Marc Maron Claims ‘Awful’ ‘To Leslie’ Distributor ‘Botched’ Awards Run Before Riseborough’s Oscar Nom

Andrea Riseborough stunned the industry last month when she earned her first-ever — and surprise — Best Actress Oscar nomination for the fall 2022 indie “To Leslie.”

But the nomination, built on a stealth word-of-mouth campaign among elite Hollywood talent launched by director Michael Morris’ wife Mary McCormick, brought up concerns over corrupt campaign dealings. After an investigation, the Academy ultimately determined that while some social media tactics raised concern, there was no strict violation, and Riseborough would stay nominated.

Yet what’s so unprecedented about the Oscar nod is that the film the British actress is representing had almost no other appearances this awards season outside a Best Lead Performance nod at the Spirit Awards for Riseborough. What’s also unprecedented is that “To Leslie” is one of the lowest-grossing Oscar nominees ever, bringing in just around $27,000 last fall via distributor Momentum Pictures. The outfit is the indie film arm of Toronto’s eOne, and one week after a day-and-date release on October 12, Momentum pulled “To Leslie” from select theaters.

“It’s always disappointing when traction is not capitalized on,” Riseborough told The Hollywood Reporter in a new sit-down, her first since the nomination sewed chaos online. But her “To Leslie” co-star Marc Maron, who plays a motel manager who takes in Riseborough’s spiraling alcoholic after yet another breakdown, had much harsher words for the indie shingle.

“There was no possibility of any more visibility because this distributor was awful and remained awful,” he said.

To note, National Board of Review also named “To Leslie” among its top independent films of the year, but otherwise, since premiering in the Narrative Spotlight section at SXSW 2022, the critical darling has been a no-show at awards ceremonies.

“They botched the submission process. For a distributor, the submission process is a no-brainer,” Maron said. “Michael wasn’t submitted for the Directors Guild Awards. The music wasn’t submitted, the ensemble wasn’t submitted for SAG or Golden Globes or Oscars. None of us were submitted for SAG Awards or Golden Globes, or Oscars. Just Andrea for the two or three awards that she was nominated for. So in light of that, you know, when I saw this grassroots thing happen, and then it delivered her this nomination, I was thrilled. I was thrilled for her, and I was thrilled for the movie.”

But, Maron added, it’s unfortunate that the film has become embroiled in what he called a “fake controversy.”

“It’s upsetting in retrospect that this experience has to be so loaded and toxic and challenged,” he said.

IndieWire has reached out to representatives for Momentum Pictures for comment.

As for the Academy’s investigation launched late last month after outcry on social media — and accusations of cronyism and more once Riseborough’s nomination seemingly ousted Viola Davis and Danielle Deadwyler from that coveted fifth Best Actress slot — Maron said, “If they need to fix the rules around how social media works for the voting process, just do it next time. But somebody put a fire up their butts about, you know, ‘How could this happen?’ It just became loaded on a lot of levels. They freaked out.”

Source: Read Full Article