nominees//68th PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS

AWARDS COVERAGE



Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls) and Anthony Anderson (black-ish) announced the nominations for the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards this morning.

HBO led the nominations, with a total of 94 across major and technical categories. And, HBO's Game of Thrones toppled all other programs for the most nominations, with 23 total in major and technical categories.

Netflix also had a strong showing, pulling in 54 nominations, almost doubling those of 2015, putting it in third place for most nominations.

Many first-time nominees made up the list, including: Rami Malek, Keri Russell, Kirsten Dunst, Ellie Kemper, Aziz Ansari, Jesse Plemons, and John Travolta.

The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will air LIVE from the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 18, 2016 on ABC.

BEST SERIES, DRAMA

The Americans (FX)
Better Call Saul (AMC)
Downton Abbey (PBS)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
Homeland (Showtime)
House of Cards (Netflix)
Mr. Robot (USA)

BEST SERIES, COMEDY

black-ish (ABC)
Master of None (Netflix)
Modern Family (ABC)
Silicon Valley (HBO)
Transparent (Amazon)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
Veep (HBO)

BEST LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES

Kyle Chandler, BLOODLINE
Rami Malek, MR. ROBOT
Bob Odenkirk, BETTER CALL SAUL
Matthew Rhys, THE AMERICANS
Liev Schreiber, RAY DONOVAN
Kevin Spacey, HOUSE OF CARDS

BEST LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES

Claire Danes, HOMELAND
Viola Davis, HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER
Taraji P. Henson, EMPIRE
Tatiana Maslany, ORPHAN BLACK
Keri Russell, THE AMERICANS
Robin Wright, HOUSE OF CARDS

BEST LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES

Anthony Anderson, BLACK-ISH
Aziz Ansari, MASTER OF NONE
Will Forte, THE LAST MAN ON EARTH
William H. Macy, SHAMELESS
Thomas Middleditch, SILICON VALLEY
Jeffrey Tambor, TRANSPARENT

BEST LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES

Ellie Kemper, UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, VEEP
Laurie Metcalf, GETTING ON
Tracee Ellis Ross, BLACK-ISH
Amy Schumer, INSIDE AMY SCHUMER
Lily Tomlin, GRACE AND FRANKIE

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES

Jonathan Banks, BETTER CALL SAUL
Peter Dinklage, GAME OF THRONES
Kit Harington, GAME OF THRONES
Michael Kelly, HOUSE OF CARDS
Ben Mendelsohn, BLOODLINE
Jon Voight, RAY DONOVAN

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES

Emilia Clarke, GAME OF THRONES
Lena Headey, GAME OF THRONES
Maggie Smith, DOWNTON ABBEY
Maura Tierney, THE AFFAIR
Maisie Williams, GAME OF THRONES
Constance Zimmer, UNREAL

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES

Louie Anderson, BASKETS
Andre Braugher, BROOKLYN NINE-NINE
Tituss Burgess, UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
Ty Burrell, MODERN FAMILY
Keegan-Michael Key, KEY AND PEELE
Matt Walsh, VEEP

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES

Anna Chlumsky, VEEP
Gaby Hoffman, TRANSPARENT
Allison Janney, MOM
Judith Light, TRANSPARENT
Kate McKinnon, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Niecy Nash, GETTING ON

BEST LIMITED SERIES

American Crime (ABC)
Fargo (FX)
The Night Manager (AMC)
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX)
Roots (History)

BEST TELEVISION MOVIE

All the Way (HBO)
Confirmation (HBO)
Luther (BBC America)
Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (PBS)
A Very Murray Christmas (Netflix)

BEST LEAD ACTOR, LIMITED SERIES OR TV MOVIE

Bryan Cranston, ALL THE WAY
Benedict Cumberbatch, SHERLOCK: THE ABOMINABLE BRIDE
Idris Elba, LUTHER
Cuba Gooding Jr., THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY
Tom Hiddleston, THE NIGHT MANAGER
Courtney B. Vance, THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY

BEST LEAD ACTRESS, LIMITED SERIES OR TV MOVIE

Kirsten Dunst, FARGO
Felicity Huffman, AMERICAN CRIME
Audra McDonald, LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR AND GRILL
Sarah Paulson, THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY
Lili Taylor, AMERICAN CRIME
Kerry Washington, CONFIRMATION

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR, LIMITED SERIES OR TV MOVIE

Sterling K. Brown, THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY
Hugh Laurie, THE NIGHT MANAGER
Jesse Plemons, FARGO
David Schwimmer, THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY
John Travolta, THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY
Bokeem Woodbine, FARGO

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS, LIMITED SERIES OR TV MOVIE

Kathy Bates, AMERICAN HORROR STORY: HOTEL
Olivia Colman, THE NIGHT MANAGER
Regina King, AMERICAN CRIME
Melissa Leo, ALL THE WAY
Sarah Paulson, AMERICAN HORROR STORY: HOTEL
Jean Smart, FARGO

BEST REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM

The Amazing Race (CBS)
American Ninja Warrior (NBC)
Dancing with the Stars (ABC)
Project Runway (Lifetime)
Top Chef (Bravo)
The Voice (NBC)

BEST VARIETY TALK SERIES

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (Crackle)
Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
The Late Late Show with James Corden (CBS)
Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC)

BEST VARIETY SKETCH SERIES

Documentary Now! (IFC)
Drunk History (Comedy Central)
Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central)
Key and Peele (Comedy Central)
Portlandia (IFC)
Saturday Night Lice (NBC)

For a complete list of nominations, including technical categories, click here.

review//THE NEON DEMON

Grade: A

THE NEON DEMON
Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
Starring Elle Fanning, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves

Rich in visceral storytelling and biting visual sequences, director Nicolas Winding Refn has built a career out of extreme, but relatable, stories of life, vengeance, and honesty. With his newest outing, The Neon Demon, the director does not fail at offering exactly what's expected. Though structurally it suffers from a prolonged beginning and stunted third act, The Neon Demon is equal parts brooding industry commentary and resounding psychological thriller.

