Manville stars as Mary in Leigh's recent drama Another Year, and despite gaining widespread critical acclaim for her performance, Leigh expects the actress to be overlooked at the Academy Awards.
According to ABC News, Leigh said: "I say this with no rancour or bitterness. It's just a cold and simple fact. We are outsiders... This is a Hollywood operation, and the movies that win are the Hollywood movies, on the whole.
"But I cannot see how anybody really could seriously suggest that there is any performance by an actress in any current film that is actually - in terms of real, solid, creative, extraordinary, star-quality screen acting - better than what Lesley Manville does."
Manville missed out on a 'Best Actress' nomination at next year's Golden Globes to stars such as Halle Berry and Nicole Kidman.