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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Good Luck To You, Leo Grande (2022)

Directed by Sophie Hyde, written by Katy Brand and starring Emma Thompson? All sounds very 'Ladies That Clique'. No bad thing, I guess, but given this, expectations will naturally be high.

This turns out to be pretty much what you would expect, reading the synopsis of a retired Religious Education Teacher paying for a 'sex worker', the eponymous Leo Grande (Daryl McCormack) to, for want of a better euphemism, give her a good seeing to. Establishing early on that she never had an orgasm and that sex with her now deceased husband was ever anything more than 'by the numbers', we can already see where this is going. Just how we get there is what makes this interesting.

The performances are excellent, but this is a double-edged sword, as they actually feel like performances. There is an element of anonymity forcing a degree of acting anyway in these dangerous liaisons, but then getting actors to portray these characters, who are already acting like they are somebody else could become a little contrived if you stop and think about it for too long.

It has the making of a great stage play and I wouldn't be surprised if that was indeed where it ended up. We already know Katy Brand is funny and witty and sharp, so the script would be expected to impress, which it does in leaps and bounds. It helps when you can be confident as a writer that the performers can hear the inner voice you heard when you were writing, and that much is a given, as I say.

And the script is not just a British Sex Comedy, which have never fared well, but it addresses age and gender, loss of identity and the passage of time and its pitfalls, whilst still being being ironic and whimsical.

I enjoyed it a great deal. I don't think it will light a fire under anyone anymore than it will cause riots for its content, but this is very engaging and easy to watch overall.


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