Riseborough’s stunning Oscar nomination for To Leslie follows a celebrity-backed campaign.
Andrea Riseborough is officially a 2023 Oscar nominee after a surprise Oscars marketing campaign that was seemingly backed up at the last minute by A-listers including Kate Winslet, Amy Adams, Cate Blanchett and Gwyneth Paltrow.
After grossing just $27,000 in a Momentum Pictures release in October, the drama To Leslie earned Riseborough her first Oscar nomination, having starred in previous films like Mandy, Nocturnal Animals and Birdman ‘ had played along. Riseborough plays an alcoholic single mother from Texas who squanders her lottery winnings in TV director Michael Morris’ debut feature film. The performance brought Riseborough to fellow 2023 Best Actress nominees Blanchett (“TÁR”), Ana de Armas (“Blonde”), Michelle Williams (“The Fabelmans”) and Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”) .
Riseborough told Deadline that even she was “stunned” by the nomination. “It was so hard to believe it could ever happen because we really weren’t in the running for anything else,” the actress said. “Even though we had a lot of support, the idea that it could actually happen seemed so far off.”
Previously nominated for Best Actress at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, she also starred in Amsterdam and Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical this year.
Now Infinity Pool boss Brandon Cronenberg, who directed her in 2020’s Possessor, recounts Riseborough’s rise to the 2023 Oscars and what it means for the future of independent film.
“I’m happy for you. I’m not just saying that because I know her: I actually think she’s one of the best actresses working right now,” Cronenberg told IndieWire’s Eric Kohn. “I don’t think she’s received enough recognition for her work in the past, so that’s fantastic.”
Cronenberg continued, “It’s weird in terms of that side of the industry, because on the one hand, I don’t think these awards mean anything creatively, but someone like Andrea can go unrecognized for so many years. However, I often don’t feel that the films that win best picture or the performances that win best actor or actress are the best performances of the year. It’s so subjective and deeply political because it requires launching an entire campaign and has so much to do with politics within the academy. So I don’t think they necessarily represent the pinnacle of artistry – but it only affects you in the end when it comes to financing a film.”
So what does it mean if Riseborough, and therefore To Leslie, win?
“Well, if it gets on Andrea and she has an Oscar nomination, or if she wins, that’s going to be huge for her career because I think it makes her more visible in a way that then makes that financiers feel more comfortable here,” Cronenberg said of Riseborough’s bankable indie-to-mainstream crossover skills. “They cross paths in an obnoxious way, but there’s no getting around it.”
The independent filmmaker quipped, “I just have to win an Oscar and I’ll be fine.”
Reporting by Eric Kohn.
https://www.indiewire.com/2023/01/andrea-riseborough-oscar-nom-brandon-cronenberg-1234803343/ Andrea Riseborough’s Oscar nomination: Brandon Cronenberg weighs in