Will ‘Phil Spector’ win Emmys for Al Pacino and Helen Mirren?

Phil Spector,” which aired on HBO Sunday, is David Mamet‘s fictionalized take on the lurid tale of the music maestro and his murder trial. 

Oscar champ Al Pacino (“Scent of a Woman”_ plays Spector while another Oscar winner, Helen Mirren (“The Queen”), is his devoted defense attorney. 

Linda Stasi (NY Post) loved the telefilm, calling Pacino and Mirren “fantastic” while Robert Bianco (USA Today) says, “Pacino really throws his all, and then some, into big moments; Mirren can take even the smallest moment and make it shine.”

And, as Tim Goodman (THR) notes: “even though the movie is loaded with enough to satisfy those who believe Spector did it, as Mirren’s role is written and Pacino’s performance hints at, the film seems eager to suggest Spector was found guilty mostly of being a freak. That have-it-both-ways storytelling doesn’t make ‘Phil Spector’ a great legal movie, but it allows two exceptional actors and a talented writer a chance to play with reality.”

However, for Matt Roush (TV Guide), “Beyond the draw of another flamboyant performance by the mannered and over-indulged Al Pacino, bedecked in a series of wacky fright wigs, and an admirably tough turn by Helen Mirren in the underwritten role of the lawyer, there’s not much there here.”

Pacino took both of his bids in the Movie/Mini Actor race: “Angels in America” (2004) and “You Don’t Know Jack” (2010) while Mirren is the queen of the Movie/Mini Actress category with four wins — “Prime Suspect 4” (1996); “The Passion of Ayn Rand” (1999); “Elizabeth I” (2006); and “Prime Suspect: The Final Act” (2007) —  from a record nine noms. 

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Pacino faces fierce competion from Oscar winner Michael Douglas (“Wall Street”) who plays Liberace in May’s HBO telefilm “Behind the Candelabra“.” And Mirren must edge out last year’s supporting winner Jessica Lange who will contend in the combined category for “American Horror Story: Asylum.” 

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