Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
Sex, nudity, and empathy in profound, intimate drama.
Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is a two-character drama starring Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack that tackles themes and subjects often considered taboo -- namely, that desire and pleasure are never anything to feel ashamed about. The film is a real celebration of self-confidence and the importance of loving your body, no matter its perceived flaws. The topic and act of sex take center stage, with brief full male nudity and more lingering female nudity. An extended, graphic sex montage includes moaning/orgasm and shows many different positions. There's also simulated masturbation and oral sex. The characters have many frank conversations about sex and sex work (both believe the latter should be legalized). The two characters are vulnerable, insecure, and learn a lot from each other, despite being very different. Language includes "f--k," "whore," and "slut," and the characters drink alcohol together.
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What's the Story?
GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE follows Nancy Stokes (Emma Thompson), a widowed teacher/mother who had a very unsatisfying sex life with her late husband and decides that she wants to explore her sexuality and try something new. So she hires a handsome young escort named Leo Grande Daryl McCormack). But what transpires isn't just a quick fling; rather, it's a connection between two people who have a lot to get off their chests.
Is It Any Good?
This drama was undoubtedly very inexpensive to make, but it's incredibly rich in the themes and messages it seeks to convey. Good Luck to You, Leo Grande feels play-like in its simple, single setting and two-character structure. While that could be an issue in other films, here it matters little, if at all, thanks to wonderful character development and strikingly impressive performances. Thompson gives one of the finest of her career: Nancy is a remarkable character, diving headfirst into themes and conversation points seldom seen in mainstream films (credit to writer Katy Brand for tackling it all, too!).
While the lead characters are certainly insecure, their gradual ability to learn to love themselves, who they are, and what they look like, is infectious, giving the movie an ultimately uplifting feel. And McCormack must be commended for going toe-to-toe with a legendary performer like Thompson and coming out with his head held high. Don't be surprised if you end up liking these two characters so much as the film progresses that you sort of hope they might meet up for another date soon, if only so we can enter their world one more time.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how Good Luck to You, Leo Grande encourages viewers to learn to love themselves and their bodies. Is that something you've ever felt insecure about? Did watching this film help?
It's very rare to see female sexuality, particularly for women over 60, explored in mainstream cinema. Why do you think that is?
The movie's sex scenes and discussions about sex are quite graphic. How do you feel about having open, free dialogue about sex?
Characters debate topics related to sex work, including whether it should be legalized. What are your opinions on the subject?
How does Nancy and Leo's relationship show the importance of both communication and empathy?
- On DVD or streaming: June 17, 2022
- Cast: Emma Thompson, Daryl McCormack
- Director: Sophie Hyde
- Studio: Searchlight Pictures
- Genre: Drama
- Character Strengths: Communication, Empathy
- Run time: 97 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: sexual content, graphic nudity and some language
- Last updated: March 15, 2023
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