The Full Monty
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
It’s hard to think of a darker, more complex historical figure from the last century than Joe Kennedy, Sr., patriarch of the Kennedy family and stalwart proponent of surreptitious lobotomies. Those are the shoes that Tom Wilkinson stepped into for The Kennedys, the prestige biopic miniseries chronicling the lives of one of America’s most recognizable families. Wilkinson plays the part with drive and obsession, making the character all the more haunting, elevating the sometimes-stilted dialogue in ways that most actors would struggle to accomplish.
Shakespeare in Love
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
As the golden age of television pushed forward, HBO found itself in unprecedented territory, suddenly getting away with putting out prestige miniseries on subjects that seemed unfilmable a few years prior. They pushed boundaries. They challenged preconceptions. They dared to ask “How dumb can we make our lead actors’ wigs before it gets distracting?”
And while they wouldn’t find a concrete answer to that question until 2023 with the release of House of the Dragon, they inched closer to it with John Adams, the historical drama documenting the American Revolution and the lives of the founding fathers. It was a difficult task — Hamilton was still a far-off dream, so they had to do the whole thing without rapping. Still, a stellar cast, including Wilkinson as an almost dangerously crotchety Benjamin Franklin, helped to carry the series to over a dozen Emmys, a handful of Golden Globes, and a pair of Screen Actors Guild awards.