Penelope Cruz (‘Assassination of Gianni Versace’) is the Emmy front-runner, but Experts name 5 women who could beat her

The Emmy nominations will be announced on Thursday, July 12, and Penelope Cruz (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace”) maintains her lead in our Emmy predictions for Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress, but she shouldn’t get too comfortable. This is one of the most divided races at this year’s awards, according to our Experts, who point to five women who could overtake her.

As of this writing 10 of the 18 Expert journalists we’ve polled from top media outlets are predicting a victory for Cruz: Eric Deggans (NPR), Joyce Eng (Gold Derby), Pete Hammond (Deadline Hollywood), Chris Harnick (E!), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Lynette Rice (Entertainment Weekly), Robert Rorke (New York Post), Anne Thompson (IndieWire), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) and Adnan Virk (ESPN).

Cruz has never been nominated for an Emmy before, but she’s an Oscar winning movie star and Emmy voters often love those. She also plays a recognizable real-life figure, fashion designer Donatella Versace, which required the Spanish actress to speak English with an Italian accent. But it’s far from an open-and-shut case.

Two Experts say the Emmy will go to Laura Dern (“Twin Peaks: The Return“): Lynn Elber (Associated Press) and Glenn Whipp (LA Times). Dern just won this award last year for “Big Little Lies,” and voters will also be watching her this year in the telefilm “The Tale,” for which she’s the front-runner for Best Movie/Mini Actress. All that plus her recent role in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” has made her a Hollywood darling in the last 12 months.

Another two Experts are predicting Nicole Kidman (“Top of the Lake: China Girl”): Debra Birnbaum (Variety) and Ken Tucker (Yahoo). Like Dern, Kidman was an Emmy winner last year for “Big Little Lies” (Best Limited Series and Best Movie/Mini Actress), so she too is on a hot streak.

Two more Experts are betting on Angela Lansbury (“Little Women”): Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby) and Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine). Lansbury is long, long, long overdue with no wins out of a whopping 18 past nominations. In a divided field, voters might decide it’s a good time to finally reward the 92-year-old acting legend.

Debbie Day (Rotten Tomatoes) is going out on a limb for Cruz’s “Assassination” co-star Judith Light. She’s a two-time Daytime Emmy winner for her role on “One Life to Live” (1980-1981) but she has never won in primetime despite three past nominations.

And our last Expert, Ben Travers (IndieWire) thinks Merritt Wever (“Godless”) will surprise. It wouldn’t be the first time. Wever was an upset Emmy winner in 2013 for Best Comedy Supporting Actress for “Nurse Jackie.”

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on July 12. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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