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A promotional still from Good Luck To You, Leo Grande. Lead actors Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack are sitting up side by side in bed, staring straight into the camera.

Daily Helping for January 9th, 2023 – Good Luck To You, Leo Grande

I go see a lot of movies, because I adore going to the movie theatre. I love the big screen experience, and I often have movie days where I go see several movies back to back. And at the end of every year, I love to look back and choose my favourite movies of the year. In 2022, there were two clear winners. One, Everything Everywhere All At Once, which I sadly saw before this year’s challenge began and therefore couldn’t write about it. And two, Good Luck To You, Leo Grande, today’s daily helping. Both of these films were astonishingly brilliant, and everyone should see them at once.

They also couldn’t possibly be any more different from each other. Everything Everywhere All At Once is nearly impossible to describe, while Good Luck To You, Leo Grande can be summarized in one sentence: An aging widower, Nancy, hires a young sex worker, Leo, to help her experience the intimacy she’s missed out on her entire life. The film takes place mostly in one setting; the hotel room where Nancy and Leo have their rendezvous, and it almost entirely consists of dialogue between the two characters. And it’s just so, so, so good. This film touches on so many issues; ageism, sexuality, societal expectations, sex work, beauty standards, familial relationships, judgements, sexual shaming. And it does so in a nuanced, intelligent, and deeply empathetic way. I honestly could have listened to these two characters talk for hours.

Given that Good Luck To You, Leo Grande is basically a two-hander, it goes without saying that the success of this film was always going to hinge on the two lead actors. Thankfully, they are extraordinary. Emma Thompson, who can do no wrong in my book, gives one of the best performances of her career. Daryl McCormack, on the other hand, absolutely knocks it out of the park in what I hope will be the first of many staring roles. His Leo Grande was charming, compassionate, smart, sexy, confident, vulnerable, and layered, and he was the perfect foil to Thompson’s uptight Nancy.

I could go on and on about how much I love this movie, but you really should just watch it and see for yourself. But I will say one thing. This is a film about sex that thoroughly understands that consent is sexy, and all I can say is AMEN. If only the rest of Hollywood would get on board.

Suggestions for artists I should check out? Please contact me with your ideas. I hope you enjoyed your daily helping of art!