What If Lisa Had All The Power: 2019 Emmy Nominations Edition


In a few hours, the 2019 Emmy nominations will be announced!

Since I love awards and I love making lists, it’s an annual tradition that I list who and what would be nominated if I had all the power.  Keep in mind that what you’re seeing below are not necessarily my predictions of what or who will actually be nominated.  Many of the shows listed below will probably be ignored tomorrow morning.  Instead, this is a list of the nominees and winners if I was the one who was solely responsible for picking them.

Because I got off to a late start this year, I’m only listing the major categories below.  I may go back and do a full, 100-category list sometime tomorrow.  Who knows?  I do love making lists.

Anyway, here’s what would be nominated and what would win if I had all the power!  (Winners are listed in bold.)

(Want to see who and what was nominated for Emmy consideration this year?  Click here!)

(Want to see my picks for last year?  Click here!)

(Want to see my picks for 2012?  I know, that’s kinda random.  Anyway, click here!)

Programming

Outstanding Comedy Series

Barry

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

GLOW

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

One Day At A Time

Veep

Vida

Outstanding Drama Series

Better Call Saul

Dynasty

Flack

Game of Thrones

The Magicians

My Brilliant Friend

Ozark

You

Outstanding Limited Series

Chernobyl

Fosse/Verdon

The Haunting of Hill House

I Am The Night

Maniac

Sharp Objects

True Detective

A Very English Scandal

Outstanding Television Movie

The Bad Seed

Bandersnatch (Black Mirror)

Brexit

Deadwood

King Lear

Native Son

No One Would Tell

O.G.

Performer

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Iain Armitage in Young Sheldon

Ted Danson in The Good Place

Bill Hader in Barry

Pete Holmes in Crashing

Glenn Howerton in A.P. Bio

Andy Samberg in Brooklyn Nine Nine

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Penn Badgley in You

Jason Bateman in Ozark

James Franco in The Deuce

John Krasinski in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan

Bob Odenkirk in Better Call Saul

Dominic West in The Affair

Outstanding Lead Actor In a Limited Series

Hugh Grant in A Very English Scandal

Jared Harris in Chernobyl

Jonah Hill in Maniac

Chris Pine in I Am The Night

Sam Rockwell in Fosse/Verdon

Henry Thomas in The Haunting of Hill House

Outstanding Lead Actor In An Original Movie

Benedict Cumberbatch in Brexit

Anthony Hopkins in King Lear

Rob Lowe in The Bad Seed

Ian McShane in Deadwood

Timothy Olyphant in Deadwood

Jeffrey Wright in O.G.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series

Melissa Barrera in Vida

Kristen Bell in The Good Place

Alison Brie in GLOW

Rachel Brosnahan in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep

Zoe Perry in Young Sheldon

Outstanding Lead Actress in A Drama Series

Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones

Gaia Girace in My Brilliant Friend

Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Deuce

Laura Linney in Ozark

Margherita Mazzucco in My Brilliant Friend

Anna Paquin in Flack

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series

Amy Adams in Sharp Objects

India Eisley in I Am The Night

Carla Gugino in The Haunting of Hill House

Charlotte Hope in The Spanish Princess

Emma Stone in Maniac

Michelle Williams in Fosse/Verdon

Outstanding Lead Actress in an Original Movie

Shannen Doherty in No One Would Tell

Chelsea Frei in Victoria Gotti: My Father’s Daughter

McKenna Grace in The Bad Seed

Paula Malcolmson in Deadwood

Molly Parker in Deadwood

Christina Ricci in Escaping The Madhouse: The Nellie Bly Story

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series

Fred Armisen in Documentary Now!

