long spring season for Sharp Objects. Once again, in terms of the performance, she is easily the best of the bunch. She has also never lost an Emmy race. She is clearly beloved by these voters, and Sharp Objects did manage to make the cut in the Limited Series category. I think Arquette could surprise since she is no longer a slam dunk in Actress, and Chernobyl could push Emily Watson to the podium. But it is Clarkson's to lose.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Venice and Telluride 2019: Marriage Story, Ad Astra, Ford v Ferrari, and Renee Zellweger Enter Oscar Race

Just a few short days into the fall film festival season, and we already have a slew of contenders that have emerged from the festival with loads of Oscar buzz behind them. First out of the gate was Marriage Story. I had been hearing lots of buzz, and lots of predictions for Noah Baumbach's latest Marriage Story. I however, had not included it in my predictions, because his films have historically not done well with Oscar voters. However, the buzz is so strong, with critics calling it his best work yet, and the two central performances, Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver are also getting raves. It looks like after twenty five years of making films, Noah Baumbach might finally have a real Oscar contender across multiple categories.

I had recently put Ad Astra into my Best Picture predictions. The buzz was strong, and since they decided to delay it to the fall, I felt like the studio knew it was going to be an awards contender. Well, the gamble has paid off. Oscar voters have found plenty of room for genre pieces in recent years, and almost always include a science fiction, horror, action, fantasy film in their nominees. It looks like Ad Astra will be this year's slot, with James Gray, the technical elements, and Brad Pitt's performance also looking to breakthrough.

Some are already calling Ford v. Ferrari a box office film, not an Oscar film. Of course the publication that is doing that is one of those that thinks that anything big, any blockbuster is not as worthy because it isn't an independent film. I think that the reviews are strong enough, the performances are being praised (particularly Bale), and I think that Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody set a perfect example of feel good crowdpleasers that can catch the eye of Oscar voters. This time around, the reviews, so far, have been much stronger for Ford v Ferrari than for either Bohemian Rhapsody or Green Book. Don't discount a film that makes people feel good and keeps them entertained. Especially one that is historical, a biopic, with Oscar-friendly cast and crew members.

Finally, while the film is getting mixed reviews, almost everyone is universal in the praise of Renee Zellweger as Judy Garland in the new biopic Judy. After mostly disappearing from the screen in recent years, Zellweger looks like she could have her comeback in 2019. There are reviewers who wish that the film matched her performance, but several have already declared her a likely Oscar nominee.

We still have a lot of new films premiering at Telluride and Venice, with Toronto and New York still on the horizon. Oscar season is officially in full swing!

2019 Emmy Predictions: Best Directing and Writing in a Limited Series/TV Movie

Best Directing in a Limited Series/TV Movie
Will Win - Ava DuVernay "When They See Us"
Could Win - Literally any of them
Should Win - Ava DuVernay "When They See Us"
Commentary - The directors often go their own way, so predicting a winner can sometimes be tricky. I think that the incredible popularity of When They See Us, and the raw power of Ava DuVernay's fantastic directing will win at the end of the day. But, I could see Stiller, Frears, or Kail all award-winning directors winning based on name recognition, and quality. I could also see Chernobyl winning, even though I think they have a better shot in other categories. I am picking DuVernay, and genuinely believe that she will win. But I am not going to be surprised if there is an upset.

Best Writing in a Limited Series/TV Movie
Will Win - Craig Mazin "Chernobyl"
Could Win - Any of the other nominees
Should Win - Craig Mazin "Chernobyl"
Commentary - Above, I said that I think Chernobyl was going to win another category. I think this is where it wins. The praise for Mazin's writing is what stands out in the praise for the show. I think that voters will reward his genius in crafting the horror of Chernobyl. Once again though, this could go to any of the nominees. The top series all did so well across the board, it is hard to determine where Emmy voters are going to reward each series. I think this is Chernobyl's win.

