Sally Hawkins almost makes the 2010 "Reel (Real) People" list for her role of Rita O'Grady in the film Made in Dagenham, but everything I've read said she's based on a real person...not an actualy 1-on-1 copy of a real Rita O'Grady.
The film is a dramatization of the 1968 Ford sewing machine strike in the United Kingdom which led to the Equal Pay Act of 1970.
Since the critical fascination with her performance as Poppy in the 2008 film Happy-Go-Lucky, it seems like Sally Hawkins is short-listed for any role which requires a young British female, but does not require that this female has the prettiest face.
No offense Sally, but after playing smaller parts in films opposite Carey Mulligan, Keira Knighley, Rosamund Pike (An Education, Never Let Me Go). It seems like directors see character roles for Hawkins but those don't always mean lead parts.
But it seems like there's buzz around Made in Dagenhem that could carry Hawkins through award season in a lead role...correcting, what some people see as an error in her lack of Oscar nomination for Happy-Go-Lucky.
That being said, I feel like Hawkins has the potential to be a polarizing actress. My wife was very turned off to her Happy-Go-Lucky performance, and since then has hardly been a Hawkins supporter. On the other hands, those that lauded her performance in 2008 seem keen on pushing every role she has played since wondering if it will be the one to cement her shining star.
So will Hawkins be a contender in this year's award season? It's almost November and it's still just anyone's guess.