Emma Thompson Shines As a Widowed Sex-Education Teacher in “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande”

by BUST Magazine

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

Directed by Sophie Hyde

Out June 17

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande leads with an intriguing premise: an Emma Thompson-led sex comedy. Thompson plays Nancy, a widowed, former religious-education teacher who has only had sex with her husband and never had an orgasm. That is, until she hires sex worker Leo Grande (Daryl McCormack). Before they can get around to getting down, however, Leo needs to find his way through Nancy’s emotional fortress. Not the raunch-fest suggested by the plot, the film is instead a deeply empathetic portrait of middle-aged sexuality and the realities of sex work.

The narrative is constructed as a series of hotel room liaisons as Nancy and Leo get to know each other, showing the progression of their relationship alongside personal revelations (both good and bad). The script by British actor/writer Katy Brand gives all-too-rare screen time to an older woman’s experience with sexual desire and patiently provides space for Nancy to work through her body issues while also gently asserting that sex work is work. Good Luck is a two-person show, and its success hinges on the chemistry between Thompson and McCormack; thankfully, that chemistry is easy and abundant, as Leo and Nancy quietly change one another’s lives in this honest, intimate dramedy. –Dana Reinoos

Header photo: Searchlight Pictures

This article originally appeared in BUST’s Summer 2022 print edition. Subscribe today!

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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