In the Emmy feud for Best Movie/Mini Actress, all eyes have been on frontrunner Jessica Lange for her role as the desperate, despairing Joan Crawford in “Feud: Bette and Joan.” But are we underestimating her co-star Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis? As depicted in the limited series, Davis constantly inspired the professional jealousy and resentment of Crawford, so much so that Crawford actually campaigned against Davis when Davis was nominated for an Academy Award for “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” Perhaps Davis can get redemption in a way by helping Sarandon earn her first career Emmy.
One of our 18 Experts polled from top media outlets is predicting Sarandon: Robert Rorke (New York Post). Sarandon is also backed by our user aaron, who did well enough in our Emmy predictions last year to earn a spot in our Top 24 Users, and he has done well enough for the last two years combined that he’s also a part of our All-Star Top 24, so it would be wise to take his predictions seriously.
Like Lange, Sarandon has the benefit of playing a recognizable real-life figure. Since 2009, four women have won this category for playing real people, including Lange’s 2009 victory for “Grey Gardens.” Also like Lange she’s an admired, Oscar winning movie star (Best Actress for “Dead Man Walking,” 1996). And Sarandon’s overdue status (she has four past Emmy noms without a win) could help push her over the top, though she could be hurt by the fact that Lange has a showier role. And there’s a possibility that Lange and Sarandon could split the vote, which is a distinct possibility under the new voting system.
As it stands, the consensus remains with Lange as the frontrunner. In addition to her two Oscars for “Tootsie” (Best Supporting Actress, 1983) and “Blue Sky” (Best Actress, 1995), Lange has also been a favorite of Emmy voters, 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 proved fruitful for Lange.
Sarandon also has to contend against a pair of Oscar winners from HBO’s “Big Little Lies”: Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. Kidman won her Oscar for “The Hours” (Best Actress, 2003), and she has also been nominated three other times, including a Best Supporting Actress bid this past year for “Lion.” In addition, Kidman is currently promoting a new film by Sofia Coppola, “The Beguiled.” So Emmy voters might wish to reward her for the strength of her year overall in addition to her acclaimed performance in “Big Little Lies” as a wife and mother who is the victim of domestic abuse. Kidman has one previous Emmy nomination in this category for the telefilm “Hemingway & Gellhorn” (2012), but she has never won.
Witherspoon won her Oscar for “Walk the Line” (Best Actress, 2006), but she’s never been nominated for an Emmy — sometimes the first time is the charm.
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