Emma Thompson Takes on Ageism and Sexuality in Good Luck to You Leo Grande
For decades, audiences have witnessed one male movie star after another play opposite women (in some instances) nearly half their age. They aren’t called disgusting, geisers, pedophilles or any other negative label one can think of. However, women are called cougars, desperate, stalkers, out of touch and more. Why is that? Why are women made to feel that being sexy and alluring only belongs to the young and beautiful? Why are Americans so judgemental around female sexuality after a certain age? Why are older women made to feel like if you can’t rock a bikini with washboard arms that somehow you are a horse waiting to be put out to pasture?
Thank God for director Sophie Hyde, Emma Thompson and screenwriter Katy Brand for shedding these ridiculous, archaic tropes with their new film Good Luck to You Leo Grande.
When retired widow Nancy Stokes (Emma Thompson) hires a strikingly handsome young sex worker who calls himself Leo Grande (Daryl McCormack), in the hope of enjoying a night of pleasure and self-discovery after an unfulfilling married life gain more than they both bargained for.
Hyde’s opening shot morphed with classical music is very artistic setting up an unconventional style for the remainder of the film. The majority of the action takes place in Nancy’s hotel room and is very reminiscent of Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite while providing a very eclectic yet sensual soundtrack led by none other than Maxwell. Kudos to Bryan Mason (Hyde’s son) who tastefully shot
Emma Thompson singlehandedly and unapologetically illustrates the beauty of an older woman embracing her sexuality with a younger man in all its awkwardness, intrigue and vulnerability. Globally, women are going to witness this performance as a strong-willed rally cry on behalf of those of a certain age to embrace your body will all the bumps, lumps, pooches and flaps with pride and confidence. Let’s not forget about Daryl McCormack, who as Leo Grande is gives subtly sexy a whole new meaning. Yet, he makes a simple touch or lack thereof (with those wonderful dancing scenes) alluring and respectful…not animalistic. He goes toe to toe with Thompson under circumstances that would be mostly intimidating for an actor of any age and experience level pulling it off with a keenly astute sense of poise and grace. This duo is will have you inspired to fan out your own flames while allowing you to look in the mirror being introduced to a brand new you. One who has staying power, is mentally and physically on confidence overload regardless of what age the package is relegated to.
Good Luck to You Leo Grande started off 2022 as a film festival favorite and continues to win over fans and audiences as it streams on Hulu (produced by Searchlight Pictures) right now.