Going into the Emmys this year, it is shaping up that all female acting categories are to be the most competitive and unpredictable categories this award season, and the Best Actress in a TV Movie or Limited Series category is no exception. The five acting slots in this category already are seemingly locked, yet there is potential for a few upsets going into the nomination process. Maggie Gyllenhaal is a guaranteed lock for her performance in Sundance’s The Honourable Woman, especially after her Golden Globe win this past January. Frances McDormand also seems a lock with her role in the HBO miniseries, Olive Kitteridge. The same can be said of Queen Latifah for her performance as blues singer “Bessie Smith” in the HBO TV movie, Bessie. Jessica Lange also appears to be in a good position to be nominated for her final season in FX’s American Horror Story, which is also reinforced by the fact she was the surprise Best Actress in a TV Movie or Miniseries winner last year for American Horror Story: Coven. Voters like Lange and she undoubtedly has the sentimental vote on her side.
This leaves the last available slot open presumably to Felicity Huffman and her performance in American Crime, but this depends on the extent of love voters give the ABC miniseries. Huffman’s chances of a nomination could be upset by Frances O’Connor’s astounding performance in the BBC miniseries, The Missing. O’Connor was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance back in January, which definitely helps her chances of being nominated over Huffman. However, The Missing is lesser known with audiences , which is already hurting its chances in the Limited Series category. O’Connor’s nomination chances are seemingly synced with how voters receive The Missing as a whole. Yet if The Missing ends up being a surprise nominee, O’Connor likely will go with the show’s momentum.
This wildcard slot also offers the chance of some smaller performances being nominated as well. Lifetime currently is promoting The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, which could propel Kelli Garner’s lead role into being nominated. Octavia Spencer has received relatively good reviews with her leading role in the FOX miniseries Red Band Society, yet critics may say her performance was overshadowed by it being part of an ensemble cast. Anna Gunn, who is fresh off her Breaking Bad win last year, could see herself nominated in this category for her role in the USA miniseries Gracepoint. However, the miniseries has gotten mixed reviews and Gunn’s nomination isn’t likely as a result. This is the same scenario with Saoirse Ronan and her performance in the Lifetime movie Stockholm, Pennsylvania. However, Ronan’s co-star, Cynthia Nixon, appears to be getting some attention in the supporting category for Stockholm, Pennsylvania, which could attract some additional attention onto Ronan’s performance as well.
Below are Dan’s predictions for Best Actress in a TV Movie or Limited Series:
1. Queen Latifah – “Bessie”
2. Frances McDormand – “Olive Kitteridge”
3. Jessica Lange – “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
4. Maggie Gyllenhaal – “The Honourable Woman”
5. Frances O’Connor – “The Missing”
Spoiler: Felicity Huffman – “American Crime”
Long Shot: Octavia Spencer – “Red Band Society”