For nearly half a century Jane Fonda has been a formidable player during awards seasons for her work on both the big and small screens. This living legend has seven Oscar nominations under her belt, including two Best Actress victories, for “Klute” (1971) and “Coming Home” (1978). Fonda has also garnered four Emmy nominations, including one win for Best Movie/Mini Actress for her turn as a World War II-era pioneer woman in “The Dollmaker” (1984).
However, Fonda has yet to receive a Best Comedy Actress Emmy nomination for her work as Grace Hanson on Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie.” This despite co-star Lily Tomlin garnering nominations for both of the series’s first two seasons in 2015 and 2016. With both Tomlin and Fonda landing nominations at this past year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, and with the absence of last year’s nominees Amy Schumer (“Inside Amy Schumer”) and Laurie Metcalf (“Getting On”) from this year’s race, Fonda is perhaps better poised than ever to break through on Emmy nominations morning.
Season three of “Grace and Frankie” has provided Fonda plenty of meaty material to work with. Much of the season focuses on the title duo’s attempts to make a success out of their new vibrator company, Vybrant, and the unforeseen legal battles that ensue. The episode “The Floor,” in which Grace and Frankie injure their backs and are unable to get off the floor, is a prime comic showcase for Fonda, and both “The Musical” and “The Sign,” in which the two deal with the aftermath of a medical incident, find Fonda at her dramatic finest. So her performance truly runs the gamut.
Of Fonda’s performance, Ben Travers (IndieWire) wrote, “Fonda is an excellent foil, but she also gets one major moment to show off her dramatic pull during Episode 5. Each dabbles in both genres, as usual, but the writing allows each actress to shine under their best light.”
Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya (A.V. Club), in her review of “The Floor,” said, “The dialogue has enough specificity and familiarity to avoid feeling broad, and Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda are, as always, wholly convincing in their delivery and the small physical cues that add more meaning to their words.”
Lauren Humphries-Brooks (We Got This Covered) also praised both Fonda and Tomlin’s turns in season three, writing, “Tomlin and Fonda are the anchors of this show, their evident affinity for each other shining through even in their darkest moments.”
Do you agree that Fonda deserves recognition alongside Tomlin at the Emmys this year?
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