Sunday, July 31, 2011

Downton Abbey's Emmy Nominations

Downton Abbey, the miniseries that debuted in America in January (which I reviewed here and here), has been nominated for a smashing eleven nominations.

The biggest award, for Outstanding Movie or Miniseries, will be tough only because Downton will have to beat out Mildred Pierce. Most of the other nominations were much more serious works, or in the case of The Kennedys, totally maligned by critics. Downton will also have to beat Mildred Pierce for Outstanding Art Direction for a Movie or Miniseries, Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special, Outstanding Costumes for a Miniseries, Movie or Special and Outstanding Casting for a Movie or Miniseries, along with Downton's obvious rival, the new version of Upstairs Downstairs. The three miniseries are also up against each other in the category of Outstanding Lead Actress and Outstanding Supporting Actress, with Kate Winsley for Mildred Pierce and Jean Marsh as Rose Black for Upstairs Downstairs squaring off with Elizabeth McGovern as Countess Cora, the Crawley matriarch for the Lead Actress award and three different actresses for Mildred Pierce and Eileen Atkins as Lady Maud Upstairs Downstairs against Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess, the past matriarch for the Supporting Actress award. Whew! That cinches it: this is the year for early 20th century dramas.

The casting of Downton Abbey was impressive, particularly with Dan Stevens playing Matthew and Michelle Dockery as Mary, who, as a couple, managed to be both antagonistic and clearly in love with each other in a way that was not put-on like every screwball romantic comedy. (It is a pity neither of them achieved a nomination.) That said, it is going to be a hard push for Downton, jut because it is going up against some great shows and other talented people.

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