Elle Fanning stars as Jesse, a young, pretty girl from small-town America bent on creating a life of her own in the modeling scene of Los Angeles. Though new to town, Jesse's quick introduction to the underworld glories and pitfalls of an image-focused society propel her into the limelight, quickly transitioning from ingenue to queen. Though she maintains her self-worth and innocence throughout her travails, the jaded personalities of those around her only grow worse and worse.

Built sturdily on Fanning's shoulders, The Neon Demon's most captivating aspect is the fortunate performances by the entire cast. Fanning's Jesse excels on her unknowing wit and spirit of intrigue, whether she's covered in fake blood, gold paint, or neon lights. Jena Malone's Ruby, a makeup artist who takes Jesse under her wing, is at first glance a dedicated confidant, but is, in reality, ruthlessly inept at choosing sides. Bella Heathcote, playing soon-to-be-forgotten Gigi, suffers from the fear of aging out of an industry determined to define youth as the only true source of beauty. Abbey Lee steals each and every scene as the secondhand Sarah, who finally figures out that her success is not at the hand of anyone else. These aren't the only relationships that find their way into Jesse's life, but this trifecta of female wolves is the main course for the film's ultimate demise.

Winding Refn, saddling up as both director and writer, completely relies on his strengths throughout The Neon Demon, supporting visually impeccable scenes with a biting soundtrack and enamored colors. Dependent on a stilted structure, The Neon Demon may not be appreciated by all audiences, but its unnerving ebb and flow fit perfectly into its uneasy story and steady foray into madness. And, with themes that include cannibalism, necrophilia, and more, it's a heavy thriller on top of being an artistic treat.

The cinematography is beautiful, thanks to a clever eye by Natasha Braier, with most scenes enhanced by clever framing and compelling sets. Plus, the idea of the Los Angeles culture pictured in The Neon Demon is vehemently created to illicit the picturesque aspects of industry-crafted beauty plagued by negative industry elites. While the world of modeling may not be quite this dark or demented, it is just as competitive and structured. A sort-of hierarchy in the art world.

The Neon Demon does what many films cannot. It sticks around with you long after the credits roll. You'll be horrified, but vilified, by its thick notions. But, you'll also feel inspired, which serves as the most unnerving aspect of it all. Even in its disgustingness, there's a sense of simple beauty that seems so attainable.

While not as yearning as Winding Refn's Drive, The Neon Demon still successfully realizes itself as a piece of modern cinematic art. Conversations deserve to be had after seeing it, which is something modern cinema seems to lack far too often.

Rating: R
Runtime: 118 minutes

review//THE SHALLOWS

Grade: B-

THE SHALLOWS
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra
Starring Blake Lively, Oscar Jaenada, Brett Cullen

After tearing up the red carpet at Cannes, Blake Lively proves that she has more chops that just her one-off "Gossip Girl" days. Taking a note from the books of recent lonely thrillers, like The Martian and Gravity, Lively pulls the weight in the ocean horror flick The Shallows to full avail. Feeling equal parts action flick and summertime thriller, director Jaume Collet-Serra masters the edge-of-your-seat tension. 

Nancy (Lively) is a young, twentysomething on an adventure to find herself after the untimely death of her mother. Inspired by her mom's earlier travels, including a trip to a secluded beach, Nancy ends up on the same beach for a solo surf session. The waves are perfect. The water is crystal clear. After spending a couple of hours enjoying the water with a duo of locals also catching the waves, she chooses to stay out a little longer to take in every ounce of sunshine and good waves while she can. But floating around in the brink of a beautiful sunset is less romantic and introspective than she thought it'd be. A massive shark appears, wreaking havoc on her physically and mentally. Stranded 200 yards from shore with an injured leg, Nancy must muster up the strength and willpower to survive at all costs.

The fated shark thriller is a plot all too familiar. Since the classic Jaws, audiences have been frightened by terrors of the deep, in both brilliant summertime blockbusters and lackluster special effects duds. With this adventure, director Collet-Serra works magic allowing the shark to easily be seen as an enemy, but also relying on slow builds and the fear of the deep water to pull together the ultimate effect.

There are pieces of The Shallows that are a little testy. Before we get into the water, slow motion shots of Lively getting into her wetsuit serve to mainstream the eventual artistic thrill ride. Lively proves pretty quickly that she doesn't need just her incredible beach bod to carry the film. Her talents are nothing at which to scoff. She's only overshadowed by a wounded bird, to whom she bestows a clever name, one of the movie's most memorable moments.

Completed in a quick 87 minutes, the time never feels over-fluffed at all. It jumps right into the terror from the beginning, allowing the backstory to reveal itself only at pivotal moments, but never overshadowing the main story. The fight for survival is the star here and we're never allowed to forget that. The shark is terrifying. And the scares are justly deserved.

This is a totally fun time at the theater and is easily the best shark film since Spielberg's classic. Plus, it's refreshing to see a summertime film that isn't a remake or part of a franchise.

Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 87 min