It’s amazing to think that the Nancy that enters the non-place, gray, elegant and with elevator music, that is that hotel room is the same sex bomb of retirement age that detonates at the end of Good luck, Big Leo.. The woman who arrives at the room she reserved, nervous and dressed as a catechism teacher, is the same as at the end of the cycle, at the climax of this story, shown with a frontal and total nude of his body -which appears his age- and he doesn’t even bother to hide scars, cracks, or shifting flesh. The film directed by sophie hyde which has just been released in Argentina, tells the story of a recent widow who hires a sex worker because she has decided to experience something that until now was a mystery to her: orgasm.
Nancy has had an unsatisfactory sex life and hires a guy in his thirties on an ad hoc site who introduces himself as Big Leo for an accelerated: four dates in a hotel room -where practically the whole story takes place- to know what was lost in all these years. In his ignorance of clear pleasure we read between the lines a life put on pause to dedicate himself to other people.
It has been said of this British film that it puts real beauty into action, against the mandates of “discardability” suffered by those of us who recognize ourselves as feminine, and it is true. Also is true that Good luck…. takes a risk by talking about sex work in terms very alien to those that generally reappear in industrial cinema -the clichés of prostitutes rescued from a bad life by their clients, for example- and also brings to the table the urgency of recognition of basic labor and human rights for that sector of the population, there, here, and around the world.
But besides all that there is a primal daring. Behind a seemingly light plot with bedroom jokes, Good luck, Big Leo talk about bodily sovereignty. An issue that is never minor, much less now in times of regression of acquired rights – without going any further, in the Anglo-Saxon context, with the annulment of the ruling Roe vs. Wade-.
The Golden Age
It should also be said that Good luck… it is a “period” film. Or better: from a time when we are looking for new models to that increasingly long time that is old age. Nancy is precisely a character with a thirst for some of those other horizons, vital, linked. Good luck Big Leo It is part of a booming minigenre: mildly sexual comedies starring “ladies of a certain age”as they are Grace and Frankiewith Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, And Just Like That… the new version of Sex and the Cityeither Hacks. And the list of pochocleras with substance goes on: they are fun, light and perhaps their greatest value has to do with showing characters over 60 whose projections go far beyond caring for their grandchildren, wearing one-piece tights and waiting for the end in a rocking chair.
Daryl McCormack (of Peaky Blinders) plays the other character in this film, the scort who works under the pseudonym Leo Grande. With the patience of a hotel concierge, he exaggerates his professionalism as Nancy stammers and confesses her unhappiness, disappointment with her children, and her one frustrated moment of sexual ecstasy on vacation in Greece when she was 20. Leo uses his ear more than any other organ. He is a counselor, a masseur, a dancer, a laugher, a partygoer, a gigolo of good living.
The weak points of Good luck… they appear every time a didactic tone. Even with its good intentions, or perhaps precisely because of them, the script strives to direct the meaning instead of opening it. Leo’s infinite predisposition is not entirely believable. Another problem is the sometimes simplistic view of the sex work: that liberal idea? that there is only one transactionas if power relations were annulled in a neutralizing magma of the sex market. Age, class and also racial differences could come to the fore when what is shown is a good European lady with a young migrant. But here there is no place for those questions.
Nancy in the mirror: Emma Thompson nude
Why is it worth watching anyway? Good luck, Big Leo.? The beauty of Nancy, who gives the first impression of having recently escaped from the convent, is revealed as Emma Thomson does a tremendous job acting. As the meetings go by, his gestures change, his way of moving in space, of talking and laughing at himself.
It is not only that it shows a body that, due to its age and dimensions, is outside what we call hegemonic. Everything -the script, the editing, the direction of the actors- in Good luck… is set to show the self-discovery of the character. And that collaborates so that that other type of beauty that this actress embodies certain age not just a slogan: produces an effect on the way of seeing of the audience.
Something of that happened, and it was perhaps the bet of Lena Dunhamin Girls. That insistence on that type of body on stage had an effect on the ways in which the protagonist was perceived towards the end of the seasons. That same strategy -which links a way of filming with an ideological position- makes us think of another female character in certain age: Clear of Aquarius. A Sonia Braga Stunning, the happiest widow in Brazilian fiction since Doña Flora, who is fed up with the bad reactions on dates with men in front of her post-mastectomy body, also decides to hire sexual services.
Nancy’s victory, as Emma Thompson said when consulted on this topic, is that she finally sees her body “as her home.” At the end of the story, Leo retires because he fulfilled his mission and Nancy is alone in front of the mirror. that scene is all a declaration of hard-earned self-love. That Leo is already out of the picture in this full-length self-portrait is key. Nancy’s on herself is finally the look at stake.