The biggest surprise of this year’s Oscar nominations—and one of the most of any year’s—was Andrea Riseborough’s Best Actress nomination in To Leslie, a film almost no one ever heard of. But it was no surprise to anyone who’d actually SEEN Riseborough’s astonishing performance. Never overplaying a part that seemed to lend itself to overplay, always showing a heart-touching true humanity in a character who seemed like she could readily be a caricature, “Riseborough is a dynamo, making sure that even at her worst, Leslie has enough personality and humanity that the audience roots for her just to get through another day”—Noel Murray, L.A. Times. And the movie itself? Director Mark Morris’ compassionate tale of an alcoholic woman teetering on the brink of both total destruction and some sort of salvation in a tiny West Texas town that holds a grudge, is just understatedly terrific: “For two hours, we don’t know where Leslie is going to land next any more than she does, and that lends the film a searing, unvarnished quality”—Owen Gleiberman, Variety.
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