FNE at Berlinale 2022: Special Gala: Good Luck To You Leo Grande

    FNE at Berlinale 2022: Special Gala: Good Luck To You Leo Grande source: www.berlinale.de

    BERLIN: Australian director Sophie Hyde has been awarded a Berlinale Special Gala for her film Good Luck to You Leo Grande, which arrives in Berlin after making a critical splash in Sundance. Hyde is already a Sundance regular with her previous films 52 Sundays (2014) and the comedy Animals (2019) also screening in Sundance.

    English comedian Katy Brand has written the script for this two-hander that is deftly directed by Hyde and with those hands belonging to Daryl McCormack and Emma Thompson the film can hardly go wrong. Based in Adelaide, South Australia, Hyde is an accomplished producer, writer and documentary maker establishing her reputation on the international scene.

    Nancy Stokes, played by Emma Thompson, is a 55-year-old retired teacher, who has never experienced an orgasm, or any satisfying sex at all. Her marriage was stable but dull, dull dull and her late husband was the only man she had ever slept with. Determined to find out what sex is all about, Nancy takes the leap and hires the services of Leo Grande, a sex worker, in  his twenties played by Daryl McCormack. But she faces a complicated collection of inner barriers and taboos that hold her back from achieving her goal.

    Emma Thompson is one of Britain’s leading actresses and she has a long and distinguished history of great performances to her credit. Critics that saw the film in Sundance are already saying that this is likely to garner her further awards and kudos. Described as a performance that is incredibly entertaining and touching at the same time, she allows one crack to appear after another in a shell formed by many years of prohibitions dictated by a certain upbringing. By her side, the relaxed and self-assured demeanour of Irish born actor Daryl McCormack’s Leo Grande makes him the ideal partner on this quest for the right to experience pleasure. While meant no doubt the be in his early 20s in the film McCormack, an Irish actor best known for his roles in the RTÉ One soap opera Fair City and the BBC series Peaky Blinders. 

    The famous repressed sexuality of Britain’s middle class is the main theme of this touching story and while comic at the same time the story is meant to be touching.

    Speaking at the press conference Emma Thompson spoke about filming and rehearsing for the sex scenes saying: “One day we spent the entire day with no clothes on. I know you Germans are used to it, you are not so puritanical as we British are. During the rehearsals we really threw ourselves into it. It’s all about the body, and particularly for women about the shame.” She added that she didn’t think that female pleasure has ever been top of the agenda for most people and particularly in my country.”

    Credits: Good Luck To You Leo Grande (UK)
    Directed by Sophie Hyde
    Cast: Daryl McCormack, Emma Thompson