GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE – Review by Liz Whittemore

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Nancy, a buttoned-up widow, and mother, hires a sex worker to fulfill her unmet fantasies. As she muddles through nerves and unresolved feelings, she and Leo connect on a completely unexpected level. Good Luck To You, Leo Grande is magnificent with a whip-smart script and fabulous performances.

Daryl McCormack’s Leo is charming, sensual, and immediately puts the audience at ease. There’s something about his presence that is calming and elegant. You’re drawn to him. He gives a flawless and exceedingly nuanced performance.

As Nancy, Emma Thompson is sheer perfection. Watching her work is a pleasure, no pun intended. She astonishes me with her choices. They are so organic that I often forget she’s acting. She carries a universal vulnerability that speaks directly to the audience.

The chemistry between these two actors is cinematic magic. They are funny, sexy, raw, honest, and absolutely brilliant. There is not a dull moment in this film. Watching McCormack and Thompson play off one another is breathtaking.

Working with Katy Brand’s surprising and reflective screenplay, director Sophie Hyde understands the classic rom-com structure. My God, the continued requests for consent in this film are glorious. That aspect alone deserves a standing ovation. Open conversations about sex work are so consequential. It diffuses the stigma and mystery around the oldest occupation in history.

If you think you know where this story is going, think again. The script overflows with complexities. Good Luck To You, Leo Grande held my eyes and heart planted firmly on the screen from the very first moment. It’s remarkably poignant and intensely satisfying. Good Luck To You, Leo Grande is one of the best films of the year.

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Liz Whittemore

Liz Whittemore is the author of AWFJ's I SCREAM YOU SCREAM blog. She is Co-Managing Editor and writes for www.ReelNewsDaily.com, hosts the podcast Girls On Film and is a contributing writer for Cinemit.com and The ArtsWireWeekly. Now New York-based, she was born and raised in northern Connecticut. She's a graduate of The American Musical & Dramatic Academy, and has performed at Disneyland and famed Hartford Children's Theater, and been a member of NYC's Boomerang Theater, Connecticut's Simsbury Summer Theater, Virginia's Offstage Theatre, where she also directed. Her film credits include Suburban Skies and Surrender. In 2008, she shot Jabberwocky, a documentary now in post-production. Liz is still a children's theatre director and choreographer. She's working on an updated adaptation of Romeo and Juliet and a series of children's books.