**”BACK TO THE CIRCUIT” is a new weekly column, inspired by the Twitter hashtag #BackToTheCircuit, looks at a film, performance, or technical aspect from any year that was deemed Oscar-worthy and should have been included in the respective lineup. At the end of each piece, the contributing writer will give their opinion on which nominee should be replaced to make room for the subject.**
When “Support the Girls” became an awards contender, it competed within the Gotham/Indie Spirit bubble. Regina Hall’s leading performance, however, had strong critical backing. Hall’s plaudits included the prestigious New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress, but its her vibrant co-star Haley Lu Richardson who received little to no recognition. Even critics groups that cited Hall didn’t offer any awards despite wide acclaim.
Richardson’s supporting performance as the bubbly waitress Maci isn’t particularly showy. But there’s more to her role than what appears on the surface. Maci’s sunny disposition is a way for her to put on a brave face over the poor conditions of her workplace. The role is also a chance for Richardson to show off her comedic skills outside of her more dramatic work.
For what it’s worth, Richardson was recognized for being an ensemble player. Last year, the Florida Film Critics Circle chose Richardson and the rest of the actors as the runner-up for the Best Cast prize. It was as far as she went in terms of awards citations, a consolation for her being drastically overlooked.
THE NOMINATED FIVE:
- Amy Adams, “Vice”
- Marina de Tavira, “Roma”
- Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk” (WINNER)
- Emma Stone, “The Favourite”
- Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”
WHICH ONE GOES?:
Amy Adams, “Vice”
Amy Adams is reliably terrific as Lynne Cheney, the former Second Lady of the United States. Her work here, however, is still a great retread of her performance in “The Master,” an arguably superior film. Also, as opposed to Richardson, Adams has already been cited as an Oscar nominee. Nominating Adams is never a bad choice, as she’s currently a six-time nominee for obvious reasons. That being said, why not give Adams’ spot to an ingénue the likes of Richardson if it wasn’t meant to finally be her winning year?