Sunday 5 February 2023

To Leslie by Michael Morris

A single mother in Texas wins a sizeable amount at the lottery only to rapidly spend it all in a few years and find herself near destitute and turning to the bottle. She tries to reconcile with her estranged son and the friends and communities she left behind.

If that synopsis sounds melodramatic, it's because it is, purposely so. At times the narrative beats might sound like they belong to some old school made-for-TV movies but this is nothing of the sorts, rather To Leslie is a downbeat independent film that lays bare the misery Leslie finds herself in but the director is not interested in making this an issue film about an unfair, uncaring American society, it focuses instead on individuals and small communities. Similarly, this is not a film about alcoholism, nor is it used as a cheap narrative trope.