Is To Leslie Based on a True Story? Cast and Review

Is “For Leslie” based on a true story?

In the movie “For Leslie”, Leslie won the lottery and won a huge sum of $190,000. However, her victory was short-lived as she soon gave up all alcohol and drugs. The story then fast-forwards six years, charting Leslie’s brief existence as she moves from motel to motel until she finally finds refuge with her 19-year-old son, James.

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There was one condition for their reunion: James insisted that Leslie lead a sober life. Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t end here. Despite multiple relapses, Leslie’s story takes a turn when she gets a job at a motel and works to rebuild her life.

The story told in “For Leslie” has a deep emotional weight, leading many to believe it is based on true events. However, it should be clarified that the film is only loosely inspired by a true story.

“For Leslie” screenwriter Ryan Binaco drew inspiration from his late mother when writing the script. Still, it’s important to understand that Leslie is not a direct portrayal of Binaco’s mother; Instead, she is a fictional character designed for the cinematic experience in “For Leslie.”

How does Leslie’s movie story differ from real life?

Given that “For Leslie” screenwriter Ryan Binaco has yet to publicly reveal the specific inspiration for the film’s script, it remains uncertain whether the entire storyline is pure fiction or whether certain elements are rooted in reality. Nonetheless, in an interview with Riseborough, the film’s leading lady, she revealed some of the inspiration for the film. In an interview with Deadline, Riseborough said:

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“The film is told from the perspective of a child who witnessed his own mother going through a similar journey. It’s as if Ryan is providing a chance at redemption for mothers from different places and backgrounds.”

While the events depicted in the film are most likely not based on actual events, the bond between Leslie and James, as well as James’ feelings for his mother, are likely drawn from Ryan Binaco’s personal experience, similar to James’ story . Ultimately, it’s important to realize that the characters in “For Leslie” are fictional and the narrative developments are the product of the screenplay’s inventions.

To Leslie

“For Leslie” is a 2022 drama film that marks the directorial debut of Michael Morris and was written by Ryan Binaco. The talented Andrea Riseborough stars as Leslie Rowland, a single mother struggling with alcoholism who is desperate to squander her lottery winnings.

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However, a glimmer of hope emerges when she gets a chance at redemption through a job offer from a motel owner. The supporting cast includes famous actors such as Allison Janney, Marc Maron, Andre Royo, Owen Teague and Stephen Root.

The film premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival on March 12, 2022, followed by a limited release on October 7, 2022, distributed by Momentum Pictures.

“For Leslie” received widespread critical acclaim, with particular praise for Andrea Riseborough’s performance, which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

To Leslie plot synopsis

“For Leslie” tells the gripping story of Leslie Rowland, a single mother struggling with alcoholism. The film opens with Leslie winning a large sum of money from the lottery, but her drug addiction soon causes her to spend all her winnings.

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Six years pass and Leslie lives a nomadic life, moving from one motel to the next. Eventually, she was reunited with her 19-year-old son, James, who made it a condition that if she wanted to be with him, she had to give up drinking.

However, Leslie’s road to recovery was far from easy. Despite her initial efforts, her condition relapsed multiple times, further straining her relationship with James.

Determined to turn her life around, Leslie manages to find a job at a motel, which offers her the chance to rebuild her shattered life. Throughout her journey, Leslie encounters challenges and temptations that test her resilience and commitment to sobriety.

The film delves into the raw and emotional aspects of Leslie’s struggle, capturing the complexities of addiction, redemption, and the deep bond between mother and child. Through Leslie’s character, viewers witness the painful consequences of addiction and the immense strength it takes to overcome it.

Comments to Leslie

“For Leslie” is a heartfelt, cinematic country song that perfectly captures themes of love and loss. Screenwriter Ryan Binaco took inspiration from his own mother to craft a film that’s reminiscent of Barbara Loden’s “Wanda” or Scorsese’s “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.”

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The film, directed by Michael Morris in his feature film debut, has a little bit of contrivance and an incredible final scene. However, the film remains compelling thanks to Andrea Riseborough’s performance, which earned her a well-deserved Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

Riseborough stars as Leslie, a single mother who falls into a life of drug addiction after winning a large fortune in the lottery. She effectively became homeless, alienated from her family, and estranged from her son James.

The story explores the consequences of her actions, leading to painful confrontations with former friends and redemption through a job cleaning at a motel owned by Sweeney (Marc Maron).

Riseborough’s performance is excellent, capturing Leslie’s complex transformation from a charming alcoholic to a fragile soul facing the harsh realities of life.

Although she lost all her money, the film highlights the lingering effects of drug addiction and a sense of entitlement. Riseborough portrays Leslie as a fallen queen, exiled from her former life, while the judgmental attitudes of others reflect their own complicity. The film delves into Leslie’s struggle for redemption, although the ending doesn’t quite live up to the realism established throughout the narrative.

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“For Leslie” is a powerful exploration of compassion, everyday struggles, and the quest for redemption. Riseborough’s stellar performance elevates the film and leaves a lasting impact.

“For Leslie” Netflix actors

Here is the cast list for “For Leslie”:



Andrea Riseborough

Leslie “Lee” Rowland

Marc Malone


Owen Teague


allison janney


Andre Royo


Stephen Root


James Landry Herbert


Catfish Gene


Scott Subino

rancher glenn

Blake Robbins


Matt Lauria

handsome desperado


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