Friday, August 30, 2019

2019 Emmy Predictions: Best Variety Series and Special

Best Variety Talk Series
Will Win - Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Should Win - Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Could Win - Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Commentary - We all remember the Daily Show streak. Voters love to repeat, and even though there are some fantastic competitors, I will keep picking Last Week Tonight until it loses.

Best Variety Sketch Series
Will Win - Saturday Night Live
Should Win - Documentary Now
Could Win - Documentary Now
Commentary - Saturday Night Live has won this two years in a row, but Documentary Now did very well in nominations, and both Inside Amy Schumer and Key and Peele beat SNL in the past. SNL is the front runner, but it could be vulnerable.

Best Variety Special (Live)
Will Win - Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's All in the Family and The Jeffersons
Should Win - The Oscars
Could Win - The Oscars or The Tony Awards
Commentary - The Oscars or The Tonys could win here, which they have done in the past. But I think that the novelty of ABC's Live in Front of a Studio Audience, and the nostalgia or reenacting two classic shows will sway more voters to pick it.

Best Variety Special (Pre-Recorded)
Will Win - Homecoming:  A Film by Beyonce
Should Win - Homecoming or Nanette
Could Win - Hannah Gadsby: Nanette or Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live from Liverpool
Commentary - So which one wins: The stand-up special or the musical phenomenon. Last year, the stand up special (Dave Chappelle) won out. This year, I am banking on the musical phenomenon, which was the bigger and bolder of the two. Although, it must be said, Emmy voters cannot go wrong with either. Also, watch out for James Corden, who won two years in a row before last year.

2019 Emmy Predictions: Writing and Directing for a Variety Series and a Variety Special

Best Directing for a Variety Series
Will Win - Don Roy King "Saturday Night Live - Host: Adam Sandler"
Could Win - Alex Buono and Rhys Thomas "Documentary Now - Waiting for the Artist"
Should Win - Alex Buono and Rhys Thomas "Documentary Now - Waiting for the Artist"
Commentary - Since 2010 Don Roy King has won this award for Saturday Night Live a whopping seven times. He doesn't win every year, every once in a while something does come up and beat him. If anything is going to do that this year, it is the brilliant episode of Documentary Now. But, while I could see an upset, I think that I have better odds if I don't bet against King and SNL.

Best Writing in a Variety Series
Will Win - Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Could Win - Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Should Win - Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Commentary - John Oliver has done well in this category in recent years, and until someone takes the crown from him, I am going to assume he repeats as a winner. If anyone can beat him it is Stephen Colbert who upset Jon Stewart in the category before.

Best Directing in a Variety Special
Will Win - Glenn Weiss "The Oscars"
Could Win - Beyonce and Ed Burke "Homecoming: A Film By Beyonce" or James Burrows and Andy Fisher "Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's All in the Family and The Jeffersons
Should Win - Beyonce and Ed Burke "Homecoming: A Film By Beyonce"
Commentary - I could easily see Beyonce win an Emmy for Homecoming, an awesome musical work that earned rave reviews. I could also see the clever Live with a Studio Audience winning, as directors embrace that kind of live television with lots of moving parts (think SNL in directing categories). But Glenn Weiss has won this award so many times, including for The Oscars the last two years. I am betting on the proven winner.

Best Writing in a Variety Special
Will Win - Hannah Gadsby "Hannah Gadsby: Nanette"
Could Win - Wanda Sykes "Wanda Sykes: Not Normal"
Should Win - Hannah Gadsby "Hannah Gadsby: Nanette"
Commentary - Comedy stand up specials do well in this category, with last year's winner John Mulaney being a perfect example. No stand up special had more of an impact this year than Hannah Gadsby's Nanette, and I think an Emmy will be her reward.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

2019 Emmy Predictions: Best Competition Series, Reality Host, Scripted and Unscripted Series

Best Competition Series
Will Win - RuPaul's Drag Race
Could Win - The Voice or The Amazing Race
Should Win - RuPaul's Drag Race
Commentary - After its triumphant win last year, RuPaul's Drag Race is set up to win again. The Amazing Race dominated for over a decade, then The Voice won three years in a row. Voters in this category love to repeat, and Drag Race is still one of the hottest reality programs on television, which keeps rising in its Emmy nominations each year. I think it wins again.

