Laura Dern will finally win an Emmy. That’s according to the predictions of our Experts. As of this writing we’ve polled 14 TV journalists from top media outlets, and they say Dern is the frontrunner for Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress for her role as high-strung working mom Renata Klein in “Big Little Lies.” And it’s been a long time coming. This is her sixth nomination, and it would be her first victory.
Nine of our Experts predict a victory for Dern: Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Eric Deggans (NPR), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Anne Thompson (IndieWire), Adnan Virk (ESPN), and Jarett Wieselman (Buzzfeed).
Dern’s previous five nominations came between 1992 and 2013, and they were all for different projects: Best Movie/Mini Actress for “Afterburn” (1992), Best Drama Guest Actress for “Fallen Angels” (1994), Best Comedy Guest Actress for “Ellen” (1997), Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress for “Recount” (2008) and Best Comedy Actress for “Enlightened” (2013). But none of those resulted in a win.
Now Dern gives a scene-stealing performance in the Emmy frontrunner for Best Limited Series. “Big Little Lies” has 16 total nominations, including five bids for acting, which shows how much the actors branch admires the show and her performance, though she may have to worry about splitting votes with her co-star and fellow nominee Shailene Woodley.
If Dern is vulnerable, four Experts think Emmy darling Judy Davis (“Feud: Bette and Joan”) will capitalize: Lynette Rice (Entertainment Weekly), Robert Rorke (New York Post), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine) and Ken Tucker (Yahoo).
History shows that it’s wise not to underestimate Davis. She has been nominated 11 times before, winning three: Best Movie/Mini Actress for “Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows” (2001) and Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress for “Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story” (1995) and “The Starter Wife” (2007). She plays a real-life, larger-than-life personality in the FX’s “Feud”: infamous gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, who is alternately an ally of Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) and a thorn in her side.
And “Feud” has 18 total Emmy nominations, more than any other movie or miniseries, including six for its actors, so voters have embraced it at least as much as “Big Little Lies.” But Davis is also at risk of vote-splitting, as she is up against her co-star Jackie Hoffman.
If the “Feud” and “Big Little Lies” nominees cancel each other out, that could open the door for Michelle Pfeiffer (“The Wizard of Lies”), whom Kerr Lordygan (Rotten Tomatoes) is predicting will upset. Pfeiffer plays Ruth Madoff, the wife of corrupt Wall Street financier Bernie Madoff (Robert De Niro) who learns her husband swindled billions of dollars from investors. Pfeiffer is primarily known for her work on the big screen, so she has never been nominated for an Emmy before this, but she’s a three-time Oscar nominee, and Emmy voters love to honor respected movie stars who make the move to TV.
So which of our Experts are right? Or are they underestimating Woodley and Hoffman? And why is no one yet predicting two-time defending champion Regina King (“American Crime”)?
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our Emmy odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on September 17. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.