It's Emmy time! The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards nominations are here, and the television industry will no doubt be audibly buzzing over the next two months leading up to the awards telecast on Sept. 23rd (which will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel).
Kimmel (who stepped in for scheduled presenter Nick Offerman, wearing nothing but his pajamas) and Kerry Washington announced the nominees from North Hollywood early this morning. So who made the cut?
American Horror Story and Mad Men emerged on the top, with 17 nominations each. Downton Abbey, in its first year submitting as a regular drama series, swept through the acting categories with the aplomb of an experienced butler: in addition to six acting nods, the show earned 16 nominations (along with the miniseries Hatfields & McCoys). Hemingway & Gellhorn earned 15, Modern Family and Saturday Night Live both earned 14, and Breaking Bad (which rewarded not only Walt, but Jesse, Gus, Skyler and Tio!), 30 Rock and Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia each rounded out the top with 13 noms. See the rest below: Best Drama SeriesBoardwalk Empire Breaking Bad Downton Abbey Game of Thrones Homeland Mad Men Best Comedy SeriesThe Big Bang Theory Curb Your Enthusiasm Girls Modern Family 30 Rock Veep Best Leading Actor in a Drama SeriesHugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad Michael C. Hall, Dexter Jon Hamm, Mad Men Damian Lewis, Homeland Best Leading Actor in a Comedy SeriesAlec Baldwin, 30 Rock Don Cheadle, House of Lies Louis C.K., Louie Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory Best Leading Actress in a Drama SeriesKathy Bates, Harry's Law Glenn Close, Damages Claire Danes, Homeland Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men Best Leading Actress in a Comedy Series Zooey Deschanel, New Girl Lena Dunham, Girls Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie Tina Fey, 30 Rock Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation Best Miniseries or MovieAmerican Horror Story Game Change Hatfields & McCoys Hemingway & Gellhorn Luther Sherlock Best Leading Actor in a Miniseries or MovieWoody Harrelson, Game Change Clive Owen, Hemingway & Gellhorn Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia (Masterpiece) Idris Elba, Luther Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys Bill Paxton, Hatfields & McCoys Best Leading Actress in a Miniseries or MovieJulianne Moore, Game Change Connie Britton, American Horror Story Nicole Kidman, Hemingway & Gellhorn Emma Thompson, The Song of Lunch (Masterpiece) Ashley Judd, Missing Best Reality CompetitionThe Amazing Race Dancing With The Stars Project Runway So You Think You Can Dance Top Chef The Voice Best Reality HostTom Bergeron, Dancing With The Stars Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race Ryan Seacrest, American Idol Betty White, Betty White's Off Their Rockers Best Variety ProgramThe Colbert ReportThe Daily Show with Jon StewartJimmy Kimmel LiveLate Night with Jimmy FallonReal Time with Bill MaherSaturday Night Live Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad Brendan Coyle, Downton Abbey Jim Carter, Downton Abbey Jared Harris, Mad Men Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones Best Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesArchie Panjabi, The Good Wife Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey Joanna Froggatt, Downton Abbey Christina Hendricks, Mad Men Christine Baranski, The Good Wife Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy SeriesEd O'Neill, Modern Family Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family Ty Burrell, Modern Family Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live Max Greenfield, New Girl Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy SeriesMayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie Julie Bowen, Modern Family Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live Sofia Vergara, Modern Family Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or MovieSarah Paulson, Game Change Frances Conroy, American Horror Story Jessica Lange, American Horror Story Judy Davis, Page Eight (Masterpiece) Mare Winningham, Hatfields & McCoys Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or MovieEd Harris, Game Change Denis O'Hare, American Horror Story David Strathairn, Hemingway & Gellhorn Martin Freeman, Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia (Masterpiece) Tom Berenger, Hatfields & McCoys Best Guest Actress in a Comedy SeriesDot-Marie Jones, Glee Maya Rudolph, Saturday Night Live Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live Elizabeth Banks, 30 Rock Margaret Cho, 30 Rock Kathy Bates, Two and a Half Men Best Guest Actor in a Comedy SeriesMichael J. Fox, Curb Your Enthusiasm Greg Kinnear, Modern Family Bobby Cannavale, Nurse Jackie Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live Will Arnett, 30 Rock Jon Hamm, 30 Rock Best Guest Actress in a Drama SeriesMartha Plimpton, The Good Wife Loretta Devine, Grey's Anatomy Jean Smart, Harry's Law Julia Ormond, Mad Men Joan Cusack, Shameless Uma Thurman, Smash Best Guest Actor in a Drama SeriesMark Margolis, Breaking Bad Dylan Baker, The Good Wife Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife Jeremy Davies, Justified Ben Feldman, Mad Men Jason Ritter, Parenthood Best Writing for a Comedy SeriesCommunity, Chris McKenna for "Remedial Chaos Theory"Parks and Recreation, Amy Poehler for "The Debate"Parks and Recreation, Michael Schur for "Win, Lose, or Draw"Girls, Lena Dunham for "Pilot"Louie, Louis C.K. for "Pregnant" Best Writing for a Drama SeriesDownton Abbey, Julian Fellows for "Episode 7"Mad Men, Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner for "The Other Woman"Mad Men, Andre Jacquemetton and Maria Jacquemetton for "Commissions and Fees"Mad Men, Erin Levy and Matthew Weiner for "Far Away Places"Homeland, Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, and Gideon Raff for "Pilot" Follow Marc on Twitter @MarcSnetiker More:2012 Emmy Awards: Our Predictions! 2012 Emmy Longshots: Our Picks!
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.