Andre Braugher in Brooklyn Nine Nine

Anthony Carrigan in Barry

Tony Hale in Veep

Sam Richardson in Veep

Stephen Root in Barry

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series

Jonathan Banks in Better Call Saul

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in Game of Thrones

Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones

Giancarlo Esposito in Better Call Saul

Peter Mullan in Ozark

Luca Padovan in You

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Limited Series

Stephen Dorff in True Detective

Timothy Hutton in The Haunting of Hill House

Chris Messina in Sharp Objects

Stellan Skarsgard in Chernobyl

Justin Thereoux in Maniac

Ben Whishaw in A Very English Scandal

Outstanding Supporting Actor In An Original Movie

Jim Broadbent in King Lear

Bill Camp in Native Son

Theothus Carter in O.G.

Rory Kinnear in Brexit

Gerald McRaney in Deadwood

Will Poulter in Bandersnatch (Black Mirror)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in A Comedy Series

Caroline Aaron in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Alex Borstein in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Anna Chlumsky in Veep

Sarah Goldberg in Barry

Rita Moreno in One Day At A Time

Sarah Sutherland in Veep

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series

Summer Bishil in The Magicians

Elisa Del Genio in My Brilliant Friend

Julia Garner in Ozark

Lena Headey in Game of Thrones

Elizabeth Lail in You

Shay Mitchell in You

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Limited Series

Jessie Buckley in Chernobyl

Patricia Clarkson in Sharp Objects

Sally Field in Maniac

Patricia Hodge in A Very English Scandal

Connie Nielsen in I Am The Night

Emily Watson in Chernobyl

Outstanding Supporting Actress In An Original Movie

Kim Dickens in Deadwood

Florence Pugh in King Lear

Margaret Qualley in Favorite Son

Emma Thompson in King Lear

Emily Watson in King Lear

Robin Weigert in Deadwood

 

A Movie A Day #145: The Incredible Hulk: A Death In The Family (1977, directed by Alan J. Levi)


Following the events of The Incredible Hulk and with the world convinced that he is dead, Dr. David Banner (Bill Bixby) is hitchhiking his way across California, hoping to reach a hospital where research is being done on the effects of gamma radiation.  When he stops off in an orange grove, he spots a young, crippled woman named Julie (Laurie Prange).  When Julie faints, David carries her back to her mansion.  It turns out that, after the mysterious death of her father, Julie stands to inherit millions.  David suspects that her doctor (played by William Daniels) may be poisoning her and he gets a job working on the grounds of her mansion.  At first, David thinks that his biggest problem is going to be the head groundskeeper (Gerald McRaney), who is jealous of David’s relationship with Julie.  But, actually, it’s Julie’s stepmother (Dorothy Tristan) that David has to watch out for.  When David tries to protect Julie and a bitter hermit (John McLiam) from the stepmother’s evil plans, he soon finds himself being pursued through the swampland by both men with guns and tabloid journalist Jack McGee (Jack Colvin).  They are all making David Banner angry and they’re about to discover that they wouldn’t like David Banner when he’s angry.

This was the second pilot for The Incredible Hulk.  It aired a week after the first pilot and, like that one, it was also given a theatrical release in Europe.  While the first movie established David Banner’s backstory and explained why he transformed into the Hulk whenever he bumped his head on a door frame or twisted his ankle, A Death in The Family is more typical of the series that would follow.  Like every subsequent episode, A Death In The Family opens with David Banner finding an odd job and ended with him walking down the road with his thumb stuck out.  In between, Banner helps a special guest star.

Watching the second pilot, it’s easy to see why CBS took a chance on The Incredible Hulk even though, at the time, comic book adaptations were considered to be a risk.  Both Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno really throw themselves into playing Banner and his alter ego and the show takes the idea seriously.

There’s nothing special about the pilot’s story.  The stepmother and the doctor are obviously guilty from the start.  But the plot (and the 90 minute running time) does allow for four appearances by the Hulk.  David Banner even gets attacked by a grizzly bear, which brings the Hulk right out.  David Banner always had the worst luck with wild animals and barbed wire.  The Hulk, though, just throws the grizzly bear over into the next pond.  The bear is not harmed.  The Hulk may have been angry but he was never really dangerous.

