Emmy race for movie/miniseries directing: Is Jay Roach (‘Game Change’) unbeatable?

In the race for Best Movie/Miniseries Directing, Jay Roach may just be unbeatable for helming HBO’s political telefilm “Game Change.”

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Roach won a pair of Emmys in 2008 for directing and producing HBO’s similarly-themed “Recount,” and with his current film the fronrunner for the Best Movie/Miniseries prize, it would be a huge upset for any other contender to claim the directing trophy. “Game Change” stars Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin and Ed Harris as John McCain and follows the ups and downs of Palin’s infamous political career during the 2008 election.

The other four directors in this category are all nominated for their very first Emmy awards this year.

Hemingway and Gellhorn” director Philip Kaufman was nominated for an Oscar in 1989 for writing “The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” but this is his first major awards recognition as a director. His HBO telefilm was snubbed in the writing category, but received nods for stars Nicole Kidman, Clive Owen and David Strathairn as well as Best Movie/Miniseries.

Paul McGuigan received a nomination for British favorite “Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia.” His meticulous helming of the updated Sherlock Holmes story earned star Benedict Cumberbatch his first career Emmy nod.

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Fellow British miniseries “Luther” was nominated for a handful of trophies including director Sam Miller and series star Idris Elba. If Emmy voters honor Miller here, it’ll be thanks to “Luther’s” dark atmosphere, gritty realism and amazing performances.

Kevin Reynolds directed History’s blockbuster miniseries “Hatfields and McCoys,” which earned 16 total nominations including nods for stars Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton, Tom Berenger and Mare Winningham. Reynolds’ previous claim to fame in the awards circuit came in 1996 when he was nominated for a Razzie for directing “Waterworld.” An Emmy win would make up for that dishonor.

See also our write-ups for Best Comedy Directing, Best Comedy Writing, Best Drama Directing, Best Drama Writing and Best Movie/Miniseries Writing.

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