OF 39

FEBRUARY 2, 2023

DAY 10

OF 48

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Andrea Riseborough

Leslie (Andrea Riseborough) is a train wreck. She’s an alcoholic who has pushed everything good out of her life. Her son barely knows her, and her friends are now enemies. The fact that she won the lottery now haunts her, as she spends her time fishing for free drinks at bars. But as the saying goes, with train wrecks, you can’t look away.

Characters like Leslie hurt to watch because they can’t get out of their way. You want to reach through the screen and shake them. Andrea Riseborough disappears into the role. She’s not afraid to inhabit a character that is not glamorous. Look at her body of work: “Mandy,” “Nancy,” and “Possessor.” She’s never afraid to reach deep into the darkness of a character and bring them to life.

A superb supporting cast surrounds Andrea. Allison Janney is the antagonist (technically, Leslie is the protagonist and antagonist), playing Leslie’s former friend, Nancy. She looks down on Leslie but also deals with her own demons. Marc Maron plays the likable savior, who ends up offering Leslie some redemption in the form of a job at a run-down motel. Even Stephen Root and Andre Royo turn out memorable, exemplary performances.

“To Leslie” drags you through the dirt. It’s a slice of a lower-class, small town where everyone spends their nights at bars or bonfires and their days at work or community gatherings. Everyone knows everyone, and it sticks if you make a bad name for yourself. But, the film offers some light that is worth the wait. Despite the controversy over the late-round Oscar push for “To Leslie,” which premiered at last year’s South by Southwest, I’m glad it’s getting an audience it wouldn’t have typically received, hopefully opening the door for other films like it.


Andrea Riseborough

First-time nominee

Inspired by true events. A West Texas single mother wins the lottery and squanders it just as fast, leaving behind a world of heartbreak. Years later, with her charm running out and nowhere to go, she fights to rebuild her life and find redemption.

Directed by Michael Morris
Momentum Pictures
October 7, 2022
119 minutes


Chicago Film Critics Association Awards — Best Actress (Nominee)
Film Independent Spirit Awards — Best Lead Performance (Nominee)
Gijón International Film Festival — Best Actress [Winner]
Raindance Film Festival — Best Performance [Winner]


1. Cate Blanchett — “TÁR”
2. Michelle Yeoh — “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
3. Michelle Williams — “The Fabelmans”
4. Andrea Riseborough — “To Leslie”
5. Ana de Armas — “Blonde”


1. Michelle Yeoh — “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
2. Cate Blanchett — “TÁR”
3. Ana de Armas — “Blonde”
4. Andrea Riseborough — “To Leslie”
5. Michelle Williams — “The Fabelmans”

Leave a Reply