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Emmy prediction: Sigourney Weaver will defeat 'Grey Gardens' gals

September 6, 2009 |  4:25 pm

When sizing up this Emmy race for best movie/mini actress, most pundits are fretting over which "Grey Gardens" nominee to back: Drew Barrymore or Jessica Lange. Lange has two Oscars on her mantle and the dominating role as tough momma in "Gardens," but it's a laid-back performance compared to Barrymore's flashy turn, which has more screen time. That may give the upper hand to Barrymore, but her personal reputation as a party girl detracts from her reputation as a serious Hollywood artist.

Therefore, I agree with our pundits Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Robert "Rob L" Licuria (AwardsHeaven.net) that we'll see an upset victory by Sigourney Weaver as a religious zealot who becomes a crusader for gay rights after she drives her homosexual son to suicide in "Prayers for Bobby." It's a big, flamboyant performance that's based upon a real person and feels especially important right now in the aftermath of the Proposition 8 victory in California.

What's key to keep in mind when forecasting Emmy winners is how voting is done -- in this category by about 50 judges who are members of the TV academy's acting branch. They actually watch the DVDs of all nominees before checking off their ballots, so they're carefully evaluating what they see on screen. "Grey Garden's" buzz and Cool Factor may not be factors in this contest at all.

Also check out Rob's and Boomer's (often clashing) predix in these categories: best comedy series, lead comedy actor, lead comedy actress, supporting comedy actor, supporting comedy actress, guest actor, guest actress, comedy writing, comedy directing and best lead actor in movie/mini. Read more in our forums.

Bobby grey gardens

BEST MOVIE/MINI LEAD ACTRESS: ROB'S PREDIX
(Ranked by likelihood to win)
1. Sigourney Weaver, "Prayers for Bobby"
2. Jessica Lange, "Grey Gardens"
3. Drew Barrymore, "Grey Gardens"
4. Chandra Wilson, "Accidental Friendship"
5. Shirley MacLaine, "Coco Chanel"
 
ROB'S'S COMMENTARY: I immediately rule out Shirley MacLaine, who should not be on this list. Her bid is almost as offensive a nomination as the infamous Ellen Burstyn nomination in the movie/mini supporting actress category a couple of years ago. Barely on the screen and sporting a broad American accent as Coco Chanel, Shirley MacLaine only received this nomination because, let's face it, she's Shirley MacLaine.

On the other hand, Chandra Wilson, the surprise nominee in this group, did a great job in "Accidental Friendship" and would have been a decent choice for the win had there not been this top three, who clearly stand out as the favorites in this category. Many will debate and argue over which one of the formidable "Grey Gardens" actresses will triumph, but I tend to favor the often-overlooked (and in my eyes a "Film and TV Legend") Sigourney Weaver as a not-so-surprising victor that will take home a coveted Emmy statuette for Lifetime this year.
 
BEST MOVIE/MINI LEAD ACTRESS: BOOMER'S PREDIX
(Ranked by likelihood to win)
1. Sigourney Weaver, "Prayers for Bobby"
2. Drew Barrymore, "Grey Gardens"
3. Jessica Lange, "Grey Gardens"
4. Shirley MacLaine, "Coco Chanel"
5. Chandra Wilson, "Accidental Friendship"

BOOMER'S COMMENTARY: First, I am going to knock out Chandra Wilson, who is essentially just filling a space in this lineup. Shirley MacLaine is a legendary actress but doesn't have a lot of screen time in her movie. After that, I really don't know.  Can there be a three-way tie?

Any one of the remaining ladies could win the Emmy and not be a surprise. I think Drew Barrymore gives the best performance of the entire category and certainly has never acted better in her career.  Jessica Lange doesn't have the flamboyant personality in her character that Barrymore has but provides the movie with an excellent portrayal. As I am forced to make my final prediction, I keep coming back to the possibility of Sigourney Weaver winning here.  She gets some amazing emotional scenes and gets to cry a lot (stuff that awards voters usually love).  Her father is a member of the TV Academy's Hall of Fame, so she has a tremendous television pedigree. Like Lange, she is a veteran actress never winning an Emmy before. I go with Weaver for the win, but this is a tight, tight, tight race.

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Photos: Lifetime, HBO

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