In Leonie, a mother’s courage and a clash of cultures inspires her to transcend both. Based on a true story, the film follows the trials and tribulations of Leonie Gilmour, the mother of renowned sculptor Isamu Noguchi and acclaimed dancer Ailes Gilmour. With a life that spanned continents, cultures, and wars, Leonie Gilmour’s inspiring tale is a model of courage, passion, and the pursuit of freedom.
Seeking to overcome the oppressive gender roles in early 20th Century America, Leonie (Emily Mortimer) meets famed Japanese poet Yone Noguchi (Shido Nakamura) and agrees to be his editor. Soon their relationship turns intimate. But when Leonie becomes pregnant, Yone abandons her to return to Japan, leaving Leonie to fend for herself. With few opportunities in America, Leonie follows Yone to Japan—but discovers that turn-of-the-century Japan is even less forgiving towards unmarried mothers than America. Cast off by Yone, Leonie learns to adapt to life as an unwed mother in a foreign culture despite terrible poverty and repression.
Written by Hisako Matsui and David Weiner and directed by Hisako Matsui, Leonie will have a limited theatrical release on March 22, 2013. This Monterey Media drama also stars Christina Hendricks, Nichole Hiltz, Jay Karnes, Mary Kay Place, and Jan Milligan. Rated PG-13 for brief sexuality, partial nudity and brief language.