Best Reality Host
Will Win - RuPaul Charles "RuPaul's Drag Race"
Could Win - Marie Kondo "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo", Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman "Making It", or Ellen DeGeneres "Ellen's Game of Games"
Should Win - RuPaul
Commentary - Only one person in this category's short history has managed four wins in a row. That was Jeff Probst. Can RuPaul pull it off and tie the record? I think he can, and his show is definitely the most popular across the board of the five nominated hosts. But, if voters are looking for an alternative, I could see them go viral with Kondo, a favorite in DeGeneres, or reward the dynamic duo of Poehler and Offerman. That is probably why I am picking RuPaul. I don't know if there is a clear number two. Without that, voters tend to vote for what they know.

Best Structured Reality Series
Will Win - Queer Eye
Could Win - Tidying Up with Marie Kondo
Should Win - Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives
Commentary - Queer Eye won this last year, and history has shown that repeats are more often to happen than not. However, I don't think that it is a slam dunk this year. Tidying Up did very well in the nomination phase, including getting Marie Kondo in for host, which Queer Eye missed yet again. History suggests that I stick with Queer Eye, but I feel an upset brewing.

Best Unstructured Reality Series
Will Win - United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell
Could Win - Born This Way, RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked, or Deadliest Catch
Should Win - United Shades of America
Commentary - So once again, I lean hard on the idea that in the Reality categories, history repeats itself. So I am sticking with Kamau Bell, even though he missed out on the host category this year. Missing that nod though does tell me that it is vulnerable. Voters could go double duty on Drag Race, or return to old favorites like Deadliest Catch and Born This Way.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The Oscar Narrative: Pre-Festival Predictions - Best Picture

Pre-Festival Predictions
Ad Astra
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Downton Abbey
Harriet
The Goldfinch
The Irishman
The Laundromat
Little Women
1917
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Other Contenders - Toy Story 4, The Farewell, Marriage Story, Rocketman, Jojo Rabbit, Wendy, Pain & Glory, The Report, Ford v. Ferrari, Gemini Man, Joker, Frozen II, Luce, Lucy in the Sky, A Hidden Life, The Two Popes, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Clemency, Queen & Slim, Us, Motherless Brooklyn, Avengers: Endgame, The Souvenir, High Life, Booksmart, Knives Out, Cats, The Lighthouse, Midsommar, Bombshell, Untitled Todd Haynes Project, Captain Marvel, Judy, Dolemite is My Name, Late Night

Commentary - We know that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a contender, but there are so many question marks left. I think Scorsese's The Irishman, Mendes 1917, Gerwig's Little Women, and Heller's A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood are the top five right now. Netflix will push The Laundromat, and with Soderbergh and Streep, you have to assume its a contender. Crowley has cracked this list before, and The Goldfinch is based on a Pulitzer Prize winner. Harriet had a strong trailer and Downton Abbey is going to be a boon with older voters. Finally, the Oscar push for Ad Astra is strong, and we have seen think=piece science fiction do well here in the recent past. It's my number ten. I would love to see The Farewell crack the top tier. I will wait and see how it does with early precursors, because I still hesitate when it comes to Oscar voters. There are some big guns in this race, like Toy Story 4, Avengers, Star Wars, Rocketman, Joker, Frozen II, Gemini Man, Ford v. Ferrari, Us, Captain Marvel, and Cats. There are also plenty of indies that could do well like Marriage Story, Jojo Rabbit, Wendy, Pain & Glory, The Two Popes, The Report, Motherless Brooklyn, A Hidden Life, Clemency, Queen & Slim, Knives Out, The Lighthouse, Judy, Dolemite is My Name, Late Night, Luce, Bombshell, Lucy in the Sky, and the still Untitled Todd Haynes Project. Tomorrow, the Venice Film Festival starts. Within the next two weeks, this race will be a lot clearer than it is now. We'll have to wait and see..

