Critics have been singing the praises of English actress Sally Hawkins for years and awards voters have occasionally taken note. Her work in 2008’s Happy–Go–Lucky won her a Best Actress Golden Globe in the Musical/Comedy race (she missed the cut on an Oscar nod). The Academy did at last recognize her with a Supporting Actress nom for 2013’s Blue Jasmine.
The Telluride Film Festival has opened up the possibility for her first lead Actress nod for Maudie. It screened over the weekend and casts Hawkins in a biopic of Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis, who suffers from serious physical disabilities. Aisling Walsh directs with Ethan Hawke as co-lead.
Reviews for the film itself were mixed and it stands no real at recognition from the Academy other than for Ms. Hawkins. If a distributor gets this out before year’s end and mounts a campaign, she could find herself in the mix of what’s looking like a very crowded Actress race.