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Andrea Riseborough’s ‘To Leslie’ heads back to theaters after best actress Oscar nod

A woman holding a cigarette leans sadly on a bar counter
Momentum Pictures is expected to re-release “To Leslie” following Andrea Riseborough’s Oscar nomination for lead actress.
(Momentum Pictures via Associated Press)
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“To Leslie,” the indie drama that earned Andrea Riseborough a shocking lead actress Oscar nomination Tuesday, is heading back to theaters.

The downbeat drama directed by Michael Morris will return to North American theaters this weekend, landing in approximately six theaters with a few more potentially being added before Friday, said a spokesperson for micro-distributor Momentum Pictures, a division of Entertainment One. Specific locations have not yet been announced.

That precedes another limited run in select theaters in the U.K. during the weekend of Feb. 3. That theater count has not yet been determined.

Alas, none of them will be in the homes of the film’s celebrity cheerleaders Charlize Theron or Gwyneth Paltrow.

The actor received a groundswell of support from A-listers for her role in the otherwise little seen “To Leslie.”

Jan. 24, 2023

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Riseborough plays a single mom from West Texas who resolves to “have a better life” after winning a $190,000 lottery prize but instead squanders her winnings. As a drug addict, she ultimately returns to her hometown to rebuild her life. The film was written by Ryan Binaco and also stars Allison Janney, James Landry Hébert, Stephen Root, Owen Teague and Marc Maron.

The film originally flew under the radar after premiering in March at the South by Southwest Film Festival and made only $27,000 in its brief theatrical run. (It played at Laemmle’s Monica Film Center in Santa Monica in October for five days.) The Momentum Pictures film has since become available to rent or buy on most video-on-demand platforms, including Prime Video, Vudu and Apple TV.

Maron was incensed at distributor Momentum Pictures’ handling of the film, grousing on his “WTF” podcast: “The f— distributor dropped the ball on facilitating something that would bring a lot more attention to the movie. And now this movie with a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score that everyone should see [has] been hobbled by the people responsible for putting it out there.”

The nominations for the 2023 Academy Awards are out. Here’s where you can start catching up on the nominees you may have missed.

Feb. 22, 2023

Little traditional campaigning was done for the film — apparently there was no money for it — but the film’s director, who is married to “In Plain Sight” actor Mary McCormack, reportedly leaned on their Hollywood connections to launch a star-studded, word-of-mouth campaign that was hard to escape on social media. It worked, catapulting the film and its star onto the 95th Academy Awards nominations list Tuesday morning.

Riseborough, who also starred in last year’s “Amsterdam” and previously in “Mandy,” “Birdman,” “W.E.” and “Nocturnal Animals,” was nominated in the lead actress category alongside Cate Blanchett (“Tár”), Ana de Armas (“Blonde”), Michelle Williams (“The Fabelmans”) and Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”).

“To Leslie,” which earned its sole Academy Award nod for Riseborough’s performance, isn’t the only nominated film capitalizing on Oscars buzz and heading back to cinemas. Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” biopic, which earned eight Oscar nominations, and the Bill Nighy starrer “Living,” which earned two nominations, will also be re-released in movie houses for limited runs.

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Best picture nominees such as Focus Features’ “Tár” and MGM’s “Women Talking” are showing in theaters but will expand to hundreds of domestic cinemas too, a spokesperson confirmed Thursday.

Times staff writer Glenn Whipp contributed to this report.

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