The Oscar Narrative: Pre-Festival Predictions - Best Director

Pre-Festival Predictions
Greta Gerwig "Little Women"
Marielle Heller "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"
Sam Mendes "1917"
Martin Scorsese "The Irishman"
Quentin Tarantino "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"

Other Contenders - James Gray "Ad Astra", Benh Zeitlin "Wendy", Steven Soderbergh "The Laundromat", Lulu Wang "The Farewell", Kasi Lemmons "Harriet", Terrence Malick "A Hidden Life", John Crowley "The Goldfinch", Michael Engler "Downton Abbey", Joon-ho Bong "Parasite", Noah Baumbach "Marriage Story", James Mangold "Ford v. Ferrari", Taika Wahiti "Jojo Rabbit", Scott Z. Burns "The Report", Fernando Meirelles "The Two Popes", Edward Norton "Motherless Brooklyn", Chinoye Chukwu "Clemency", Olivia Wilde "Booksmart", Todd Haynes "Untitled Todd Haynes Project", Rian Johnson "Knives Out", Jordan Peele "Us", Ari Aster "Midsomnar", Todd Phillips "Joker", Melina Matsoukas "Queen & Slim", J.J. Abrams "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker", Jay Roach "Bombshell", Tom Hooper "Cats", David Michod "The King", Bill Condon "The Good Liar", Craig Brewer "Dolemite is My Name", Noah Hawley "Lucy in the Sky", Ang Lee "Gemini Man", Robert Eggers "The Lighthouse", Dexter Fletcher "Rocketman"

Commentary - This could end up being a heavy hitter director's lineup. Quentin Tarantino is already a contender for Hollywood, and Martin Scorsese could return for his highly anticipated The Irishman. Throw in former winner Sam Mendes for his war epic 1917, and Greta Gerwig tackling Little Women, and you might have a race for the ages. I do think one newcomer will breakthrough, they almost always do. I think that after going 2 for 2 with great films, that Marielle Heller will make the cut for her upcoming Mr. Rogers' biopic, which looks like Oscar gold. This race is not sewn up though. There are plenty of former winners and nominees waiting in the wings such as Zeitlin, Soderbergh, Malick, Meirelles, Peele, Hooper, Condon, and Lee. There are a whole host of fantastic female directors hoping to make the cut including Wang, Lemmons, Wilde, and Matsoukas. Then there is a long list of well-known directors, first-timers, and veterans all hoping for their first nomination in this category like Gray, Crowley, Engler, Bong, Burns, Norton, Haynes, Johnson, Aster, Phillips, Roach, Abrams, Michod, Hawley, Eggers, Fletcher, Wahiti, Baumbach, and Mangold. This race is far from over.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

The Oscar Narrative: Pre-Festival Predictions - Best Actor

Pre-Festival Predictions
Robert DeNiro "The Irishman"
Leonardo DiCaprio "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"
Taron Egerton "Rocketman"
Tom Hanks "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"
Eddie Murphy "Dolemite is My Name"

Other Contenders - Joaquin Phoenix "Joker", Antonio Banderas "Pain & Glory", Brad Pitt "Ad Astra", Christian Bale "Ford v. Ferrari", Matt Damon "Ford v. Ferrari", Hugh Bonneville "Downton Abbey", Ansel Elgort "The Goldfinch", Adam Driver "Marriage Story", Jonathan Pryce "The Two Popes", Ian McKellen "The Good Liar", Daniel Kaluuya "Queen & Slim", Mark Ruffalo "Untitled Todd Haynes Project", Jimmie Falls "The Last Black Man in San Francisco", Robert Downey Jr. "Avengers: Endgame", Robert Pattinson "The Lighthouse", August Diehl "A Hidden Life", Timothee Chalamet "The King", Edward Norton "Motherless Brooklyn", Jamie Bell "Skin", Daniel Craig "Knives Out", Will Smith "Gemini Man", Dean-Charles Chapman "1917", Lucas Hedges "Waves", John Lithgow "Bombshell"

