TV is already upping movies in prestige and influence – thrill to watching at Breaking Bad on the tube! Despair over paying to see The Family at the multiplex! I rest my case. No wonder cinema greats are hot for a media switch. This will be apparent Sunday night at the 2013 Primtime Emmy Awards when the movie folk crowd out their TV counterparts at the awards table. No kidding. Take a look, then feel free to agree or not in the comments section below.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra. The Wall Street Oscar winner will take the Emmy since his flamboyant take on gay piano man Liberace is classic. And get a load of his competition, all movie names:
• Matt Damon in Behind the Candelabra. Jason Bourne takes the role of as Liberace’s boy toy.
• Toby Jones in The Girl. Claudius in The Hunger Games plays movie suspense master Alfred Hitchcock.
• Benedict Cumberbatch in Parade’s End. The villain in the latest Star Trek movie and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in the upcoming film The Fifth Estate plays a code-breaking mathematician.
• Al Pacino in Phil Spector. The Godfather of the movies plays the godfather of the Wall of Sound. I mean, really. Hollywood can’t lose.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Jessica Lange in American Horror Story: Asylum. The two-time Oscar winner gets the edge as for playing a nun from hell and classing up the Emmy joint. Her rivals are also sprinkled with Academy noms and wins.
•Helen Mirren in Phil Spector. The Oscar-winning Queen herself defends a musical eccentric on a murder charge.
•Sigourney Weaver in Political Animals. The star of Alien and Avatar plays a divorced First Lady and ambitious Secretary of State.
•Laura Linney in The Big C. The three-time Oscar nominee, most recently for The Savages, plays a wife and mother diagnosed with melanoma.
•Elisabeth Moss in Top of the Lake. A bona fide Mad Men TV star cracks the movie club, but in a mystery costarring The Piano Oscar winner Holly Hunter.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Kevin Spacey in House of Cards. If anyone can beat Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad, and I’m not saying anyone should, it will be American Beauty and The Usual Suspects Oscar winner Spacey, who plays the House Majority Whip in the first streaming series to be nominated for Outstanding Drama. His competition is mostly TV royalty.
• Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad. The one to beat.
• Jon Hamm in Mad Men. A perennial bridesmaid
• Damian Lewis in Homeland. He won the Emmy for Season One.
• Hugh Bonneville in Downton Abbey. Strictly BBC
• Jeff Daniels in The Newsroom. A movie staple from Terms of Endearment to The Squid and the Whale, Daniels shows new colors as TV news anchor Will McAvoy. But Spacey still wins the advantage.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Robin Wright in House of Cards. Movie fans have loved her since The Princess Bride and Forrest Gump, but Wright is dynamite on Cards as the elegant wife who can teach her political animal husband (Kevin Spacey) about toxic scheming. Her rivals are mostly TV favorites.
• Kerry Washington in Scandal. If Wright goes down, my money’s on Washington, whose increasingly popular series can teach House of Cards about dirty double-dealing. Plus, she’s Mrs. Django Unchained.
• Connie Britton in Nashville. A talent for any medium.But as country star Rayna James she shows a little bit rock and roll.
• Claire Danes in Homeland. Juliet to Leo DiCaprio’s Romeo, Danes already took an Emmy for playing a mentally-challenged CIA agent. She’s unlikely to repeat.
• Michelle Dockery in Downtown Abbey. Strictly BBC.
• Elisabeth Moss in Mad Men. Another perennial bridesmaid.
• Vera Farmiga in Bates Motel. The Oscar nominee for Up in the Air can give this group a run for its Emmy. And her role as Norman Bates’ screwed up mother resonates back to Psycho, a movie classic.
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series
David Fincher for House of Cards, Chapter 1. This is Fincher, man, the movie magician who directed Fight Club, The Social Network, Zodiac, and The Game, among others. His work on Cards is on par with what Martin Scorsese did on the Boardwalk Empire pilot, and Scorsese handily took home an Emmy for that one. Fincher’s fellow nominees are strong (especially MacLaren’s work on Breaking Bad). Behold:
• Boardwalk Empire: “Margate Sands” by Tim Van Patten
• Breaking Bad: “Gliding Over All” by Michelle MacLaren.
• Downton Abbey: “Episode 4” by Jeremy Webb.
• Homeland: “Q&A” by Lesli Linka Glatter.
. . . but Fincher is integral to the future of directing in any medium. For me, he’s Emmy’s man of the hour behind the camera. And the winner is. . .