In Review

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande review: ‘amusing, revealing and really quite sexy’

Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack star in this ‘riveting’ and ‘important’ film

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande has been much hyped “as the film in which Emma Thompson gets her kit off”, said Matthew Bond in The Mail on Sunday. But before the actress lets her “dressing gown slip” in this “amusing, revealing and really quite sexy” film, there is an awful lot of talking – so much so that at times, it feels more like a “single-set stage play” than a movie.

Thompson plays Nancy, a widowed former RE teacher who never had good sex with her husband, and so decides to pay Leo (Daryl McCormack), a handsome Irish escort, to supply it. The film mainly takes place in the hotel room where they meet. Some of it stretches credibility, but Thompson is a such “class act” that it’s “definitely worth a peek”.

Written by comedian Katy Brand, “this is a riveting film and an important one”, said Deborah Ross in The Spectator. Older women are usually cinema’s “least developed characters”, and it’s “practically unheard of” to see one strip off, let alone list the various sexual positions she’d like to try.

There is “genuine chemistry” between the leads, and some “wonderfully comedic moments”, such as when Nancy says that she’s resigned to never having an orgasm. “It’s not a Fabergé egg, Nancy,” Leo replies. “People have them every day.”

I’m afraid I wasn’t greatly charmed, said Donald Clarke in The Irish Times. Yes, the film celebrates “sexagenarian sexuality”, but it’s a bit too proud of its “supposed braveness”, and the characters are all rather familiar. Nancy is the “sort of handbaggy Silly Billy” that Thompson could play in a coma, while Leo is “absurdly decent, articulate, understanding and patient” – qualities that “few humans outside the New Testament” show in such abundance.

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