Commentary - We already know that Taron Egerton and Leonardo DiCaprio are going to be huge contenders throughout the season. But there are still plenty of unknowns. Poor Tom Hanks always seems to miss the cut recently no matter how many great performances he turns out. I am still banking on his role as Mr. Rogers as the one that breaks through. The first trailer for Dolemite is My Name doesn't make it look like a huge Oscar contender, expect for what is sure to be a dynamic performance from Eddie Murphy in yet another comeback. Finally, Robert DeNiro in The Irishman feels like Oscar gold. Beyond those five, Joaquin Phoenix could be the surprise contender of the year, Antonio Banderas has never been better, Brad Pitt could get double nods, the Ford v. Ferrari pair are both previous Oscar winners (who is supporting or lead? Both in one category?), and previous nominees like Adam Driver, Ian McKellen, Daniel Kaluuya, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., Lucas Hedges, Timothee Chalamet, Will Smith, and Edward Norton are all looking for another nomination. At the same time folks like Jonathan Pryce, Robert Pattinson, Dean-Charles Chapman, Jimmie Falls, and Hugh Bonneville are all looking for their first nomination.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Oscar Narrative: Pre-Festival Predictions - Best Actress

Pre-Festival Predictions
Awkwafina "The Farewell"
Cynthia Erivo "Harriet"
Saoirse Ronan "Little Women"
Meryl Streep "The Laundromat"
Renee Zellweger "Judy"

Other Contenders - Michelle Dockery "Downton Abbey", Natalie Portman "Lucy in the Sky", Scarlett Johansson "Marriage Story", Alfre Woodard "Clemency", Lupita Nyong'o "Us", Jodie Turner-Smith "Queen & Slim", Helen Mirren "The Good Liar", Julianne Moore "Gloria Bell", Kaitlyn Dever "Booksmart", Beanie Feldstein "Booksmart", Juliette Binoche "The Truth", Mary Kay Place "Diane", Leslie Manville "Ordinary Love", Octavia Spencer "Luce", Nicole Kidman "Bombshell", Honor Swinton Byrne "The Souvenir", Charlize Theron "Bombshell", Kristen Stewart "Seberg", Brie Larson "Captain Marvel", Daisy Ridley "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker", Penelope Cruz "Pain & Glory", Valerie Pachnar "A Hidden Life", Emma Thompson "Late Night", Mindy Kaling "Late Night", Blake Lively "The Rhythm Section", Francesca Hayward "Cats"

Commentary - Can The Farewell be a huge Oscar contender? It should be, but it will have a tough hill to climb. At this point, I think Awkwafina is squarely in this race, and should remain so throughout the season. The first trailers for Judy, Little Women, and Harriet showcase the talents of Renee Zellweger, Saoirse Ronan, and Cynthia Erivo. Right now, with her popularity and Oscar history, I would watch out for Ronan, who could win her first Oscar this year. Also, Steven Soderbergh plus Netflix, plus the continuing popularity of Meryl Streep make her, yet again, a major contender for Best Actress. I have moved Michelle Dockery out, but I am still banking on Downton being a major player, at the moment though there are just too many names ahead. Natalie Portman could surprise with Lucy in the Sky, Scarlett Johansson looks promising from the first trailer for Marriage Story, and we already know that Woodard, Moore, Nyong'o, the Booksmart duo, the Late Night duo, Byrne, Larson, Cruz, Pachnar, Spencer, and Place are fantastic, we just need to see how the Bombshell duo, Stewart, Manville, Mirren, Turner-Smith, Hayward, Lively, and Ridley, and hteir respective projects turn out.