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Andrea Riseborough surprised Hollywood with her unexpected best actress Oscar nomination for her role in the indie drama, To Leslie, following a last-minute campaign that saw her many A-list friends raving about the film.
The surprise nod prompted the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to conduct a review of the grassroots outreach campaigning. It ultimately determined that “the activity in question does not rise to the level that the film’s nomination should be rescinded,” Academy CEO Bill Kramer explained in a statement.
Following the recognition, To Leslie is returning to select theaters in North America and the U.K. ahead of the 2023 Oscars, which will air live on Sunday, March 12 on ABC from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
Riseborough plays Leslie, a working-class single mother who wins the lottery, only to hit rock bottom with her alcoholism. Six years and $190,000 later, Leslie reconnects with her estranged 19-year-old son, James (Owen Teague) after getting kicked out of the motel where she’s been living. After breaking her son’s no-drinking house rules, Leslie returns to her small West Texas hometown to stay with her former friends, get sober and face her demons. The film also stars Marc Maron, Allison Janney, Andre Royo, Stephen Root, James Landry Hébert and Catfish Jean.
The movie is Better Call Saul director Michael Morris’ debut feature and was written by Ryan Binaco (3022), who was inspired by his own mother. It premiered in 2022 at South by Southwest.
Among Riseborough’s champions were Jennifer Aniston, Charlize Theron, Edward Norton, Gwyneth Paltrow, Courteney Cox and Sarah Paulson, who all hosted screenings of To Leslie. Paltrow called it a “masterpiece of a film” and Alan Cumming noted the star’s “insanely raw and beautiful performance.” Susan Sarandon, Helen Hunt, Zooey Deschanel, Constance Zimmer, Mira Sorvino, Tan France and many other stars also praised the film.
Morris recently told The Hollywood Reporter, “I never imagined that it would touch people as much as it has, but what underpins the film is that so many have experience on one side or the other. You either are a Leslie, have loved a Leslie or been hurt by a Leslie.”
Those who want to stream To Leslie online can rent or buy the film on Amazon Prime Video (on sale for $4 to $7), Apple TV ($10), Google Play ($7 to $10) or Vudu ($7 to $15).
See all of THR‘s awards season coverage here, including how to stream the rest of the 2023 Oscar-nominated films.
Jan. 31, 1:13 p.m. Updated with additional details on the Academy’s review and decision on campaigning tactics.
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