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Starring: Emma Thompson, Daryl McCormack, Isabella Laughland
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Comedy drama directed by Sophie Hyde. Good Luck to You, Leo Grande (2022) follows retired teacher Nancy Stokes (Emma Thompson), who is seeking romance and excitement after a boring marriage, and hires good-looking young sex worker, Leo Grande (Daryl McCormack), in the hope of enjoying a night of pleasure and self-discovery. As Nancy embarks on a post-marital sexual awakening and Leo draws on his skills and charm, together they find a surprising human connection.
Our Favorite Quotes:'Pleasure is a wonderful thing. It's something we should all have.' - Nancy Stokes (Good Luck to You, Leo Grande) Click To Tweet
Nancy Stokes: [referring to her perfume] Coco Chanel. Nigella Lawson wears it.
Leo Grande: Ah, Nigella. So sexy. Don’t you agree?
Nancy Stokes: Yes. No, I was waiting for you to say, “For her age.” Most people say, when a woman’s over about forty-two, that she’s sexy “for her age”. I was waiting for that.
Leo Grande: Ah, right. No, Nigella Lawson is empirically sexy, at any age.
Leo Grande: Hey, Nancy?
Nancy Stokes: Yes?
Leo Grande: We’re going to have a great time.
Nancy Stokes: Okay.
Nancy Stokes: Sorry, I’m a bit distracted, because up close you really are very good looking.
Leo Grande: Thank you.
Nancy Stokes: Even more than in your photo.
Leo Grande: Ah, I’m better in 3D.
Leo Grande: There’s nothing crass about getting paid for your work, Nancy, trust me on that.
Nancy Stokes: [referring to his job] Do you enjoy it?
Leo Grande: You know what? I love it, Nancy. Meeting all kinds of people. Getting up to all sorts of things, mutual pleasure.
Nancy Stokes: You don’t feel demeaned then?
Leo Grande: Not at all.
Nancy Stokes: Or degraded?
Leo Grande: No.
Leo Grande: So, what is your fantasy?
Nancy Stokes: I’m not sure you could really class it as a fantasy as such. It’s a bit mundane for that.
Leo Grande: Okay. Well, what would you most desire? I mean, desires are never mundane.
Nancy Stokes: To have sex tonight with you. That’s about it really, for the moment.
Nancy Stokes: I’m just not very good at waiting for things to happen. I’m much better when they’ve happened and I’m recovering.
Leo Grande: You make it sound like it’s an ordeal. It’s not compulsory.
Nancy Stokes: I’ve never done anything like this before. I’ve never bought anybody like this for my own…
Leo Grande: Pleasure.
Nancy Stokes: Use.
Leo Grande: Nancy, listen to me. I choose to do this. You know, you haven’t bought me. You’ve bought my service. I set a price and you agreed. I’m not being exploited.
Nancy Stokes: I can’t bear the suspense. I can’t bear it.
Leo Grande: The anticipation?
Nancy Stokes: Yes, of disappointment.
Leo Grande: Why do you assume you’ll be disappointed?
Nancy Stokes: Because I’ve always been disappointed before.
'We're all stuck with whatever we get, aren't we? Parents and children alike.' - Nancy Stokes (Good Luck to You, Leo Grande) Click To Tweet
Nancy Stokes: [to Leo] Your confidence is endearing, and no doubt necessary to the job, but I feel I must warn you it is misplaced. And I don’t want you to feel bad about it, because I won’t be faking it. I don’t do that. Not anymore.
Nancy Stokes: In fact, if we do this, you will only be the second man I have ever had sex with in my entire life. There, I said it.
Leo Grande: Well, thank you for telling me.
Nancy Stokes: If you want to leave now, I’m very happy to pay half of what we agreed.
Leo Grande: I don’t want to leave, Nancy. Nothing is making me want to leave. I won’t leave unless I’m clearly instructed to, or I feel I’m in physical danger.
Nancy Stokes: It’s all quite an education.
Leo Grande: I hope it continues.
Nancy Stokes: You’re being saucy.
Leo Grande: “Saucy”? My grandmother used to say the word “saucy”.
Nancy Stokes: I’d rather not think about your grandmother right now if you don’t mind.
Nancy Stokes: It’s just not very “me”, I’m a teacher. Well, I was a teacher. I used to set my pupils essays on the moral issues surrounding sex work, and here I am participating in it.
Nancy Stokes: Well, then I simply don’t understand it.
