Good Luck to You, Leo Grande (2022)
I have to say that I divide the movies into three in terms of viewing options:
1. Movies that you should watch with your brain (briefly, high-calibre ones with technical details, references, etc.) 2. Movies that you should watch with your heart (technical details are secondary, you can personally identify with or empathize with the main theme of the movie)
3. Movies you need to watch with your brain and heart (which you’re fascinated by both)
Since Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is an example of films in this classification that I should watch with my heart, I will focus on the subject of the film rather than the technique.
Briefly, the film proceeds through the dialogues of Nancy in her 60s, who has not lived her sexuality adequately until now, and Leo, the sex worker she hired for the sexual experience she wanted to explore, that takes place almost in one place.
Of course, Leo’s job is not easy against Nancy, who only realizes her sexual awakening in her 60s and has a conservative point of view; although Leo is a successful and professional sex worker. He may not convince Nancy completely, but the ice may melt. We are patiently waiting and watching for two individuals whose energies and dynamics are so opposite to finally create a synergy over the course of 4 sessions. But this synergy is not just physical attraction, but only after the two characters can become friends, or truly touch each other’s lives by breaking the stereotypes of ‘sex worker and demander’. I’ll admit, it was great to watch the dance as they were fascinated by the energy of sex or the synergy they created.
The film makes a good analysis of the social traditions of sexuality, male and female perspectives and the difference in their roles, the dialogues are clever and witty. The film doesn’t make a big statement about the subject he focuses on, rather stays observant, because Nancy is almost one of us. On the other hand, you don’t push the technical skill limits, you almost guess most of the things from the beginning to the end of the movie. While the conflict is only based on whether sex can happen, and if yes when; the movie goes even further than that, and it’s not just sex; it expands the scope of the subject as daily life, personal vulnerabilities, wounds of the past. In fact, these two also become friends; As he himself stated, Leo offers not only sex but also friendship.
As mentioned, apart from the two scenes at the end of the movie, the only venue takes place in a hotel room in London. However, it does not make the audience feel stuck there at all, on the contrary, with the warm and sincere conversations of the two characters, the film makes them feel as if they are watching them from the sofa in the hotel room, not in the movie theater.
My favorite part of the movie was about Leo’s real job, which he kept secret from his mother – sex worker vs oil worker; Which one is innocent and which one should be hidden? Are we applying the right algorithms when judging things?
And Emma Thompson’s amazing acting goes without any saying.
Without further ado, let me end the article with the words of MaryAnn Johanson in which I share her feelings:
“I love this movie so much. I love it for its honesty, its humanity, its utter uselessness for shame or embarrassment over a basic human need, the female experience of which is almost universally ignored onscreen. I love how it upends stereotypes. I love how it challenged my own perceptions of sex work.”
Good Luck to You, Leo Grande – watch it, make people watch it.
Where did I see it: Films by The Sea IFF, Vlissingen, Netherlands