Wonderful Oscar® news. Two films from last year's Hof International Film Festival, both of which celebrated their German premiere in Hof, have received nominations.
One is in the category "Actress in a Leading Role" for Andrea Riseborough in TO LESLIE by director Michael Morris.
In the feature film debut of the director, who is known for his directorial work in episodes of BETTER CALL SAUL as well as HOUSE OF CARDS, among others, Andrea Riseborough plays Leslie, a single mother from West Texas. She struggles to support herself and her son, wins the lottery and has a chance to live a decent life. But after a few years, the money runs out. Left to her own devices, Leslie lives in a drunken stupor, always on the run from what she has done to others. Andrea Riseborough's performance is convincing in every second, making the film a roller coaster ride of emotions.
Also nominated in the "Cinematography" category is Roger Deakins for his work on EMPIRE OF LIGHT (distributed by Disney/Fox Searchlight) directed by Sam Mendes (JAMES BOND SPECTRE, SKYFALL, AMERICAN BEAUTY).
This star-studded love story is set in the 1980s against the backdrop of an old cinema on the coast of southern England. It is run by the lonely Hilary (Olivia Coleman), a middle-aged woman suffering from schizophrenia. The cinema's owner, Mr. Ellis (Colin Firth), takes sexual and emotional advantage of Hilary. When Stephen (Michael Ward), a new employee, starts working at the cinema, Hilary takes him under her wing. In the process, the two become closer and begin a romantic relationship.
The film is a tribute to cinema and its images, from harsh reality to dream images of a bygone era that live on and on. Magnificently shot by one of the best cinematographers around: Roger Deakins (NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MAN, 1917, BARTON FINK, and very many more).