As we recently reported, Nicole Kidman (“Big Little Lies”) is the frontrunner to win the Emmy for Best Movie/Mini Actress according to the Experts we’ve polled from top media outlets, More Experts have weighed in since then and Kidman continues to hold a substantial lead, and the rest of our prediction leagues agree: Gold Derby’s Editors who cover awards year-round, our Top 24 Users who got the highest scores predicting last year’s Emmys, our All-Star Top 24 who got the highest scores when you combine the last two years’ Emmys, and more than 1,000 total Users who make up our largest and often savviest bloc of predictors.
As of this writing 13 out of 16 Experts are predicting Kidman: Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Eric Deggans (NPR), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Lynette Rice (Entertainment Weekly), Robert Rorke (New York Post), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Anne Thompson (IndieWire), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Ken Tucker (Yahoo), Adnan Virk (ESPN), Glenn Whipp (LA Times), and Jarett Wieselman (Buzzfeed).
In addition, Kidman is currently backed by four out of seven Editors: Chris Beachum, Rob Licuria, Sheehan, and myself. 17 of our Top 24 Users and 17 All-Stars agree that she’s the frontrunner.
This is Kidman’s second Emmy nomination — her third, actually, if you count her bid as a producer of “Big Little Lies.” She was previously nominated for her leading role in the telefilm “Hemingway and Gellhorn” (2012). Now she plays one of the most sympathetic roles in this HBO limited series: Celeste Wright, a retired lawyer being physically abused by her husband (fellow Emmy nominee Alexander Skarsgard). The lion’s share of critical praise for the actors went to her, though she may still have to worry about splitting votes with her co-star Reese Witherspoon, who is also nominated in this category. But the series was a ratings hit, and it earned 16 total nominations, indicating broad support from the TV academy. That includes five nominations for acting, which means the actors branch was especially fond of “Big Little Lies” and thus might be inclined to vote for Kidman in the top race.
Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby) and Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine) are the two Experts predicting Kidman’s chief rival, Jessica Lange (“Feud: Bette and Joan”). But there are also three Editors who give her the advantage: Marcus James Dixon and Matt Noble in addition to O’Neil. Five of our Top 24 and five All-Stars also predict Lange, so we mustn’t discount her.
Lange has been a favorite of Emmy voters in recent years, winning three times out of her seven nominations. She claimed Best Movie/Mini Actress twice, for “Grey Gardens” (2009) and “American Horror Story: Coven” (2014). And she won Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress for “American Horror Story: Murder House” (2012). The “Horror Story” franchise was created by Ryan Murphy, as is “Feud,” so this collaboration has already proven fruitful for Lange. It doesn’t hurt that Lange plays a recognizable real-life figure, film icon Joan Crawford. Since 2009, four women have won this category for playing real people, including Lange’s victory for “Grey Gardens.” And starring in a true Hollywood story like “Feud” may especially appeal to the industry insiders who vote for the Emmys. Plus “Feud” has more nominations than any other limited series (18), including six total acting nominations, so it has lots of academy support where it counts.
Kerr Lordygan (Rotten Tomatoes) is going out on a limb for “Feud” co-star Susan Sarandon. But none of our Editors or top users are currently backing him up on that pick. Like Lange, Sarandon has the benefit of playing a recognizable real-life figure. Like Kidman, she’s looking for her first Emmy victory (Sarandon has four previous bids). And like both of them, she’s an admired, Oscar winning movie star. So maybe Lordygan is onto something.
None of our Experts or Editors are predicting Carrie Coon (“Fargo”), but she has support from one of our Top 24 and one All-Star. Is she the dark horse to watch out for? Emmy voters loved “Fargo” this year (16 total nominations). Vote-splitting could hurt her rivals from “Big Little Lies” and “Feud.” And she also received acclaim this season for her leading performance in “The Leftovers”; she wasn’t nominated for that role, but voters are probably aware that she was doing double-duty this year.
None of our Experts, Editors, or Top Users are predicting the remaining nominees, Witherspoon (“Big Little Lies”) or Felicity Huffman (“American Crime”). Might we be underestimating them?
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