Good Luck to You, Leo Grande (Sophie Hyde, 2022, UK/USA)

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is a 2022 sex dramedy directed by Australian Sophie Hyde and written by Brit Katy Brand. The film, which is essentially a two-hander, stars Emma Thompson as Nancy Stokes, a 50-something-year-old woman who hires a young sex worker. She is a former religious education teacher who has never had an orgasm, and her husband has passed away. The sex worker, played by Daryl McCormack of Peaky Blinders, goes by the name Leo Grande. We learn more about his background as the film progresses. 

While the film is theatrical by its very nature (almost the entirety is set in a single hotel room), it is not based on a play. The performances and the writing are the true stars of the show here, with Hyde offering some directorial flourishes only toward the film's finale. Generally, the pacing is good considering that the entirety of the film is dialogue. While the film begins by concentrating on Nancy's vulnerabilities, it ultimately becomes focused on Leo and his vulnerabilities.

The characters discourse on sex, sex work, relationships, body image, and a variety of other topics. Katy Brand is using them as a mouthpiece to explore her various ideas on these topics, and at times the film feels a bit too much less a discourse and not enough like a conversation. Still, the film is kept mostly light, despite a few dark turns - mainly toward the end of the film. Overall, Leo Grande will no doubt please its intended audience, although it is by no stretch an amazing piece of cinema. It follows a long line of films that take a familiar premise and twist it, in this case by reversing the age and the gender of the traditional roles at play. Worth checking out for fans of dramedies.



Popular Posts