Finally, for the record, Death In the Family featured the first of many aliases that David Banner would assume over the next four years.  This time, he’s David Benton.

Film Review: Focus (dir by Glenn Ficara and John Requa)


2015_Focus_film_poster

The snow and ice finally melted today so, this afternoon, Jeff and I went down to the Alamo Drafthouse and we saw the just released Will Smith/Margot Robbie film, Focus.

You know how there’s some films that you see and you know that you had a good enough time while you were watching it and then, a few hours later, you realize that the movie itself is quickly fading from your memory?  It’s not that you just saw a bad movie as much as you just watched one that was not exceptionally good.  To a large extent, that sums up how I felt about Focus.  I watched it.  I was mildly entertained.  And I have a feeling that, 6 months from now, I’m going to come across this review and say something like, “Oh yeah, I guess I did see that movie.”  It gets the job done but it doesn’t do much else.

(I was actually tempted to start this review by saying that Focus was good for a “March movie” but then I remembered that last year, The Grand Budapest Hotel came out in March and proved that the date of release is no longer an excuse.)

In Focus, Will Smith plays Nicky Spurgeon.  Nicky’s nickname is Mellow but he didn’t get that nickname for the reason that you probably think he did.  (Though, rest assured, we do find out the exact reason why Nicky is called Mellow and yes, it does factor into the film’s final twist.)  Nicky is anything but mellow.  Instead, he’s a professional con artist who is always scheming, who always considers every detail, and who is always focused on getting what he wants.

The film is split into two parts and the first part is actually pretty good.  An inexperienced con artist named Jess (Margot Robbie) attempts to rob Nicky and gets a lecture as a result.  Nicky isn’t so much upset that Jess tried to con him as much as he, as a professional, is annoyed that Jess did such a bad job of it.  This leads to Nicky eventually becoming Jess’s mentor.  Nicky teaches Jess all the tools of the trade, introduces her to all the properly quirky members of his crew, and he even goes against his own advice (which is to never get close to anyone) when he and Jess become lovers.

The highlight of the first part of the film is a football game where Nicky and a compulsive gambler (B.D. Wong) end up making a series of increasingly ludicrous bets.  B.D. Wong gives such a memorably unhinged performance that he briefly made the entire film seem more interesting than it actually was.  In fact, as I look back over Focus, I find myself wishing that the entire film has just been about his character.

But, unfortunately, the film isn’t about B.D. Wong.  Instead, it’s about Nicky and Jess.  The second part of the film, which takes place three years after the first part, features Jess and Nicky as equals and it feels like almost an entirely different movie.  Whereas Smith and Robbie had a nice chemistry as teacher and student, that chemistry vanishes after the time jump.  Unfortunately, that’s not all that vanishes.  The film’s pace and playful sense of fun disappears as well.  If the first half of the film felt like an above average first episode of a quirky TV show, the second half felt like a long-running sitcom on which the show runner had been fired and suddenly replaced.  It was similar to what had come before but, ultimately, it felt very different.

Focus does end with a big twist but, long before it was revealed, Jeff and I both guessed what it was.  The problem is that we’ve seen so many movies about con artists that we know that all of them are destined to end with a big twist that reveals that there was another con going on that we didn’t know about.  It’s impossible to be surprised by the eventual twist because we all know that it’s coming.  For a “con movie” like Focus to work, it has to either be so cleverly written or so much fun to watch that we actually stop thinking about the inevitability of the upcoming twist.  But, since Focus is never as clever as it thinks it is, we instead spend our whole time thinking about the twist and, seeing as how you’re a clever and experience filmgoer, you probably won’t have much trouble predicting it.

