Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is an authentic and vulnerable look at a delicate topic that features two powerhouse performances.
I remember seeing Good Luck To You, Leo Grande at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Upon watching it, I was blown away by Emma Thompson, who gave a raw and personal performance, and Daryl McCormack, who arrived at the scene with his brilliant portrayal opposite Thompson. So I was happy when I found out that the Golden Globes nominated Thompson for Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical. I recently revisited the film and shared my thoughts and love of the film below.
When we meet Nancy Stokes (Emma Thompson), she sits down with Leo Grande (Daryl McCormack), whom she just paid to have sex with. So naturally, she freaks out because she’s never done something like this before, and she has a million questions and even more things to say to attempt to delay the inevitable. But, no matter how hard she tries, he always brings it back to why they were there.
Sex has been something that has been exploited in all the wrong ways for generations in the film industry. How it’s written and portrayed on the screen never shows the authentic or honest side of sex. Another thing that’s always looked at in a bad light is escorts. Not to say there aren’t bad things in that industry, but nobody looks at the positives it can bring to the table.
That was until Katy Brand’s delicate and thought-provoking script she presents in this film. She highlights the vulnerability and honesty surrounding both topics, highlighting the awkwardness and reality simultaneously. She peels back so many layers that offer such positive conversation after watching.
It’s not vain to enjoy your body. To love it.
This entire film could’ve been a disaster if it wasn’t put in the hands of the right actors. That’s when Thompson and McCormack enter the room. First, with Thompson, who has had a storied career, playing the role of Nancy was a huge risk that paid off enormously well. One of the beautiful things about Brand’s writing is how it highlights that no matter your age, you can change or reform your opinion on things. Thompson has never been more endearing on the big screen.
Daryl McCormack is a name that I was not familiar with and I am not sure where he has been hiding, but he handles the role of Leo with such charm that it makes you fall in love with the character. He goes toe to toe with an incredible actress and stands his ground with this delicate grace that I hope leads to seeing him in more lead roles.
One of my biggest concerns was how this would end because they could have gone so many different ways that it would have been a letdown. But, instead, the final act wasn’t what I was expecting, and that’s a good thing. I won’t go into much detail because I want you to watch this without knowing how things unfold, but I will assure you that it’s worthwhile.
Should be Considered: Best Lead Actor, Best Lead Actress, Best Original Screenplay
Where to Watch: Hulu
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Favorite Director: Damien Chazelle