Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
Good Luck to You, Leo Grande poster.jpeg
Release poster
Directed bySophie Hyde
Written byKaty Brand
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyBryan Mason
Edited byBryan Mason
Music byStephen Rennicks
Production
companies
  • Align
  • Genesius Pictures
Distributed by
Release dates
  • 22 January 2022 (2022-01-22) (Sundance)
  • 17 June 2022 (2022-06-17)
Running time
97 minutes
Countries
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$6.4 million[1]

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is a 2022 sex comedy-drama film directed by Sophie Hyde and written by Katy Brand. The film stars Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack. The story revolves around a woman who seeks a young sex worker to achieve an orgasm.

The film had its world premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival on 22 January 2022, and was released on 17 June 2022, theatrically in the United Kingdom by Lionsgate, and digitally in the United States by Searchlight Pictures as a Hulu original film. The film was critically acclaimed with praise given to the films performances, specifcally Thompson who received BAFTA Award, and Golden Globe Awards nominations for her performance.

Plot

In a hotel room, Nancy Stokes welcomes a male prostitute named Leo Grande. An anxious Nancy explains that she has never had an orgasm, and she has vowed never again to fake one after the death of her husband two years earlier. She is insecure about her body and age, and embarrassed at having hired Leo, and he tries to put her at ease.

Leo expresses no shame about sex work, but he reveals that his mother believes him to be an oil rig worker. Nancy shares that she is disappointed in her adult children, adding that she is a retired religious education teacher. Her husband was her only sexual partner and found oral sex demeaning, and they never deviated from unfulfilling missionary sex for thirty-one years together.

Nancy recounts her most sensual experience: as a teenager on a family holiday in Greece, a hotel worker took an interest in her; alone in the garden, he began kissing and fingering her before being interrupted, and she left the following day. Seeing Nancy aroused and relaxed by her own story, Leo kisses and fingers her.

A week later, Nancy meets Leo in the same hotel room for a second session. Though still not having achieved an orgasm, she has prepared a bucket list of sexual activities to experience for the first time, beginning with fellatio. She remains anxious, worsened by phone calls from her daughter, but Leo relaxes her through dancing and a massage. Fearing that she sacrificed her youth and potential adventures for her family, she is overwhelmed after touching a shirtless Leo, who encourages her to embrace her own body.

Leo reveals he has a younger brother in the military, from whom he is estranged, and suggests Nancy book more sessions, but she accuses him of trying to make more money. He tells her about his other clients, explaining that he obtains genuine pleasure from seeing their pleasure. Nancy sees Leo becoming aroused as he describes his work, which in turn arouses her, and she finally performs fellatio on him.

Nancy books Leo for a third session in the same room. He performs oral sex on her, the second item on her list, which she enjoys but does not bring her to orgasm. She admits to cyberstalking and uncovering Leo's real name, Connor. Upset, Leo tells her not to book him again, threatening to expose her as a client. She asks if they can be friends and encourages him to tell his family about his work, even offering to speak to his mother. Leo reveals that his mother tells people he is dead, and storms out. Returning to retrieve his phone, he angrily admits that his mother disowned him when he was fifteen, and leaves.

Nancy books Leo for a fourth session, arranging to meet in the hotel's cafe where their waitress, Becky, turns out to be her former student. Nancy thanks Leo for her newfound confidence and sexual awakening, and has discreetly recommended him to several friends. She admits her real name is Susan Robinson, and that Leo is the only true adventure she has ever had. Becky interrupts with a story about Nancy shaming her and her friends for their short skirts, calling them "sluts".

Leo has revealed his job to his brother, reconnecting with him, and explains that his mother disowned him after catching him and several friends having group sex; she no longer acknowledges his existence, even walking past him in the street. Nancy apologises to Becky for her past judgmental behaviour, confessing her real relationship to Leo and recommending his services.

