Saturday, August 27, 2016

Emmy Predictions 2016 - Who Will Likely Win for Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie?

The nominations are in for The 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The final round of voting is now taking place. So now, it's time to speculate on who is likely to win in each major category. Next up for analysis is Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie.

The Nominees:
  • Kirsten Dunst for FX's Fargo
  • Felicity Huffman for ABC's American Crime
  • Audra McDonald for HBO's Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill
  • Sarah Paulson for FX's The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
  • Lili Taylor for ABC's American Crime
  • Kerry Washington for HBO's Confirmation

Every year at the Emmys, there always seems to be at least one acting category were there is a lock to win. One of the nominees just transcends their entire competition because the performance is just that good. Where it's an honor just to be nominated against that person. Where any of the fellow nominees would accept losing to such a performance. This year, it's clear that that person is Sarah Paulson for her tremendous work on FX's The People v. O.J. Simpson. Over the past few years, she really has become Ryan Murphy's muse. Even though his projects are frequently erratic and inconsistent, it has been terrific for actors - especially Paulson. She has had so much fun with the broad range of roles he has given her on his multiple anthology series. Marcia Clark was probably the most emotionally draining of them all. But in Paulson's capable hands, she made every excruciating detail look flawless. Her performance alone has re-conceptualized the conversation about Marcia Clark from O.J. Simpson's infamous trial. It was an absolutely heartbreaking and emotional performance. One that felt like the entire world rested on Paulson's shoulders. And she more than delivered on screen. She absolutely knocked it out of the park and deserves this award.

It's difficult to bet against Paulson winning in this race this year. And yet, Paulson has a track record of getting beaten despite some amazing performances. She has not yet won a single Emmy. That just seems inconceivable but it's the truth. Many people thought that she would finally prevail a year ago for playing a two-headed woman on FX's American Horror Story: Freak Show. She ultimately lost to Regina King for ABC's American Crime. That's a rematch happening in the Supporting Actress field that should be interesting to watch. But more importantly, it signals that Paulson may not be as strong of a lock to win here as much as some people (myself included) are hoping. Voters have loved the pairing of Paulson and Murphy. She's been nominated for four of the five seasons of American Horror Story plus The People v. O.J. Simpson. But there are a number of other nominees in this category who voters love as well in some really strong projects.

Fargo marked the biggest series commitment to date for Kirsten Dunst. In the battle between FX anthology series, The People v. O.J. Simpson won over Fargo. And yet, both had some truly phenomenal runs over the past year. In any other year, the work that Dunst did as Peggy Blumquist would be the frontrunner in this category. It was the performance of the season that held every single detail together despite how tragic it always was. She turned in some amazing work. She could easily win if the voters for some reason decide not to honor Paulson. Or because both Felicity Huffman and Lili Taylor got in for American Crime that could signal strong support for that anthology series. Or the HBO voting block could rally behind either Audra McDonald or Kerry Washington. Everyone in this category is a contender because they all had strong and distinct work this year. It was a terrific season for women on television. But again, it still feels like Paulson is the clear frontrunner to win here.

Should Win: Sarah Paulson
Will Win: Sarah Paulson
Dark Horse: Kirsten Dunst