GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE
R, Comedy/Drama, 1h 37m
Written by Katy Brand
Directed by Sophie Brand
Emma Thompson, Daryl McCormack
(In their own words) Nancy Stokes, a 55-year-old widow, is yearning for some adventure, human connection, and some sex–some good sex.
Three BEST things about the film
- The writing – Excellent dialogue. Usually when it is this good it started off as a play or something. But it wasn’t. Also the setting is very minimal, most of it just being two people in a room. Felt so much like a play, that’s good writing.
- The bravery – Emma Thompson commits some huge acts of bravery in this film for what she’s willing to bare for the part. Hollywood is not kind to women over 50. She is raw, and brave and takes some huge chances she didn’t have to in order to make this film happen. Fearless. I wish I could be as brave as her.
- The acting – The acting in this film is delightful. Both actors. It’s everything that I love about acting and watching actors worth. The back and forth, the pinches and ouches, action and reaction. This is a master’s class in acting. Just delightful.
The three WORST things about the Film
- For a film it isn’t super dynamic. It’s almost all in one location. Is this the best medium for the story?
- The film may have limited appeal for audiences. Not sure how many young people are able to connect to Emma Thompson’s character.
- By nature of the way it was done, subplots that were created can’t really get resolved.
After recently seeing film after film of huge casts in giant Hollywood blockbusters,Good Luck To You, Leo Grande is a breath of fresh air. Getting the opportunity to watch two exquisite acting performances by Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack is a welcome palette cleanser.
This film is very honest, raw, brave, and pretty sexy. It’s a film about exploring sexuality and sensuality. It’s about coming to terms with parts of life you missed and deciding it isn’t too late to explore them.
Nancy Stokes hires an escort so that she can enjoy sex with a younger man. Mostly so she can experience something she never experienced in her life long marriage; sexual pleasure. Her deceased husband was the only lover she ever had in her life, and sex was a bit utilitarian.
Her escort, the dashing Leo Grande, teaches her to open up, both sexually and about her life.
The film is broken into four different acts with three of them being in the same location, with just the two of them on screen. This gives us a rare treat in film these days; the exploration of characters through dialogue. Emma and Daryl both have wonderful chemistry with each other. The dialogue runs smooth and unforced, the scenes make sense from beat to beat, and we get to see monologues. Monologues in modern cinema are so rare when the film is not based off of a play or novel, it was so great to see that there are still screenwriters who know how to write them. I was just really impressed by the writing of the film.
And with that, you really have to give huge props to the director, Sophie Hyde. Making an interesting feature length film with mostly two actors is not an easy task. She hit all the moments nicely, created really nice builds, and kept the pacing perfect. This might be the best direction I’ve seen in a film this year.
This film is going to be streaming on Hulu and I really do feel like this will be a trophy piece film for them. If they can find more films like this, it could get known as a place to watch films with terrific performances.
It’s never too late to learn to enjoy yourself.
Pleasure isn’t something to be ashamed of.
THE FINAL WORD
An acting triumph. Excellent writing and wonderful performances make this a much watch for people who love acting. Be prepared to take a cold shower after.
My 3L system gives me the choice to Love It, Like It, or Lose It.
Good Luck To You, Leo Grande gets a strong Like It
When he’s not reviewing films or interviewing people for the Black & A Half podcast, Silas Lindenstein can be found in the greater metro Seattle, WA working as a real estate agent helping people buy and sell homes, or performing stand up comedy to fellow nerds. He has a wife and three children and desperately wants to learn to make the perfect homemade pizza.