Despite Olive Kitteridge being a polarizing limited series, it did benefit from a directing style that was consistent and truly showcased the title character in an effective and sometimes brutally honest manner. Lisa Cholodenko’s direction was also done in a matter-of-fact sort of style, leaving it to the viewer to interpret the series of events on their own. It is rare, and sometimes risky, leaving interpretation to the viewer instead of disclosing what is meant to be taken from the narrative, yet Cholodenko was very effective and ought to be commended for that.
The other nominees in this category, while diverse in scope, don’t appear to be too much of a threat to Olive Kitteridge winning in this category. Houdini was a surprise in this category given the poor critical response towards the limited series’ writing and direction. The Missing was universally snubbed in all categories except this one, which seems to indicate its nomination is its award. The same sentiment can be offered to American Horror Story, which should be taken more seriously, but inexplicably is treated as inferior to other nominees.
The Honourable Woman does have a good chance of achieving an upset in this category with Hugo Blick’s close attention to detail regarding his narrative of the Middle-East drama. The limited series was met with universal praise with its finale and that undoubtedly puts it in a better position than most nominees. Dee Rees’ direction of Bessie also is in a good position to steal the spotlight from Olive Kitteridge. The Bessie Smith biopic was both compelling and insightful about the blues singer’s life, but the film did suffer from the occasional disjointed directing style that confused viewers from distinguishing reality versus dream sequences. Wolf Hall is the underdog in this category, which is unfortunate considering its incredible historical accuracy and its ability to transplant the viewer to Reformation England. Peter Krosminsky’s direction of Wolf Hall is the most worthy in this category for the win, but the PBS limited series may be too lesser-known to attract the attention of Emmy voters.
American Horror Story: Freak Show
The Honourable Woman
Will Win: Olive Kitteridge
Could Win: Bessie
Should Win: Wolf Hall
Could Upset: Wolf Hall