But here’s the thing: I think it’s possible to be too critical of a film like Focus.  Focus may not be good but it does have it fun moments.  Will Smith could play Nicky in his sleep.  (And, to be honest, he occasionally seems to be doing just that.)  Margot Robbie looks like she belongs in an old film noir.  The settings are glamorous.  The clothes are to die for.  Ultimately, Focus is both moderately enjoyable and extremely forgettable.  If you don’t see it in a theater, you won’t regret it.  However, when it show up on cable in December, it’ll make for inoffensive background noise.

Talking About Love: The Best of Me (dir by Michael Hoffman) and The One I Love (dir by Charlie McDowell)


The_Best_of_Me_poster

When I wrote my review of The Theory of Everything, I mentioned that Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time made a brief, if important, appearance in another film released earlier this year.  That film, of course, was the latest Nicholas Sparks adaptation, The Best Of Me.  

Now, I have to admit that The Best Of Me was one of those forgettable films that I kind of suspected most of our readers would not mind me never getting around to reviewing.  It came out two months ago, it got terrible reviews, and it didn’t do much business at the box office.  I didn’t even enjoy it and I’m the girl who always ends up defending the Twilight films whenever the boys here at the Shattered Lens start to make fun of them.  You can tell the impression that the Rest Of Me made on me by the fact that I just got the name wrong and I didn’t even bother to correct my mistake.

But here’s the thing.  January is rapidly approaching and, with January, comes my annual 16 worst films of the year list.  And chances are that The Best Of Me will appear on that list and I’d like to be able to link to a review.

It’s probably not a shock to hear that The Best Of Me is not a good film.  With the exception of The Notebook, the novels of Nicholas Sparks are not known for inspiring good films.  Instead, they are known for inspiring films about achingly pretty people who meet on the beach, have a melodramatic secret in the past, and ultimately end up falling in love.  And dying, of course.  Somebody always has to die.  The familiar Nicholas Sparks formula actually works pretty well when you’re the one reading his prose and visualizing the story in your head.  That’s largely because you can always imagine yourself as the heroine and maybe James Franco, Bradley Cooper, or Ryan Gosling as the hero.  But, when it comes to making movies out of his books, the end results are often so predictable and uninspired that the Nicholas Sparks drinking game had to be legally banned after scores of single women fell ill with alcohol poisoning.

(Yes, that actually did happen!  Google it! …. or don’t.  Actually, don’t.)

The Best Of Me is, without a doubt, the most Nicholas Sparksian Nicholas Sparks adaptation ever made.  Seriously, it has everything that you would expect from a Nicholas Sparks film and it presents it all so predictably that watching the movie is a bit like watching a checklist.  We’ve got two former high school lovers who are reunited 20 years later.  We’ve got melodrama that comes out of nowhere.  We’ve got multiple flashbacks.  We’ve got soft focus cinematography.  And, of course, we’ve got an ending that is meant to be both tragic and inspiring but it’s neither because, since this is a Nicholas Sparks movie, we already knew that the ending was going to try to be both tragic and inspiring.

What we don’t have is much chemistry between the two lead actors.  James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan are both pretty in the way that people in Nicholas Sparks films often are but you never get the feeling that they have much affection for each other.  Even worse, in the flashbacks, their characters are played by two actors (Luke Bracey and Liana Liberato) who look absolutely nothing like James Marsden or Michelle Monaghan.  In particular, it’s impossible to believe that Luke Bracey could ever grow up to look like James Marsden.  I found myself half-expecting a huge twist where Marsden would reveal that he was an intruder.

And you know what?

That would have been a lot more interesting than what we got!  Somebody help me get in touch with Nicholas Sparks!  I’ve got some ideas for his next book!

The One I Love

For a far more memorable look at love and relationships, allow me to suggest The One I Love, a film that was obviously made for a lot less money than The Best of Me but which is also a lot more thought-provoking.

