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Title: To Leslie
Year: 2022
Genre: Drama |
Runtime: 119 min
Director: Michael Morris
Starring: Andrea Riseborough, Allison Janney, Stephen Root



Having squandered every single dime of her lottery winnings on liquor and drugs, defeated West Texas single mother Leslie Rowlands finds her way back home six years after the life-altering event. But now the money is gone, the already few friends are lost, and her long-suffering family has moved on with their lives. And as the incorrigible, long-term heavy drinker teeters on the brink of total disaster, faced with living on the streets, Leslie tries to reconnect with James, her estranged 20-year-old son. However, with mistakes piling up and alcohol dependence getting in the way of a fresh start, the only person who can save Leslie is herself. The question is, can the washed-up alcoholic earn one last chance at righting the wrongs of the past and getting her life back on track?

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This is Michael Morris’s first feature film. It takes an emotional toll on the viewer. The character descends deep into the black hole of alcoholism, and drugs and delivers a realistic portrayal of a single mother that seems to have lost her way. For starters, after she winnings, she spends all the money on booze. She loses contact with family and friends and doesn’t have a real plan in her life.

Sure, it’s a slow-paced story, but, but it pays off in the end.  It’s a pure recollection of a true based story. It’s a sad one as well as it is intimate and closes up on her point of view. This is thanks mostly to Andrea Riseborough’s impressive performance of a believable alcoholic, who tries to do good by the end.

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This redemption story is touching as Leslie renovates an ice cream shop and reunites with her son, together with Nancy whom she hated at the start. The problem is that the film doesn’t give much more than a touching story and a good performance from the lead. It doesn’t go deeper in the character study as one likes.

The editing is choppy and doesn’t make the film to become a smooth story. Often it’s the same shots, shifting in between. Overall, the cinematography is low-key. The music is diegetic, well much of the time it is just that. There are a lot of good heartfelt emotions spinning. however, the ending could be less anti-climatic. A short-cut ending that comes from nowhere.

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