A MOTHER’S DAY Dozen Watch List

Mothers day is one of America’s big sellers, with all generations of children scrambling to regale their moms with flowers and chocolates and fancy brunches and greeting cards. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), Mother’s Day spending in the United States is expected to reach an all-time high of $35.7 billion this year. But aside from energizing the economy, Mothers’ Day offers an opportunity for some deep thinking about what motherhood means to us all. After all, we all have mothers who birthed us and many of us are mothers to the next generations of our species. That said, the mother-child relationship is universal and, as such, gives rise to as many individual situations and interpretations as there are people who are planted on Mother Earth. Here’s a list of movies worthy of a Mothers’ Day watch.

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SOPHIE HYDE on Moviemaking, Sex and Representation

Australian director Sophie Hyde has utilised the notion of sex as a means to gain self-knowledge in her three feature films, 52 Tuesdays, Animals, and Good Luck to You, Leo Grande. Hyde works not only as director in film and television but also as a producer with her company Closer Productions bringing a variety of stories to life. Nadine Whitney had the opportunity to speak to Sophie about equity and representation on screen in Australia and the international film and television industry..

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GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE – Review by Susan Granger

For the dramedy Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, 63 year-old Oscar-winner Emma Thompson bravely agreed to the first fully nude scene of her career. In the film, Thompson plays uptight Nancy Stokes, a widowed, retired school teacher who books a hotel room and hires a much younger male escort, Leo Grande (Daryl McCormack), to help her achieve her first orgasm.

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GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

Why am I crying at this movie? Like literally from the opening moments of Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, I was sobbing. This is supposed to be a comedy, or a dramedy, at least: light, funny, diverting. So why was I bawling? It’s because we don’t see “older” women — Emma Thompson is 63 — onscreen quite like this.

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GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE – Review by Martha K Baker

Except for the unwieldy title, this film satisfies on every level — writing, acting, cinematography, subject matter. Good Luck to You addresses a little known concept in most movies, that is, the pleasure of a woman, and it does it with élan, humor, compassion, and understanding. It’s hard to watch, not because it’s about sex but because it’s about honesty.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 17, 2022: GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE

“Brave” is a word that gets thrown around a lot when it comes to acting, often when a performer — particularly a woman — dares to look unattractive on screen. Think Charlize Theron in Monster, Jennifer Aniston in Cake, and even Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones. Well, those ladies are all cowards compared to Emma Thompson, who boldly bares it all, literally and lovingly, in Sophie Hyde’s intimate drama Good Luck to You, Leo Grande.

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GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE – Review by Loren King

Nudity and sex may bring the curious to Good Luck to You, Leo Grande but many viewers will be surprised to be moved more by the touching emotional journey that the characters take. Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, about a middle aged woman’s sexual awakening, rests entirely on the performances of its two leads who elevate the premise to a tender tale of affirmation and self-acceptance. Daryl McCormack as Leo, a hunky sex worker and, especially, Emma Thompson as Nancy, the uptight widow who pays for his services, bring more introspection and nuance to the frisky material than one might expect

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GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE – Review by Leslie Combemale

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is full of talk (with a little sex thrown in), but becomes incredibly meaningful, layered, and ultimately life-affirming. This is all within the context of sexually unfulfilled widow ‘Nancy Stokes’ (a never better Emma Thompson) hiring sex worker ‘Leo Grande’ (up-and-coming Irish actor Daryl McCormack) to take him through the sexual paces on a list she’s put together of sexual experiences. She is a retired teacher and mother of two grown, seemingly needy children. She reveals early on that she’s has never had an orgasm. He presents himself as a professional with a job to do, a job he does well. Nearly the entire film takes place in one hotel room, and through their interactions and intimate conversations they are both changed in profound and fundamental ways.

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

Good Luck To You, Leo Grande is magnificent with a whip-smart script and fabulous performances. Daryl McCormack 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. 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.

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GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE (Sundance FF 2022) – Review by Leslie Combemale

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is a rare example of writing, direction, and performance in perfect balance, that gel together into something even more than the sum of its parts. Though certainly a fun film to experience in the moment, it will be one that many viewers will be appreciated more and more in retrospect. The first half hour feels like the slow escalation of what becomes an emotional rollercoaster, but like Nancy (Emma Thompson) does, it’s best to just put your hands up and enjoy the ride.

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