Good Luck to You, Leo Grande: Directed by: Sophie Hyde
SYNOPSIS: Follows Nancy Stokes, a 55 year-old widow who is yearning for some adventure, human connection and some sex, good sex.
Sundance comes with another banger backed by an Academy Award winner. Emma Thompson is a treasure in Hollywood and I was extremely excited to see her in this feature. Anchored in a single location with only two characters, I was very interested to see how this film was going to pull off the one location task and how the writing would shine. I am always skeptical of films that take place in one location, the need for good characters, interesting conversation and really solid writing is important and lots of times not executed to the fullest. I’m happy to say that this is not one of those films.
For starters, this film lives and dies with the chemistry of our leads, Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack. Both are absolutely delightful, Thompson bringing this sort of sweet anxiety to her role with McCormack bringing a suave confidence. They work as polar opposites, but as they say, opposites attract. As a film about sex, this is the furtherest thing from a film about sex. This is a film about our characters coming to terms with themselves and unpacking emotions that they have never unpacked before. Charming, emotional and so effortless.
I am a huge fan of the writing of this film. As discussed before, this is a character study of sex, self-worth and body image, but past that, this is a film about confronting ones fears, overcoming your past and blazing a trail forward. Katy Brand creates a beautiful piece of writing that thrives in the one location style of filmmaking. Conversation based but not dull. Smart, witty and just all together excellent. The writing flows together very well with the direction from Sophie Hyde who is able to make that one location always interesting, never boring and captivating. Everything works well here. This is the perfect combination of performance, writing, direction and technical.
FINAL: Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is a brilliantly executed one-location film about self-worth, age, sex and overcoming your past. Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack are excellent together and have really outstanding chemistry. The writing is smart, witty, at times hilarious and very emotional. That writing flows extremely well with direction from Sophie Hyde. A film full of charm, class and every range of emotion. Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is a lighthearted film that anyone can enjoy and is one of the biggest crowd pleasers of the film festival so far.
15 for Writing: 13
15 for Performances: 12
10 for Entertainment: 8
10 for Direction: 9
10 for Emotions: 8
5 for Cinematography: 3
5 for Score: 4
5 for Pacing: 4
15 for Technical: 12
5 for Rewatchability: 4
5 for Automatic: 5
Good Luck to You, Leo Grande: 82/100 | Grade: B-
Jack Lautaret is a banana meter approved film critic, the founder of the Jack Lautaret YouTube Channel and host of the Finatic Film Review Podcast. He is a member of the Online Film and Television Association. Twitter: @JackLautaret