Richard Jenkins is the kind of terrific character actor so good at embodying the Average Joe’s of this world (and others) that he’s never really received proper recognition. This year marked his first Emmys nod, and he’s only got one Oscar nomination to speak of for other awards. That’s nothing to sneeze at, but given his rise to slightly wider prominence over the last decade or so, Jenkins deserves to win something someday.
Could this be his year? “Olive Kitteridge” is bound to be a major player at the Emmys, but HBO has two horses in this particular race, and both are very strong. Oyelowo is an easier sell to the Academy, too, as his role literally takes up every second of “Nightingale.” A one-man show is quite the awards-bait, but Oyelowo also makes the most of his ample screen time. He’s a true force, and his character is unlike anything he’s done before.
The rest of the field is filled with spoilers — Hutton could benefit from support for “American Crime” and Ricky Gervais might ride a wave of nostalgia for his final ride in “Derek” — but Oyelowo and Jenkins will both be strong contenders for their first Emmy.
Adrian Brody, “Houdini”
Ricky Gervais, “Derek: The Final Chapter”
Timothy Hutton, “American Crime”
Richard Jenkins, “Olive Kitteridge”
David Oyelowo, “Nightingale”
Mark Rylance, “Wolf Hall”