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The Emmys Are Starting to Look a Lot Like the Independent Spirit Awards

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire July 14, 2011 at 5:30AM

While the Emmy Awards exclusively honor television broadcasts, this year's nominations underlined the crossover between television and film, particularly indie film. From Todd Haynes and Laura Linney to "Carlos" and "Becoming Chaz," here's 10 notable things about the nominations in that regard:
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The Emmys Are Starting to Look a Lot Like the Independent Spirit Awards
Kate Winslet and Todd Haynes on the set of "Mildred Pierce." Image courtesy of HBO.

While the Emmy Awards exclusively honor television broadcasts, this year's nominations underlined the crossover between television and film, particularly indie film. From Todd Haynes and Laura Linney to "Carlos" and "Becoming Chaz," here's 10 notable things about the nominations in that regard:

1. 21 nominations for "Mildred Pierce": From Todd Haynes (writing and directing), Carter Burwell (music), Ed Lachman (cinematography), Ann Roth (costume design), and Kate Winslet, Evan Rachel Wood, Melissa Leo, Mare Winningham, Guy Pearce, and Brian F. O'Byrne (acting), the ridiculous pedigree associated with HBO's epic miniseries "Mildred Pierce" paid off with more nominations than any other series or special (topping the 19 noms for "Mad Men").

2. Besides the "Pierce" sextet, acting nominations for Laura Linney, Taraji P. Henson, Steve Buscemi, Edie Falco, Kelly MacDonald, Jeremy Davies, Paul Giamatti, Jane Lynch, Peter Dinklage, Bruce Dern, Tom Wilkinson and Barry Pepper: Sounds like a given year of the Independent Spirit Awards. Making it more clear than ever how many actors flock to television for meaty roles, this year's nominations play like a who's who of the independent film world. With the sole exception of Lynch, it's also all about cable -- from series regulars (Linney, Buscemi, Falco, Dinklage, MacDonald) to guest stars (Davies, Dern) to those in mini-series/TV movies (Giamatti, Wilkinson, Pepper)

3. An acting nomination for Melissa Leo: Already noted, but Leo deserves one all to herself for continuing her streak of being the queen of recent award shows, despite clearly being insane. She has an Oscar, an Indie Spirit, a SAG Award, a Golden Globe and now she's aiming for Emmy. I wonder if we'll see some new ads.

4. A nomination for Pee-Wee Herman: Speaking of, Pee-Wee Herman lampooned Leo's DIY Oscar campaign in hopes of getting an Emmy nod, and it worked out! Herman is nominated for Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Special for his extraordinarily deserving "The Pee-Wee Herman Show On Broadway."

5. Herman's competition: Alright, so this doesn't really apply to the "film world" hook of this story, but it is too amazing to leave out: Bette Midler, Carrie Fisher, Lady Gaga, and The Kennedy Center Honors are competing against Herman for his award. Can we please make it a four way tie between all but the latter and have those four up on stage all at once? Pretty please?

6. Nominations for indie docs: Documentaries comes to the Emmys in the Non-Fiction Special and Exceptional Merit In Nonfiction Filmmaking categories, where Josh Fox's "Gasland," Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato's "Becoming Chaz," Stanley Nelson's "Freedom Riders" and Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith's "The Most Dangerous Man In America: Daniel Ellsberg And The Pentagon Papers (POV)" all got nominations. Fox and Bailey & Barbato also managed nods in the Outstanding Directing For Nonfiction Programming category.

7. 2 Nominations For "Carlos" Somehow it missed out in the main miniseries/TV movie category (disturbingly, in favor of critically lambasted "The Kennedys"), but "Carlos" director Olivier Assayas and star Édgar Ramírez both received Emmy nominations this morning for their story of Venezuelan revolutionary Ilich Ramírez Sánchez.

8. Steven Soderbergh and most of the cast of "Contagion" get nods the morning after the film's trailer drops: Talk about timing. Literally hours after the trailer for "Contagion" dropped, its director Steven Soderbergh and a whopping four members of its extensive cast (Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne, Matt Damon and Gwenyth Paltrow) all received Emmy nominations. Soderbergh took his for executive producing "His Way," while Winslet ("Mildred Pierce"), Fishburne ("Thurgood"), Damon ("30 Rock"), and Paltrow ("Glee") all got acting nods.

9. Directing nominations for Neil Jordan, Patty Jenkins, Martin Scorsese, Todd Haynes, Jeremy Podeswa, Olivier Assayas, Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini, Todd Haynes, and Curtis Hanson: Besides Soderbergh, quite the mix of filmmakers got some love for their TV work this morning. Whether for directing an episode of a series (Jordan for "The Borgias," Jenkins for "The Killing," Scorsese and Podeswa for "Boardwalk Empire) or a mini-series/movie (Haynes for "Mildred Pierce," Assayas for "Carlos," Berman & Pulcini for "Cinema Verite," and Hanson for "Too Big To Fail"), it's quite the list.

10. A posthumous nomination for Laura Ziskin: A month and two days after she passed away of cancer, Laura Ziskin was nominated for executive producing non-fiction special "Stand Up To Cancer." Ziskin is perhaps best known for producing the "Spider-man" film series, but also played a role in producing films like "To Die For," "Pretty Woman," "As Good As It Gets" and "What About Bob?," which she also co-wrote.

This article is related to: Television






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