Nancy Stokes doesn’t know good sex. Whatever it may be, Nancy, a retired schoolteacher, is pretty sure she has never had it, but she is determined to finally do something about that. She even has a plan: It involves an anonymous hotel room, and a young sex worker who calls himself Leo Grande.
Directed by: Sophie Hyde
FULL SPOILER-FREE REVIEW @ https://www.msbreviews.com/movie-reviews/good-luck-to-you-leo-grande-spoiler-free-review-sundance-2022 "Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is a surprisingly enlightening, lovely, amusing story about sex, pleasure, self-acceptance, and genuine human connections. Sophie Hyde is able to create a safe environment where uncomfortable, sensitive topics can be discussed as ordinary conversation. Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack share tremendous chemistry, both committing 100% to their roles, but the actress stands out, being a strong contender for awards even beyond the festival. However, for a film that tackles hard-to-talk-about themes with so little restraint, it feels a bit disappointing that nudity and sex itself are barely depicted in an equally natural, free form. Despite a redundant mid-portion, it's a must-watch movie with an absolutely perfect last shot." Rating: A-
"Nancy" (Dame Emma Thompson) rents an hotel room and a younger man "Leo" (Daryl McCormack) so she can tick off - quite literally - some of the sexual activities that she never experienced during her rather mundane 33-year marriage to the recently deceased "Robert". He arrives, she is bowled over, and the next ninety minutes sees them explore the character traits and bodies of the other. It is entertaining. There is a nervousness from this older woman - a former teacher - who wants to experiment with some of the most basic aspects of sex but who cannot stop herself over-thinking, vacillating and using just about every diversionary tactic in the book to avoid actually getting it on with her hunky and charming partner. For his part, "Leo" comes across as a decent, sincere employee who is patience personified. Will anything come of it? The narrative is split into four meetings - their first, the nervous; their second more confident but still with plenty of nerves to overcome then the third. That is where the film starts to wobble a bit. A series of scenes that display a conflict that seems to have been artificially created to add drama. It wasn't necessary, and somehow that undermined the concluding meeting which was certainly the most visually raunchy and honest. This is a film that is here for us to enjoy. It does touch on an whole range of issues, but in an almost tangential fashion - there is no pontificating. It suggests we consider the attitudes society has about age, sex, loneliness, fulfilment, sexuality, family, judgemental behaviour, tolerance, friendship, love - you name it. It is probably too simplistic a story to offer any definitive solution to the imponderables of the "sex industry" but it does present us with food for thought. There is a chemistry between the two that at times makes you squirm, then laugh, then want to bang their heads together, whilst it addresses taboos that makes little sense when laid bare on a big screen, but which resonate profoundly - if not aways rationally - with the characterisations played before us. Strong and nuanced performances from both, with a cleverly and pithily written script that is well worth an hour and an half.