Good Luck to you, Leo Grande

Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack in Good Luck to You Leo Grande

Good Luck to you, Leo Grande is a beautiful film about an older woman and a sex worker. He not only manages to deliver sexual pleasure to her for the first time in her life, he also teaches her she need not feel guilty about wanting it.

Good Luck to you, Leo Grande is basically a two-hander. Nancy (Emma Thompson) is a 60ish former religion teacher. After the death of her husband, she hires Leo Grande (Daryl McCormack) so she can experience the sexual pleasure she never had with her husband.

The film is sensitive and brilliantly constructed. We see lots of conversation between Nancy and Leo but only the most important moments of the sex between them. Directed by Sophie Hyde and written by Katy Brand, we see the slow progress of Nancy’s sexual awakening over several meetings between the two of them.

Nancy has so much repression and religion and bad information to overcome. Under Leo’s care, she flowers both mentally and physically. She does everything wrong, but she learns.

There’s a lovely moment at the end when Nancy looks at herself naked. She doesn’t hate what she sees, she accepts what she sees. Lots of long conversations with Leo unlacing the bonds that held her result in Nancy finally finding peace with herself.

The poster for Good Luck to You Leo Grande with Daryl McCormack and Emma Thompson

Daryl McCormack is the perfect foil for Thompson’s angst. He’s warm, accepting, sexy, he glows like a candle in the dark.

It probably doesn’t need to be said, but I’ll say it anyway. Emma Thompson is absolutely fantastic in this. (She’s always absolutely fantastic.) Letting the world see her 60 year old naked self is one of the most affirming things I’ve watched. It’s not perky breasts and tight skin we see, but a beautiful woman who has found her power, earned her power. If you’ve read me before, you know my motto is #EldersRock. This moment in front of a mirror with Emma Thompson is one reason why I keep saying it!

According to an interview in The New York Times, Thompson made the decision to bare it all herself. She said, “. . . if you want the world to change, and you want the iconography of the female body to change, then you better be part of the change. You better be different.”

This quietly beautiful film is available on Hulu. I hope you can watch it.

2 thoughts on “Good Luck to you, Leo Grande”

  1. christopher a swaby

    there is nothing Emma Thompson has done that i havent enjoyed. i was equally entranced by Daryl McCormack, who gave a wonderfully layered and mature performance opposite one of the finest actors of her generation.

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