Leo Grande: You don’t understand what?
Nancy Stokes: Why you’re doing this.
Leo Grande: Oh. Oh, well, if you really want to know, I’m using the money I make doing this to save up for college.
Nancy Stokes: Oh. Oh, how wonderful. Are you really?
Leo Grande: No.
Leo Grande: I don’t need any little blue pills.
Nancy Stokes: Never?
Leo Grande: Never.
Nancy Stokes: But what if you don’t fancy the person? I mean, you can’t force yourself, surely, if you don’t.
Leo Grande: There’s always something to fancy.
Nancy Stokes: No, there isn’t.
Leo Grande: There is.
Nancy Stokes: What’s the oldest person you’ve ever done it with?
Leo Grande: That’s a bit reductive, Nancy.
Nancy Stokes: “Reductive”, that’s a good word. I like it.
Leo Grande: Yes, it is a good word. I’m glad you like it. I chose it just for you.
'Achievable goals. That's the path to happiness. There's no point in wishing for the moon.' - Nancy Stokes (Good Luck to You, Leo Grande) Click To Tweet
Nancy Stokes: [after Leo’s revealed the oldest person he’s slept with] Eighty-two!
Leo Grande: Yeah.
Nancy Stokes: Eighty-two.
Leo Grande: Nancy.
Nancy Stokes: Okay, I’m feeling a bit better now.
Leo Grande: Do you not find me attractive?
Nancy Stokes: Don’t be ridiculous. You’re clearly aesthetically perfect, and apparently nice enough.
Leo Grande: What did you picture happening? I mean, why did you book me if you don’t want to do it?
Nancy Stokes: I don’t know at this point. A moment of madness, that’s all. That’s all.
Leo Grande: I bet you thought about it for days before.
Nancy Stokes: Weeks. Well, months. Years, perhaps.
Leo Grande: Well, then it’s not a moment of madness. This is what you want, Nancy. And now that you have it, why won’t you take it? Why won’t you take what you want, when it’s right here, within reach.
Nancy Stokes: Oh, I don’t know. It feels controversial suddenly.
Leo Grande: I don’t find it controversial.
Nancy Stokes: To want something like this. Even to want it.
Nancy Stokes: I don’t want an old man. I want a young one. A young body. And no offence, I have to pay for that. Of course I do.
Leo Grande: Well, I’m here. And I’m not offended.
Nancy Stokes: Why are you still here?
Leo Grande: I’m interested.
Nancy Stokes: In what?
Leo Grande: In you.
Nancy Stokes: Oh, for Heaven’s sakes, no need to patronise me.
Leo Grande: I’m not. You’re conflicted. Conflicted is interesting.
Nancy Stokes: You’ve never met a woman who can’t make up her mind before? I don’t believe that.
Leo Grande: I’ve met women who can’t decide which sandwich to have for lunch. But if we’ve ended up in a bedroom together, they usually know what they want at that point.
Nancy Stokes: Well, young women are different.
Leo Grande: Yes, I think they are.
'It's very stressful being a parent. It's a stress that never leaves you. It's like a thumb on a bruise.' - Nancy Stokes (Good Luck to You, Leo Grande) Click To Tweet
Nancy Stokes: I’m just curious about what it’s like for you. I mean, you’re clearly very bright.
Leo Grande: What makes you say that?
Nancy Stokes: Well, I’m a teacher, and I know there are some people who use the word “empirically” in a conversation, and there are very many who don’t. And the clever ones are those that do.
Nancy Stokes: I’ve never said this to anyone before, this is awful.
Leo Grande: It’s okay. Who am I going to tell? Come on.
Nancy Stokes: Well, the truth is I find him boring.
Leo Grande: You find your own son boring?
Nancy Stokes: Yes. That’s awful, isn’t it?
Leo Grande: I’ve just never heard anyone say that before.
Nancy Stokes: [referring to her daughter] She lives in Barcelona, in this bohemian set-up. They’re all artists, although I’ve never seen any actual art. Unless the art consists of burning your parents money, which, actually, it’s not out of the question.
Leo Grande: At least she’s not boring.
Nancy Stokes: No. No. There is that. There is that.
Leo Grande: I’m in awe of anyone who becomes a mother. It’s the hardest job in the world.
Nancy Stokes: Did you get that off Mumsnet or something?
Leo Grande: Sorry?
Nancy Stokes: It’s a bit general. Not all mothers are good.
