Directed by: Sophie Hyde
Distributed by: Searchlight Pictures
Written by Taylor Baker
62-year-old Nancy Stokes (Emma Thompson) has never had an orgasm. Following the death of her husband, she books a hotel room and schedules a visit with Leo Grande (Daryl McCormack) a pseudonym for an easy-going mid-twenties sex worker whose charm buttresses Nancy’s nervousness and insecurity. “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” is composed almost entirely of interior shots isolating Nancy and Leo against the rooms the inhabit. In the early portion of the film when visually depicting them together in the frame they are often at odds. Those odds are primarily made up of Nancy coming to terms with accepting herself, her wants, and her choice on which the film is predicated. To hire a sex worker. Which in and of itself is something that is interrogated primarily from the perspective of Nancy as we learn she used to think both those who hire and who work in were very immoral, but upon joining their ranks finds that it’s not at all what it had seemed to her.
Leo Grande on the other hand is a charming character, constantly trying to put Nancy at ease and set the “mood”. A great deal of credit should be given to Katy Brand for her first feature film screenplay which fleshes out well-rounded characters with a strong sense of interiority. While being almost entirely a two-person show. Sophie Hyde’s well-lit modern interiors look crisp enough to be engaging without overwhelming the foreground where we’re frequently viewing our half-clothed characters sharing their innermost secrets, though not their names. The film details a series of encounters between the two, allowing each character to alter their behavior, confidence, situation control, and personal story. As it unfolds it becomes a story more of personal fulfillment than the elusive pursuit of an orgasm for a retired school teacher. And therein lies its charm, by placing such emphasis on humanity, compassion, mistakes, and the common foibles of us all, Leo Grande leaves viewers with a message of self-fulfillment and self-compassion all heaped in a steaming pile of sex.
“Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” Trailer