In The One I Love, Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss play a couple whose marriage is on the verge of breaking up.  At the suggestion of their friendly-yet-creepy marriage counselor (Ted Danson), they agree to spend a weekend at a beautiful but remote house.  Danson assures them that they will be the only couple at the house. Duplass and Moss agree and, at first, the weekend seems to be working.  However, soon both of them start having conversations and encounters that the other claims to not remember.  Duplass and Moss discover that they are not alone at the house…

And to tell you anything else about the plot would be unfair.  The One I Love is one of those films that works best when the viewer discovers its mysteries at the same time as the characters.  To spoil the film would be a crime.  Let’s just say that there is a twist that will leave you reconsidering everything that you’ve previously seen in the movie.

Beyond that twist, however, The One I Love works for the exact reason that The Best of Me does not.  Moss and Duplass have the chemistry that the leads in The Best Of Me lack.  You believe them both as individuals and as a couple.

So, when it comes time to consider what we talk about when we talk about love, check out The One I Love and leave The Best Of Me behind.

Quickie Review: The A-Team (dir. by Joe Carnahan)


If my memory serves me correctly the year of 2010 ended up becoming the year of the Action Team Flicks. Arriving first was the comic book film adaptation, The Losers, which didn’t do so well. Coming out last was the Stallone testosterone action vehicle, The Expendables, which did much better though it lacked somewhat in the grindhouse it was promising. Smack dab in the middle of these two was the film adaptation of the classic 80’s action tv series of the same name, The A-Team, which in the end I thought was the best of the three Action Team Flicks of 2010.

The A-Team was a film project that once had Mel Gibson attached to it right up to Bruce Willis, but delays upon delays pared back what would’ve been a mega-budgeted action blockbuster into something in the bargain basement (for a summer film). It starred Liam Neeson in the iconic role of Col. John “Hannibal” Smith made famous in the 80’s by George Peppard. Surrounding him would be Bradley Cooper as Templeton “Face” Peck, Sharlto Copley as H.M. “Howlin’ Mad” Murdock and veteran MMA fighter Quinton “Rampage” Jackson as B.A. Baracus.  Holding court over this A-Team was filmmaker Joe Carnahan working with a script he, Skip Woods and Brian Bloom (who also had a role as the amoral, sociopathic mercenary Pike).

The film took what was great and fun about the original tv series and gives it a 21st-century upgrade. To say that the film’s plot was secondary to watching the cast having fun on the screen would be an understatement. The story dealt with Smith and his team being accused of a crime they didn’t commit and must now escape from a military prison to find out who set them up and clear their name. It’s straight out of the tv series’ basic premise which managed to last a full on four seasons. Fortunately, Carnahan and his writers only had to make this premise last just a little over two hours. While some may think that two hours would be too long for this film it actually moved quite fast for something that went beyond the two hour mark.

Right from the beginning the cast looked to have been having the time of their lives. Neeson was Hannibal through and through while the other actors making up the rest of the team managed to imbue these well-known characters with their own brand of craziness, absurdity and panache. Just like the other two Action Team flicks of 2010 this film also had it’s share of scene-chewing villains in the form of Patrick Wilson as a duplicitous CIA agent and Brian Bloom as the sociopathic leader of a private military company at odds with Smith and his team. It’s these two groups who end up trying to outguess and outmanuever each other to get that final upper hand. Each encounter between these two groups just got more ridiculous with each passing event.

If one ever wondered if one could fly a tank while it was in freefall then this film answers that question. The climactic showdown at the LA shipyard at night has some of the most over-the-top action of the last couple years that wasn’t a scifi-actioner. Laws of physics doesn’t apply in The A-Team and the film revels in that notion as if telling the audience to either get onboard and enjoy the ride or get off and go on the Toad ride instead.

It’s a shame that The A-Team didn’t do as well in the box-office as some would’ve hoped because the film does set things up for further adventures for Neeson and his crew. What Carnahan ended up making won’t be breaking down the doors to the awards committee, but he did deliver on paying homage to the original tv series while adding his own brand of crazy to a film that had just the right amount of fun, ludicrous action to make it the best of 2010’s Action Team Flicks.