Emmys 2019 slugfest: Who’s out front in the Movie/Mini lead acting races? Michelle Williams, Amy Adams, Jharrel Jerome, Jared Harris or… [WATCH]

Is Michelle Williams a lock to win her first Emmy for “Fosse/Verdon”? Gold Derby contributing editor Luca Giliberti certainly thinks so. “Once ‘Fosse/Verdon’ got 17 nominations, I immediately moved her into my number one position,” he explains. It certainly helps that everyone praising the FX limited series singled out “how great she was as Gwen Verdon, and how she inhabited that role seamlessly.” Giliberti recently teamed up with fellow editors Riley Chow and myself to suss out the lead acting races in the Movie/Mini categories. Watch the full video slugfest above.

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Prior to nominations, Oscar-winner Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood”) looked like a shoo-in to clinch her second TV Academy prize for “Escape at Dannemora,” which brought her Golden Globe, SAG and Critics Choice victories (she previously won an Emmy for “Medium” in 2005 and scored an additional bid this year for her supporting turn in “The Act”). Although he’s picking Williams, Chow wonders if Arquette is still in the race because “it’s such a transformative performance. It’s very broad” and “very accessible,” as evidenced by how much the industry took to it in the precursors.

I’m picking Williams too, but I’m wondering if the spoiler is actually Amy Adams (“Sharp Objects”), who was long perceived as the frontrunner before losing the Golden Globe and SAG to Arquette (the two tied at the Critics Choice Awards). “I think that there’s some people who would definitely like to see her finally win something,” I say of the six-time Oscar loser, who’s also competing against Joey King (“The Act”) and two “When They See Us” leads: Aunjanue Ellis and Niecy Nash.

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We also broke down the Best Movie/Mini Actor race, which finds Oscar winners Mahershala Ali (“True Detective”), Benicio Del Toro (“Escape at Dannemora”) and Sam Rockwell (“Fosse/Verdon”) contending against previous nominee Jared Harris (“Chernobyl”) and first-time competitors Hugh Grant (“A Very English Scandal”) and Jharrel Jerome (“When They See Us”). Currently, all three of us are picking Jerome, with Harris as our #2. Giliberti points out that all of the praise from “his fellow actors” proves “how much passion there is for” his performance.

But what about Harris, who earned a bid for “Mad Men” in 2012 and stars in a show that just won seven Creative Arts Emmys? “Harris has been knocking around for a long time,” I point out, with acclaimed roles in TV shows like “The Crown” and films such as “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (2008) and “Lincoln” (2012). “This could be, for him, a career achievement award.”

Chow, meanwhile, has recent two-time Oscar-victor Ali (“Green Book” and “Moonlight”) in third place. “With Jharrel Jerome being an unknown and Jared Harris giving this reserved performance, I do wonder if Mahershala Ali is just the actor that they love, and here’s another place that they can reward him.” Though his show earned nine Emmy nominations, it was left out of the series race, which doesn’t help. Still, the former “House of Cards” star (who earned a guest acting bid for that series in 2016) might have to make some more room on his awards mantle if he’s riding a wave of critical love.

PREDICT the Emmys now; change them until September 22

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 winners are announced on September 22. And join in the fun debate over the 2019 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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