Leslie isn’t always circling the bottom of the drain yet, but she’s sunk pretty low.
We first meet the title character of “To Leslie” (Andrea Riseborough) in an opening credits montage of images showing what existence turned into like before. Leslie were given married, had a son, received $190,000 in a lottery after which burned thru it all. The principal story selections up seven years after the lottery win. Leslie’s lifestyles is dire. She’s an alcoholic loner skating on the edge of oblivion. When she receives evicted from the seedy resort she’s been living in, she stuffs her few assets in a red suitcase and drops in on her now-19-year-vintage son James (Owen Teague) at his condominium on watch series online.
James isn’t happy to see her. Nobody‘s happy to look Leslie. Leslie is an alcoholic who’ll do another substance within attain. She cannot borrow from all of us anymore because she owes every person cash. She’s dominated by means of her urges and appetites, so she doesn’t even pause to take into account the rules and norms she’s breaking to be able to fulfill them. Sometimes she’ll muster whatever self belief she has left and move right into a bar or roadhouse trying to capture a man’s eye and get him to take her domestic. It’s now not the sex she’s after, it’s the cash, attention, and materials the guys might offer.
James warns his mom upfront that she’s welcome to stay with him until she gets her existence collectively. But that she can’t stay with him, and the best rule in in his residence is that she can not drink. You understand how that turns out.
Leslie sooner or later finds her way returned to her rural place of origin, the region wherein she won the lottery, and wherein she is idea of as, in her phrases, “a piece of shit.” What did she do to sense that way about herself? It’s now not a mystery, and screenwriter Ryan Binaco and director Michael Morris don’t deal with it as one, because this is a story about folks who could truly exist, and don’t talk the past in element unless there’s a motive to.
Things do get better for Leslie, however the first segment of movie is difficult to observe because it establishes the heroine’s community of broken (or shattered) relationships (which includes her ex-friends Nancy and Dutch, played with the aid of Allison Janney and Stephen Root) and display the darkness she swims in each day. When she reveals her manner to a little vintage hotel run by means of a benevolent man named Sweeney (Marc Maron) and his goofy partner Royal (Andre Royo), we see a glimmer of wish on the horizon. The question is whether or not Leslie can see it, too.
Sweeney and Leslie are a brilliant display screen group. He’s as pleasant, clear-cut, and easy as Leslie is mercurial, tortured, and internalized. Sweeney is as generous as Leslie is grasping and manipulative. After initially chasing her from the assets, Sweeney gives her a job as a maid and throws in a room for fmovies. He even pretends to have fallacious Leslie for anyone who’d been applying for the maid process, which offers Leslie a bit present of dignity before she’s even gotten to recognize him.
Often characters who’re this exceptional emerge as hypocrites, exploiters, or worse. But Sweeney’s a good individual who seems to need to make absolutely everyone’s life better, even supposing it way losing cash and getting in my opinion hurt. Sweeney is aware of what he is stepping into; we eventually get a backstory that explains why he’s so type and nonjudgmental round humans with Leslie’s issues, even when she’s at her most frazzled and pathetic. And yeah, you guessed it, he is candy on her, and Riseborough and Maron have such immediate, easygoing chemistry which you recognize there is no way the film may be able withstand the temptation to pair them up for a satisfied ending, even though in actual lifestyles a courting like that is equally probable to stop with the police or hearth branch pulling up at the resort within the wee hours.