We have to say with 100% conviction that the potential nominees for the Actor in a Limited Series / TV Movie category at the Golden Globes this year could be better than almost any other category out there. The field here is outstanding; not only that, but there’s a reasonably good chance that several shows could have multiple nominees. Look at a program like “The Night Of” with both Riz Ahmed and John Turturro, or of course “The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story” with two actors in Courtney B. Vance and Cuba Gooding Jr. who were nothing short of fantastic.
So to say that it was difficult to narrow down our personal field of potential nominees to five would be an understatement — we had a really hard time with this. Yet, we’ve managed to figure this out, and if you look below, you can see who we’d nominate here if we had all of the power at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Also, be sure to share your personal favorite in the attached poll! We’ll keep voting open between now and noon Pacific time on November 30; from there, we’ll reveal the results at noon on December 1. As a reminder, the actual nominees are going to be announced on December 12, while the awards-show will broadcast on NBC Monday, January 8.
Actor in a Limited Series / TV Movie
Riz Ahmed, “The Night Of” (HBO) – So much of a show like this is about the journey, and as a real testament to Ahmed’s performance, all you need to do is go back and watch the first episode and then the finale. See how much Nasir Khan changed over the course of that time. The evolution felt earned, and he played every note of this character’s pain and fear perfectly as we saw Naz arrested first for a crime that he claimed he did not commit; later, we saw him suffer at the hands of his fellow inmates in Rikers before coming up with a situation that worked for him … while changing him in the process.
Bryan Cranston, “All the Way” (HBO) – It was no surprise that Cranston was excellent in taking on the role of Lyndon Johnson, given that he had done so effectively on the stage beforehand. Yet, that doesn’t diminish in the slightest just how incredible he was in capturing both the spirit and effectiveness of the man here. We appreciated how he was able to take this individual, someone who arguably is not a well-remembered President in 2016, and turn him into a captivating figure worth studying and understanding.
Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock: The Abominable Bride” (PBS) – This arguably was Benedict’s finest performance over the entire series, as he had the challenge of effectively playing two different iterations of Sherlock Holmes in the span of a single episode, and have each one of them deal with a tremendous amount of torment in the process. The best Holmes is a haunted Holmes, and Cumberbatch seems to get that in channeling some of the pain and confusion into every one of the title character’s lines as he wrestled with both the idea and the presence of Moriarty.
Tom Hiddleston, “The Night Manager” (AMC) – A performance that was at times subtle, at times calculated, and above all smart. It’s a shame that there was only enough source material for a single season, given that Jonathan Pine could very easily become television’s Jason Bourne or James Bond. He’s a guy unafraid of getting his hands dirty, and there’s such a natural charm and charisma about him that you can easily understand why some characters would choose to follow his lead, even in spite of some better judgment playing out in their head. Hiddleston owned every scene he was a part of.
Courtney B. Vance, “The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story” (FX) – Probably the favorite to win the category, and understandably so even with Gooding as another potential nominee out there. We do think that much of this show was all about what Johnnie Cochran was willing to do in order to achieve the not-guilty verdict, and how he managed to become in his own way a revolutionary in the way the media and the police were involved in a high-profile case. You can forge your own opinion of Cochran in life, but regardless of it Vance did a magnificent job of capturing this complicated, powerful, and incredibly persuasive individual.
Now, we turn this over to you in the attached poll!
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