“Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” Film Review

January 22, 2022
Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack appear in “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Nick Wall.

This afternoon I had the pleasure of watching the endearing, intimate and ultimately courageous film, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande.  It just premiered at Sundance Film Festival, where I am covering this virtual film festival.  Sundance runs this year from 1/20/22 to 1/30/22 and there are still plenty of tickets left.  You can stay in your jammies while virtually attending one of the most culturally important film festivals on the planet.

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande stars Emma Thompson (it was written by Katy Brand with Emma in mind) and Daryl McCormack.  Emma plays Nancy, a retired schoolteacher:  British, prim, sexually uptight, and quite proper.  Daryl plays Leo, a beautiful, free-spirited young sex worker.  Nancy, Emma’s character, hires him after a lifetime of dismal sex.  They both embark on a journey of eroticism, discovery, and revelation, ultimately discovering more about themselves than they could have ever imagined at the onset.

This delicate, funny, and sensitive film handles the complex, powerful, and often contradictory ways sex and intimacy are treated in our Western culture.  Our sexual selves and identities are often wrapped up together in ways we can hardly articulate.  Yet we almost never speak frankly of sex, even among our closest friends.

The film just had its premiere at Sundance this afternoon and is looking for US Distribution now. I would imagine it would be coming to a screen or streaming device soon.  Keep an eye out for it, it’s terrific.

One interesting tidbit Emma discussed in the virtual Q and A session held just after the movie screened. She said when she had to stand in front of a mirror naked toward the end of the film, it was “the hardest thing I’ve ever had to act.”  She said just as to look at herself, without making any judgments or adjustments like pulling in her stomach, etc. like we all do was extremely difficult.  The two characters (and there are only three characters total in this film, which was shot in the pandemic at a hotel outside of London) both evolve and come to understand more about themselves and their equally befuddled fellow humans.  It is an important, delicate film, not to be missed.

I was able to virtually watch the film; then afterwards listen in on a fascinating Q and A session with the actors, director, and writer of the film, hosted by Tabitha Jackson, Director of Sundance Film Festival.  Then I was able to vote on the film; then attend the film’s party in virtual reality.  Sundance is really on the cutting edge here.  They have a set up where you can put your VR headset on (or just use your computer if you don’t have one) and enter a chat room/lounge area where film lovers can virtually chat and mingle with others.  We even had Bryan Mason at the party, the film’s cinematographer and editor.  I was able to tell him directly how much I enjoyed the project.

Sundance runs through next Sunday, 1/30/22.  If you have some time, it is really wonderful.  So many films, events, talks and different adventures to explore.  And if you haven’t dabbled in virtual reality, give it a go!  It is beyond fun.

Visit sundance.org for all the information and tickets.  There are also plenty of completely free events online should you be watching your budget

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