Lead Actress in a Movie or Miniseries
Moira Kelly, of “After the Miracle” (CBS), played one of the most physically demanding roles of the year to perfection. Kelly played Helen Keller as a college student and young adult, adroitly conveying all the emotional content of the story. All in all, it was a prodigious and memorable display of energy and feeling.
Tina Majorino, of “Alice in Wonderland” (NBC), was more than impressive in a role that often had her acting on sets designed for special effects instead of more realistic backdrops. The three-hour movie was uneven, but Majorino’s performance was heartfelt,
Leelee Sobieski, of “Joan of Arc” (CBS), was hugely effective in the demanding and challenging title role. Sobieski demonstrated extraordinary range in a persuasive portrayal of the medieval heroine who blindly and courageously followed the messages from the voices that spoke to her.
Brittany Murphy, of “Oprah Winfrey Presents: David and Lisa” (ABC), invested her Lisa with tender vulnerability and fragile charm, all the while credibly reflecting the demons that raged within her. It was impossible to watch Murphy’s character without being deeply touched.
Gena Rowlands, of “Grace & Glorie” (CBS), delivered another bravura performance as an illiterate and terminally ill widow who returns to her old homestead and befriends a younger woman tormented by the death of her son. Rowlands displayed huge emotional range and an uncanny knack for touching all the right emotional buttons.