Leo Grande: Well, I wouldn’t know. I’ve only had one.
Nancy Stokes: Yeah, we’re all stuck with whatever we get, aren’t we? Parents and children alike.
Nancy Stokes: I think I may have killed the mood.
Leo Grande: I’m not sure there was a mood. I’m sorry, that was rude of me.
Nancy Stokes: No, it’s true.
Leo Grande: No, but you’re not paying for the truth though. You’re paying for a fantasy.
Nancy Stokes: At this moment, I’m not sure what I’m paying for.
Leo Grande: I can show you.
Nancy Stokes: I don’t doubt it.
Leo Grande: [after Nancy reveals her husband only performed missionary sex] And that’s the only sex you’ve ever had?
Nancy Stokes: Correct.
Leo Grande: Wow.
Nancy Stokes: “Wow” indeed.
Nancy Stokes: So I’ve made a list of things that I’d like to get through.
Leo Grande: Oh, that sounds sexy.
Nancy Stokes: Don’t mock me. I’m a teacher. Old habits die hard.
Leo Grande: What’s first in the list?
Nancy Stokes: Number one, I perform oral sex on you. Number two, you perform oral sex on me. Number three, we do a sixty-nine, if that’s what it’s still called, I don’t know. Four, me on top. Five, doggy style.
Leo Grande: Well, that all sounds very achievable.
Nancy Stokes: Oh, does it? Oh, good. Good. Because I have no frame of reference. I’ve tried looking on the Internet, but it’s alarming, frankly. I mean, if you type in “classy po*n” to Google up pop twelve windows of erections. I mean, there’s no build-up at all. Have I booked enough time?
Leo Grande: You want to do it all today?
Nancy Stokes: Yes, if possible.
'It's not vain to enjoy your body. To love it.' - Leo Grande (Good Luck to You, Leo Grande) Click To Tweet
Leo Grande: Isn’t there something else that should be on that list?
Nancy Stokes: Like what?
Leo Grande: Well, I’d love for you to feel completely satisfied, if at all possible.
Nancy Stokes: Oh. Oh. The big “o”, in fact. Yes. No, I like a list that can be fully ticked-off. Achievable goals. That’s the path to happiness. There’s no point in wishing for the moon.
Leo Grande: Well, it’s an orgasm, you know. It’s not a Fabergé egg. People have them every day.
Leo Grande: You don’t have to do any of this.
Nancy Stokes: No, I know. But I want to be a woman of the world. I mean, there are nuns out there with more sexual experience than me. It’s embarrassing.
Leo Grande: Nancy, you can just let go.
Nancy Stokes: Let go? What am I letting go of, exactly? I mean, we need some sort of plan, don’t we? I don’t want to swing from the chandeliers and make loud animal noises.
Leo Grande: I’d like to see that.
Leo Grande: You’re letting go of the thing inside that grips you. You know, that judges you. That watches you from the outside.
Nancy Stokes: Christ, if I let go of that, anything might happen. That’s the only thing keeping my life together. Keeping it ticking along.
Leo Grande: Nancy. There is no exam. It’s all a dance.
Nancy Stokes: I don’t know the steps.
Leo Grande: An improvised dance, we just go where it takes us. There’s no timetable. There’s no bell.
Nancy Stokes: But I’ve only paid for two hours.
Leo Grande: Well, then let’s enjoy them. Every single minute.
Nancy Stokes: Robert, my husband, he never wanted to try anything new. He planned everything. I mean, even his own funeral actually. I was terrified he’d turn up on the day and tell me I’d put the wrong ham in the sandwiches. It wasn’t a furnace of passion that burnt out our relationship. It was more like the bottom drawer of an AGA.
Leo Grande: [to Nancy] I think you mean your marriage stewed slowly, because you pushed it to the back. And then forgot about it.
Leo Grande: [referring Nancy’s daughter calling her] Shall I answer it? “Hello, darling. I’m sorry, but your mother has something in her mouth right now. I could take your message if you would like.”
'You're the only adventure I've ever had. The only freedom.' - Nancy Stokes (Good Luck to You, Leo Grande) Click To Tweet
Nancy Stokes: Matthew will provide the grandchildren, I’ve no doubt of that. If Pamela can just keep herself alive, I’ll be happy.
Leo Grande: You don’t sound very happy.
Nancy Stokes: Well, it’s very stressful being a parent, Leo. It’s a stress that never leaves you. It’s like a thumb on a bruise.