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2013 Emmy Nomination Preview & Predictions: Supporting Actor/Actress in a Miniseries or Movie

With the Emmy nominations coming up on July 18, I am posting predictions and analysis of each of the top categories.  Today I’m posting two categories.
 
Here are my predictions and analysis for:
 
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
 
 
JAMES CROMWELL as Dr. Arthur Arden in AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM
A seasoned actor, Cromwell’s role on American Horror Story this season was pretty one-demensional (evil doctor used to be a Nazi!) but he still turned in a great performance.  There aren’t a lot of big contenders in this category, so a well-known actor like Cromwell on such a high-profile series should easily be able to get into this category.   He also may be one of the leading contenders to win, which wouldn’t upset me but I doubt he would be a top contender in any other year.

 
ROB LOWE as Dr. Jack Startz in BEHIND THE CANDELABRA
 
It’s hard to be a standout in a movie revolving around Liberace, but Lowe came close with his bizarre turn as plastic surgeon Jack Startz.  Not only did he physically transform himself for the role, his permanently-stoned speaking voice and stretched facial expressions gave Behind the Candelabra a rare bit of comedy that provided a nice contrast with the drama.  Lowe is a previous nominee for The West Wing and he’s very well known in the TV industry so I have a good feeling he’ll get in here, and possibly win if love for the movie is widespread.
 
PETER MULLAN as Matt Mitcham in TOP OF THE LAKE
 
A remarkably naturalistic performance, Mullan’s portrayal of Matt Mitcham is one of the best parts of Top of the Lake.  It’s a big villainous role that could easily be played broadly, but Mullan managed to bring humanity and surprising vulnerability to it.  Granted, he isn’t exactly a well-known actor in America which is bad for a category that tends to go for stars, but buzz for his performance is too big to ignore.  Assuming voters watch Top of the Lake they’ll probably have a hard time not giving it to Mullan.
 
 
ZACHARY QUINTO as Dr. Oliver Thredson in AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM
 
Quinto won the Critics’ Choice TV Award, which isn’t a direct precursor, but it certainly puts him in the race here.  He was first billed in the star-studded Asylum cast and he played one of the most juicy parts as a presumed hero turned villain.  His arc over the course of the season was one of the most complete and he was certainly capable of handling a lot of difficult material.  After achieving box office success with Star Trek Into Darkness, Quinto is quickly rising in status and he’ll likely get a nomination here.
 
 
JEFFREY TAMBOR as Bruce Cutler in PHIL SPECTOR
 
This is a prime example of the type of rubber-stamping/name-checking the Emmys are known for.  With an astonishing lack of real contenders in this category, Tambor will likely get in on name alone despite giving a rather nothing performance in Phil Spector.  He essentially plays himself in the movie, but he gets to yell a few times and it’s a role substantial enough to not seem too outlandish as a nominee, but he has about a 1 percent chance of winning.
 
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As for other contenders, there’s not much to pick from.  Dan Aykroyd was in Behind the Candelabra so that automatically makes him a contender, but he had so little to do that I can’t imagine anyone genuinely thinking him an outstanding supporting actor.  James Woods could get in for Mary and Martha but the movie was poorly received and his name can only take him so far.  Sebastian Stan was one of the highlights from Political Animals was a standout but he’s pretty much an unknown and I have a feeling they won’t go for the miniseries other than Sigourney Weaver and another well-known actress I’ll talk about next…
 
Let’s move on to our next category:
 
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
 
 
ELLEN BURSTYN as Margaret Barrish in POLITICAL ANIMALS
 
The Emmys love boozy older mothers, especially played by Oscar-winning legends, so Burstyn should easily get in here.  Granted, Political Animals wasn’t widely seen, but this is the type of over-the-top performance that doesn’t just get nominations, but wins.  Burstyn made Emmy history in 2006 (and caused controversy) as the shortest nominated performance ever for the movie Mrs. Harris.  At a mere 15 seconds, she was able to get into this category basically on her name alone.  They’ll likely name-check her again this year.
 
 
HOLLY HUNTER as GJ in TOP OF THE LAKE
 
Hunter’s performance as the strange, prophetic GJ was one of her most unique ever, and a fascinating element of Top of the Lake.  Hunter is no stranger to the Emmys, getting either a nomination or a win for every single project she’s done for television.  It is a perfect supporting actress performance in that she has minimal screentime compared to the lead (Elisabeth Moss), but she manages to steal ever scene she’s in.  I could easily see Hunter winning this category if it weren’t for the following American Horror Story: Asylum actresses to compete with…
 
 
SARAH PAULSON as Lana Winters in AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM
 
Paulson had the most complete story from this season of American Horror Story, even surpassing Jessica Lange.   She won the Critics’ Choice TV Award for the equivalent of this category and she’s been interviewing (campaigning) like crazy lately.  Paulson isn’t a household name, but people certainly know her in the industry and she got buzz as one of the standouts for Asylum.  She also got a nomination in this category last year for Game Change.  I think she has an excellent shot of winning but well-known actresses like Burstyn and Hunter could be competition, in addition to her own co-star.
 
 
LILY RABE as Sister Mary Eunice McKee in AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM
 
Highly touted as the scene-stealer from Asylum, Rabe’s role as innocent nun turned devil inhabitant was one of the most broad, showy performances of the season.  Though she’s not a prominent actor in Hollywood, the buzz for his performance almost matched Lange and Paulson, and with so few contenders in this category, I can’t see her not getting here.  As with Hunter, Rabe was a scene stealer whenever she was on screen, perfectly fitting the bill for a supporting performance.  She has a shot to win here, but she’s not a frontrunner.
 
ALFRE WOODARD as Louisa “Ouiser” Boudreaux in STEEL MAGNOLIAS
 
Perhaps more of an Emmy darling than Hunter, Woodard has won four awards from 16 total nominations.  Her performance in the Lifetime remake of Steel Magnolias was praised as the best in the film’s stellar cast, so I have no doubt that she’ll get a nomination here, at the very least.  She’s been able to get in for extremely limited roles on her name alone, such as her True Blood guest spot, so I can’t see her not getting a nomination for such a juicy role.
 
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Like the Supporting Actor category, this is a weak one for finding other contenders that could get in here.  Imelda Staunton had a bit of buzz for The Girl but she’ll probably get edged out by these showier performances.  Frances Conroy may be able to sneak in for American Horror Story: Asylum since she was nominated last year for its first season, but her role was very limited this time around.  I can’t realistically see anyone else getting in here.
 
Next time on 2013 Emmy Nomination Predictions:
Reality-Competition Series
Reality Host

 

 
The 2013 Primetime Emmy Nominations will be announced on Thursday, July 18.
 
Please feel free to voice your opinion in the comment section below.
 

Also, read my predictions and analysis of other categories:

 
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