Watch The Trailer
Storyline (warning: spoilers)
Whilst there’s no surprise revealed in the fact that Emma Thompson truly deserves to be considered one of the greatest living actresses working today, and in the deliriously charming and strikingly emotional Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, Thompson turns in career-best work that leans into her strength as both an unmatched comedic and dramatic performer.
There’s a beautiful and tragic humanistic quality that’s uncovered here, through Sophie Hyde‘s gentle direction, Katy Brand‘s delicate script, and the absolutely stellar performances of both Thompson and Daryl McCormack, an impossibly handsome Irish actor who we can only hope walks away from this film as a bona fide star.
Thompson stars as Nancy, a sexually unfulfilled widow, who hires the titular Leo (McCormack, all charm and no body fat), a sex worker with a calming presence, for what she hopes is a night of tender exploration. Nancy (not her real name, as she later confesses) has only ever been with one man, and having been widowed for the better part of two years she’s hoping Leo (also not his real name) can help kink out her sexual repression.
This is an intelligent effort that refreshingly highlights the plight of the middle-aged woman, exploring her psyche, her fears and her sexuality in a candid manner. Nancy isn’t the punchline. Her desires aren’t fodder for one-dimensional comedy. This is genuine exploration, and through Hyde’s direction and in the hands of such a fearless performer as Thompson, Nancy’s want to be a sexual being is never treated as disposable.
Both a body positive and a sex positive affair, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande strives in its attempt to ultimately be a film that celebrates the act of sex but, more importantly, salutes the ramifications of such. This is an unadulterated marking of an awakening that belongs to no age or gender, and it’s our luck that such a film as this exists.