This year, Laura Dern (“The Tale)” is one of only three performers to be nominated at the Emmys for a made-for-TV movie, the others being Jesse Plemons (“USS Callister: Black Mirror”) and Letitia Wright (“Black Museum: Black Mirror”). All others are nominated for a limited series or a variety special. Dern would be the first winner in the lead actress category to hail from a TV Movie since Julianne Moore (“Game Change”) back in 2012. But unlike “Game Change,” which had 12 nominations total, HBO’s critical darling “The Tale” under-performed and came away with only two: Best TV Movie and Best Movie/Limited Series Actress.
“The Tale” is about Jennifer Fox’s (director, producer, writer) own childhood sexual abuse and how it influenced her future relationships. In the era of the Me Too and Time’s Up movements, we could easily see Dern benefit from playing a sexual abuse survivor as it fits perfectly into the current climate. Last year it was “The Handmaid’s Tale” that was deemed one of the most relevant shows of the year, which may have been one of the main reasons why it took home a whopping eight Emmys. If voters want to go for what feels most important at the moment, then they might check off Dern’s name for playing Jennifer Fox in the movie.
To Dern’s advantage, she also seems to be at the height of her career and is Hollywood royalty, being the daughter of Bruce Dern and Diana Ladd. Last year she was very close to becoming the Motion Picture Academy President, but declined the nomination, citing her busy work schedule. Actors love to award other actors who love and value their work. Other recent credits of hers include “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and Showtime’s “Twin Peaks,” which is nominated for nine Emmys this year. Visibility is sometimes all you need to take home the statue, and that she most definitely has.
It is difficult for someone to win Best Movie/Limited Series Actress if their program doesn’t have enough support elsewhere. The past three winners — Frances McDormand (“Olive Kitteridge,” 2015), Sarah Paulson (“The People v. O. J. Simpson,” 2016) and Nicole Kidman (“Big Little Lies,” 2017) — were all in programs which not only had a significant amount of nominations but also went on to win the Limited Series prize. While “The Tale” winning Best TV Movie is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility, “USS Callister” seems to be the clear frontrunner at the moment.
Dern now has a total of seven Emmy nominations and just last year took home her first statue for her role as Renata Klein in “Big Little Lies.” Her other nominations were for “Afterburn” (Best Movie/Mini, 1992), “Fallen Angels” (Best Drama Guest Actress, 1994), “Ellen” (Best Comedy Guest Actress, 1997), “Recount” (Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress, 2003), and “Enlightened” (Best Comedy Actress, 2013). Gold Derby’s predictions give Dern the edge to win for “The Tale” over the other five nominees: Jessica Biel (“The Sinner”), Michelle Dockery (“Godless”), Edie Falco (“Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders”), Regina King (“Seven Seconds”) and Paulson (“American Horror Story: Cult”).
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before winners are announced on September 17. Be sure to also predict winners for the Creative Arts ceremonies slated for September 8 and 9. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.