Nancy and Leo enjoy a final session in their room, passionately engaging in all the remaining acts on Nancy's list, but she is still yet to orgasm. While Leo looks for a sex toy, Nancy watches him walk around naked and masturbates, giving herself her first orgasm. She thanks Leo, telling him this will be their final session, as she does not need him anymore. Alone, Nancy appreciates her own naked body.[2]

Cast

Production

Development and casting

In October 2020, it was announced that Emma Thompson would star in a film directed by Sophie Hyde from a screenplay by Katy Brand.[3] The film is a joint project between Genesius Pictures and Cornerstone Films, with Debbie Gray and Adrian Politowski producing.[3]

Daryl McCormack joined the cast in February 2021.[4]

Hyde said that she enjoyed working with Thompson, and the two of them worked collaboratively, with the resulting film a co-creation by both of them. "We discussed a lot, listened to each other’s stories and ideas about the material."[5]

Filming

Principal photography began on 8 March 2021 and concluded on 20 April 2021. Filming locations included London and Norwich.[6][7]

Thompson's nude scene in this film was "probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do," she said.[8]

McCormack and Thompson did not require an intimacy coordinator to orchestrate their sex scenes.[9]

Release

Cornerstone Films handled international sales and sold the film to independent distributors.[10] In October 2021, Lionsgate acquired UK distribution rights to the film.[11]

The film premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival,[12] which at the last minute was changed to an online rather than in-person event because of an increase in cases of the Omicron variant during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, on 22 January 2022.[13][14] Following the premiere, Searchlight Pictures acquired U.S. distribution rights to the film for Hulu.[15]

On 11 March 2022, it was revealed the film would be released on Hulu on 17 June 2022.[16] The film was also released theatrically by Lionsgate in the United Kingdom on the same date.[17]

The film was released in Australian cinemas by Roadshow Films from 18 August 2022,[18][19][20] with some preview screenings accompanied by a Q&A session with Hyde and cinematographer Bryan Mason in the preceding week,[21] including in their hometown of Adelaide.[22]

Reception

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 93% based on 221 reviews, with an average rating of 7.8/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Sexual awakening stories aren't in short supply, but Good Luck to You, Leo Grande proves you can still tell one with a refreshing – and very funny – spin."[23] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 78 out of 100, based on 34 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[24]

A review in The New York Times by Lisa Kennedy described the film as "a tart and tender probe into sex and intimacy, power dynamics and human connection."[25] Describing the two lead actors, her review says, "Thompson is terrifically agile with the script’s zingers and revelations. A relative newcomer, McCormack moves between wit, compassion and vulnerability with grace."[25] In a review for RogerEbert.com, critic Sheila O'Malley praised the film, writing, "It's a relief to see a film so frank about sex, and so open to sex's complexities, especially when so much of current cinema is sexless to a disheartening degree. 'Leo Grande' cares about sex for older women, and not just sex, but the baggage associated with sex, and how that baggage robs us of joy and fulfillment. Also revelatory is the film's non-judgmental attitude towards sex work.[26] Writing for the Los Angeles Times, critic Justin Chang wrote, "Good Luck to You, Leo Grande presents itself as a corrective, with an earnestness that verges on the Utopian; for all its low-key intimacy and emotional realism, this movie knows it's selling a fantasy of its own. But it's hard not to warm to that fantasy, or to embrace its still-rare vision of a woman learning to articulate and satisfy her most human impulses. It's good for Nancy. And for us."[27] In a review for the progressive publication People's World, journalist Chauncey K. Robinson highlighted how the film seemingly destroyed the "mythos that women stop living for themselves after they reach a certain point in their lives."[28]

