Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
★★★☆☆
The luminous Emma Thompson plays a repressed 63-year-old English widow and retired religious school teacher who attempts to achieve her first satisfying sexual experience with a young, preternaturally kind and understanding sex worker. The titular Leo Grande is played by Daryl McCormack of the BBC’s Peaky Blinders. With most of the film set in a hotel room Thompson's Nancy has booked for this occasion, the almost two-character, mostly single-set picture feels a bit like a stage two-hander along the lines of Terrence McNally’s wonderful off-Broadway hit Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. But what director Sophie Hyde and writer Katy Brand create plays more like a mature version of Armyan Bernstein’s underrated, quintessentially ‘80s rom-com, Cross My Heart starring Martin Short and Annette O'Toole (released in 1987, the same year as McNally’s play). There's plenty of comedia-del-awkward in Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, but what's special here is the vulnerability of the characters and the ability of the two leads to put it across so authentically, even during the moments where the script feels contrived. The flat lighting, bland production design, and uninspired compositions heighten the film's unglamorous nature and leave viewers with nothing to focus on but the performances. They are more than enough. 

Directed by Sophie Hyde
Produced by Adrian Politowski, Debbie Gray, and NF Ravi

With: Daryl McCormack, Emma Thompson, and Les Mabaleka

Cinematography: Bryan Mason
Editing: Bryan Mason
Music: Stephen Rennicks

Runtime: 97 min
Release Date: 17 June 2022
Aspect Ratio: 2.00 : 1
Color