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Emma Thompson’s Sexy Sundance Romp – The Hollywood Reporter

Intimate in every sense, Good luck to you, Leo Grande represents a confirmed and lovable British comedy-drama. Admittedly it’s more of a character driven issue, like a trendy advice columnist story but with follow-up shots. But that doctrine works because it features Emma Thompson as a widowed, primate high school religious studies teacher who hires Daryl McCormack’s sex worker for a date in hopes of having an orgasm for the first time. enjoy.

Of course, the course of real fun won’t be smooth, but along the way, this light, sensitive two-handed portrayal, written by British comedian Katy Brand and directed by Australian Sophie Hyde to act (Animal, 52 Tuesdays). Although the older female audience will seem Lionis the obvious target, other demographics will also enter its groove. Theatrical income may be modest, but online it flows like a river in the spring.

Good luck to you, Leo Grande

Key point

Positively sexually active and sexually active.

Location: Sundance Film Festival (Premier)
Cast: Daryl McCormack, Emma Thompson, Isabella Laughland
Manager: Sophie Hyde
Writer: Brand Katy

1 hour 37 minutes

Although filmed in the fleeting Norwich, Norfolk, about a hundred miles from London, the town is unnamed and the story could take place in any UK hotel room, or at least in any any town large enough to have male escorts operating discreetly in the area. In fact, the action is so limited to one location, you’d almost think Brand wrote this as an original theatrical play. (Indeed, if it works as a feature film, maybe it will convert into a theatrical production one day.)

In a luxury yet anonymous hotel apartment with beautiful city views and a well-stocked mini-bar, Leo Grande (McCormack, from Peaky Blinders) to see Nancy Stokes. (She’s played by Thompson, who, despite always working pretty steady, has been having a bit of a screen time lately in thinner-than-normal roles, such as in Late night or the amazing six-part BBC/HBO series Year & Year.)

Nancy lost her husband two years ago, and he was the only man she had ever had sex with. Now she wants some professional help to see if she can finally experience real orgasms, which she always fakes. Furthermore, she wants to try some other type of sex (oral, both give and take, and then both at the same time) and positions (doggy?) that her late husband doesn’t ever wanted to try and she was too embarrassed. insist on.

Silkily confident, Leo – who not only has the comfort of a Harley street therapist but is also clearly intelligent and educated when using words like “empirical” – unfazed by the prospect of meeting all of those requirements. He also doesn’t claim he doesn’t need any little blue pills to help him perform because he insists he finds Nancy very attractive.

Excessive criticism of her body – like so many women, especially postmenopausal women – she refuses to believe him. And after several meetings a few weeks apart, Nancy accepted his words and learned to enjoy not only Leo’s body but her own.

Viewers may think this is going in a sexist direction Beautiful Woman is in for a refreshing surprise. No – spoiler alert! – Leo and Nancy will not fall in love, but they will develop a bond and mutual respect. Breaking through the assumptions of Nancy (and by extension the audience), Leo (and by extension, the filmmakers, who interviewed real-life sex workers for research) admitted that prostitution Porn can be dangerous and has a dark side to the professional. But like many of his peers, Leo really enjoys what he does and takes pride in his honed skills. Not only is he nice to people and has a deep empathy, he can find something beautiful and exciting in any client, even an 82-year-old woman he loves. discreetly told Nancy.

However, as with any professional therapist, he has strict boundaries and Nancy finds herself violating them when she does a bit of internet stalking and finds out Leo’s real name. (Both soon admit that they are using a pseudonym.) Angry, he leaves immediately but returns only to find his mislabeled phone, giving Nancy a chance to apologize. In the end, they trust each other enough to open up more, and Leo is able to explain why he’s estranged from his mother, who thinks he works on oil rigs in the North Sea, in when Nancy can rethink her past prejudices and positions.

That the film has to work towards this revelation to create a dramatic arc that feels like a minor spoiler to professional relationships, someone rarely honestly explored in the film , which is the core of the story. One can imagine that the cast and filmmakers might even have considered going down a different path and showing Leo and Nancy having needless sex – a move unprecedented in the film. antique – although of course that would make for a very different product.

Instead, every time Leo and Nancy finished talking and got to work, the camera discreetly turned away and left them there. However, it is clear from the subsequent dialogue how these transactions affected both of them, especially Nancy.

One last key shot is Nancy, Final! had her first orgasm, and somehow Thompson even blushed like she wasn’t even acting. Minutes later, she’s standing in front of a full body mirror, completely nude and bright enough to show every stretch mark and cellulite, and she may have never looked sexier and sexier in her life. his whole career. Some viewers might find it a little hard to buy Thompson as the dull, repressed teacher in the early parts of the film, but in the end she’s likable and irresistible.

With his work cut to combat such a force, McCormack has kept his own very admirable. Indeed, the camera loves him, and the way director Hyde and her frequent editor and cinematographer Bryan Mason film him, especially keeping his face moving and expressive. while he sat down to listen to Nancy, was a master class on how to film an actor in a way that enhances their beauty without offending them. He may be the subject of the title’s salutation, but he’s definitely the movie’s overall theme.

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