Accolades

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Hollywood Critics Association Midseason Film Awards 1 July 2022 Best Actress Emma Thompson Nominated [29]
British Independent Film Awards 4 December 2022 Best British Independent Film Sophie Hyde, Katy Brand, Debbie Gray, Adrian Politowski Nominated [30]
Best Director Sophie Hyde Nominated
Best Joint Lead Performance Daryl McCormack and Emma Thompson Nominated
Best Screenplay Katy Brand Nominated
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association 18 December 2022 Best Actress Emma Thompson Nominated [31]
Alliance of Women Film Journalists 5 January 2023 Best Actress Nominated [32]
Most Daring Performance Won
San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle 9 January 2023 Best Actress Nominated [33]
Golden Globe Awards 10 January 2023 Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Nominated [34]
London Film Critics' Circle 5 February 2023 British/Irish Actor of the Year (for body of work) Pending [35]
Breakthrough British/Irish Filmmaker of the Year Katy Brand Pending
Black Reel Awards 6 February 2023 Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Male Daryl McCormack Pending [36]
Satellite Awards 11 February 2023 Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical Emma Thompson Pending [37]
Houston Film Critics Society 18 February 2023 Best Actress Pending [38]
British Academy Film Awards 19 February 2023 Best Actor in a Leading Role Daryl McCormick Pending [39]
Best Actress in a Leading Role Emma Thompson Pending
Outstanding British Film Sophie Hyde, Debbie Gray, Adrian Politowski, Katy Brand Pending
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer Katy Brand Pending

