See you later Aftersun…as much praise as has been heaped upon you, I wasn’t as moved as I was by the miracle of film called To Leslie, written by relative newbie Ryan Binaco (3rd film) and directed by another ‘youngin’ Michael Morris (Better Call Saul).
The ensemble of actors are so genuine to their characters, they drip like sap off a maple tree. And that doesn’t mean that this film is sweet, but so gut wrenchingly real that I spoke out loud to the screen twice, saying, ‘no, no, no’ when Leslie puts her vulnerable hand around a drink, shot, or flask.
I’ll get to more Andrea Riseborough in a second, but suffice to say she is a wonder. Other notables in the film were Allison Janney who is a tour de force of her own, Marc Maron who oozes vulnerability, and to use an old radio quote “CHECK THE TAPE” since I said Owen Teague was going places back in Montana Story last year. Well, here he is again, in an amazing performance as Riseborough’s hardworking son.
I could add my usual paragraph about ‘moving emotional beats’ in the film, but I’d be listing every damn one which would break my no spoilers promise. Just get thee to Amazon and pay the 6.99. You will not regret it!
I would hate to believe that the stupid controversy over Andrea Riseboroguh’s Academy Award nomination is a smokescreen to get people to turn away from emotional films. For the love of God, we shouldn’t be questioning whether she should be nominated, we should questioned why in hell the entire cast and film and director AREN’T nominated! NOW, THERE’S the scandal! And literally as I was typing that last sentence, a miracle podcaster from Back to One (first time I’ve ever listened to it btw to add another layer of goosebumps as well as validation to my argument) was asking the same question in an interview with Riseborough).
Andrea’s response to the question, ‘shouldn’t we be worried that more attention isn’t paid to this film?’ was ‘the model is broken’, which is something we can all agree on, but how can we put it back together again? It seems we just allow ourselves to get distracted by half truth hysteria. Perhaps we should go back to a quote from Eden Ahbez 1908–1995, “ The greatest thing you ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return.”