Kirsten Dunst Should Win A Golden Globe For 'Fargo' Thanks To Her Killer Performance As Peggy
Kirsten Dunst has had a fascinating career path. Since breaking out at the tender age of 12 as a young bloodsucker in 1994's Interview With The Vampire, she has appeared in everything from family-friendly adventures (Jumanji) to medical soaps (ER), from pitch-black comedies (Drop Dead Gorgeous) to frothy teen flicks (Bring It On), from mega-budget superhero franchise (Spider-Man) to low-budget arthouse films (Melancholia). But it became clear this fall that every step of Dunst's career was leading her inexorably towards the role of Peggy Blumquist — aka the best role of her career. Now, I can without a doubt that Kirsten Dunst deserves a Golden Globe for Fargo .
Ten years ago, I never would have believed that the girl who played Mary Jane Watson would someday be my favorite to take home a trophy for her performance as a Midwestern beautician on an acclaimed small screen adaptation of a well-loved Coen Brothers movie. But, now, here we are. The second season of FX's anthology crime series has been firing on all cylinders this fall, thanks in no small part to the performances of Dunst and her co-stars, Patrick Wilson, Ted Danson, Jean Smart, and Jesse Plemons. All of these actors are worthy of recognition, but I'm singling Dunst out not just because her character has driven most of the action, but because the strength of her performance has been so unexpectedly fierce.
Peggy's stubborn quest for self-actualization has brought out the best in Dunst, who has portrayed the beautician's "touched" mind with an expert balance between groan-worthy naiveté and steely determination. Her Peggy is constantly teetering on the edge of insanity without ever quite tipping over... although she came pretty close a couple of weeks ago when she unleashed her violent side and stabbed Dodd Gerhardt in the chest — twice. Dunst's delicate dance between sanity and madness was perhaps best summed up by her instantly-classic reaction to the hovering U.F.O. at the end of this week's episode, a hilariously nonchalant, "It's just a flying saucer, hon. We gotta go."
Then there's also the fact that the character herself deserves recognition. Peggy Blumquist has been the most surprisingly feminist character on a season packed with compelling female characters. Jean Smart's Floyd Gerhardt seemed the likeliest candidate to carry Fargo's feminist torch, but the matriarch of the North Dakota crime syndicate has only been able to watch as her family imploded around her, resulting in the deaths of all three of her sons and her own murder at the hands of her once-loyal henchman. Cristin Milioti's portrayal of Betsy Solverson has been wonderful, but the character hasn't done much other than sit at home and get progressively more cancer-stricken.
Dunst should have no trouble getting nominated at this year's Golden Globes. Prognostication website Gold Derby currently has the Fargo actress ranked as the second likeliest candidate to land one of the five slots for Best Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie. Queen Latifah is ranked just above Dunst for the HBO biopic Bessie, will the rest of the Top Five are rounded out by American Crime's Felicity Huffman, American Horror Story: Hotel's Lady Gaga, and True Detective's Rachel McAdams.
If those indeed turn out to be our five nominees in the category, then Dunst stands a good chance of taking home the trophy. McAdams would be honored as the best part of a lackluster season of television, Gaga's (deliberately?) wooden performance has been too divisive, and not enough people watch American Crime for Huffman to win. Latifah will undoubtedly be Dunst's fiercest competition, and it's hard to say she's unworthy — her portrayal of blues singer Bessie Smith was pitch-perfect — but, if it were up to me, Dunst will be going home with that trophy next month.
Find out if Dunst gets a nomination this Thursday morning, and then tune into the Golden Globes on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016.
Images: Chris Large/FX (2)