References

  1. ^ "Good Luck to You, Leo Grande (2022)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  2. ^ "Emma Thompson's Third Act". The New Yorker. 7 November 2022.
  3. ^ a b Ravindran, Manori (27 October 2020). "Emma Thompson to Star in Comedy 'Good Luck to You, Leo Grande' From Sophie Hyde". Variety. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  4. ^ Grater, Tom (24 February 2021). "Daryl McCormack Joins Emma Thompson In Sophie Hyde's 'Good Luck To You, Leo Grande'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  5. ^ Debelle, Penelope (18 January 2022). "SA director Sophie Hyde's new comedy drama to premiere at virtual Sundance". InDaily. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  6. ^ "Film and TV Projects Going Into Production – One and Done". Variety Insight. Archived from the original on 5 May 2021. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
  7. ^ Macnab, Geoffrey (16 April 2021). "Michael Morpurgo adaptation 'Kensuke's Kingdom' completes financing with $6.5m boost from LA-based Align (exclusive)". Screen Daily. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  8. ^ "Emma Thompson Shared That It Was "Very Difficult" To Do A Full-Frontal Nude Scene At 62". en.news4social.com. 25 January 2022. Retrieved 4 August 2022.
  9. ^ ""We are very close now" –Tipperary's Daryl McCormack on getting intimate with Emma Thompson for a new film role". www.independent.ie. Retrieved 4 August 2022.
  10. ^ "Good Luck to You, Leo Grande". Cornerstone Films. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  11. ^ Ramachandran, Naman (11 October 2021). "Emma Thompson's 'Good Luck to You, Leo Grande' Acquired by Lionsgate U.K." Variety. Retrieved 19 February 2022.
  12. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony; Patten, Dominic (9 December 2021). "Sundance 2022: Hybrid Festival Sees Princess Diana, Michael Kenneth Williams, Dakota Johnson, Bill Cosby, NYC Rock'n'Roll & Regina Hall Fill Lineup". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  13. ^ Debelle, Penelope (18 January 2022). "SA director Sophie Hyde's new comedy drama to premiere at virtual Sundance". InDaily. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  14. ^ "Good Luck to You, Leo Grande". Sundance Film Festival. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  15. ^ Palmer, Roger (26 January 2022). "Searchlight Pictures Acquires "Good Luck To You, Leo Grande" For Hulu". What's On Disney Plus. Archived from the original on 25 February 2022. Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  16. ^ Hipes, Patrick (11 March 2022). "Searchlight's 'Fire Island', 'Good Luck To You, Leo Grande' & 'Not Okay' Get Hulu Release Dates". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 14 April 2022.
  17. ^ P., Maddie (17 June 2022). "How to Watch 'Good Luck to You, Leo Grande': Where to Stream the Sex-Comedy Movie". Collider. Retrieved 30 July 2022.
  18. ^ Hyde, Sophie (11 August 2022). "The Screen Show" (Audio). ABC Radio National (Interview). Interviewed by Di Rosso, Jason. Retrieved 15 August 2022.
  19. ^ "Emma Thompson stars in stripped back film Good Luck to you, Leo Grande". ABC Radio National. 11 August 2022. Retrieved 15 August 2022.
  20. ^ "Emma Thompson Wants Women Of All Ages To Enjoy Sexual Pleasure In 'Good Luck To You, Leo Grande". Marie Claire. 20 June 2022. Retrieved 15 August 2022.
  21. ^ "At The Astor: Good Luck to You, Leo Grande – Q&A Event". The Astor Theatre. Retrieved 15 August 2022.
  22. ^ "Good Luck to You, Leo Grande [ADVANCE PREVIEW + Q&A AUG 14]". Palace Nova Cinemas. 10 August 2022. Retrieved 15 August 2022 – via Facebook.
  23. ^ "Good Luck to You, Leo Grande". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 22 January 2023.
  24. ^ "Good Luck to You, Leo Grande Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 25 September 2022.
  25. ^ a b Kennedy, Lisa (15 June 2022). "'Good Luck to You, Leo Grande' Review: Pleasure Principles: Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack bring knowing vulnerability to this amusing story of a foxy prostitute and the woman who hires him". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  26. ^ O'Malley, Sheila (17 June 2022). "Good Luck to You, Leo Grande". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  27. ^ Chang, Justin (16 June 2022). "Emma Thompson gets (and gives) marvelous sex ed in 'Good Luck to You, Leo Grande'". Los Angeles Times.
  28. ^ Robinson, Chauncey K. (15 June 2022). "'Good Luck to You, Leo Grande' review: Cheeky comedy centers older women's sex life". People's World. Retrieved 22 September 2022.
  29. ^ "5th Annual Hollywood Critics Association Midseason Awards Nominations Include X and THE BLACK PHONE". Daily Dead. 29 June 2022. Retrieved 1 July 2022.
  30. ^ Ntim, Zac (4 November 2022). "British Independent Film Awards: 'Aftersun,' 'Blue Jean' & 'The Wonder' Lead Nominations". Deadline. Retrieved 4 November 2022.
  31. ^ Neglia, Matt (11 December 2022). "The 2022 St. Louis Film Critics Association (StLFCA) Nominations". NextBestPicture. Retrieved 11 December 2022.
  32. ^ "2022 EDA AWARDS NOMINEES". Alliance of Women Film Journalists. Retrieved 23 December 2022.
  33. ^ Neglia, Matt (6 January 2023). "The 2022 San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle (SFBAFCC) Nominations". Next Best Picture. Retrieved 6 January 2023.
  34. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (10 January 2023). "Golden Globes: Full List of Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 11 January 2023. Retrieved 11 January 2023.
  35. ^ Pulver, Andrew (21 December 2022). "The Banshees of Inisherin leads pack as London film critics announce nominations". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 December 2022.
  36. ^ Anderson, Erik (15 December 2022). "'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,' 'The Woman King' lead 2023 Black Reel Awards nominations". Awards Watch. Retrieved 15 December 2022.
  37. ^ Anderson, Erik (8 December 2022). "'Top Gun: Maverick' leads International Press Academy's 27th Satellite Awards nominations". Awards Watch. Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  38. ^ Darling, Cary (10 January 2023). "'Everything Everywhere,' 'Banshees of Inisherin' top list of Houston critics' nominations". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 11 January 2023.
  39. ^ Ntim, Zac (19 January 2023). "BAFTA Film Awards Nominations: 'All Quiet On The Western Front,' 'Banshees Of Inisherin' & 'Everything Everywhere All At Once' Lead — The Complete List". Deadline. Retrieved 19 January 2023.
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