To Leslie title image
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119 min.
Release Date
To Leslie poster

To Leslie plays like a country song made flesh. If its protagonist had a dog, the animal would die. If she had a pickup truck, it would break down. Leslie, played by Andrea Riseborough in a terrific performance, won $190,000 in the lottery six years ago. But now she’s broke, busted, down and out, and homeless. Her story isn’t as uncommon as you might think. CNBC reports that many lottery winners file for bankruptcy within three to five years after winning. In Leslie’s case, she spent her money until nothing was left. She wasted much of her winnings on drugs and booze, and she burned every bridge in the process. Later in the film, at her lowest point, she finds herself in a bar, listening to Willie Nelson singing pointed lyrics to “Are You Sure” in his experienced voice: “Look around you, look down the bar from you, at the faces that you see. Are you sure this is where you want to be?” He could have written the song about her. Or perhaps Ryan Binaco, who based the story on his mother, was inspired by the Nelson tune. The similarities might be unbearably close, except Leslie openly recognizes herself in Nelson’s song and can only laugh. 

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