Director: Sophie Hyde

97 mins, UK, 2021, Digital, F-Rated

Nancy Stokes (Emma Thompson), a recently widowed, uptight, and rather judgemental fifty-five year-old former religious education teacher, has, against her better judgement, paid a young, charming, and impossibly good-looking sex worker – the titular Leo Grande (Daryl McCormack) – for two hours of his time in an anonymous London hotel room, where, true to her schoolmarmish ways, she has a checklist of things she’d like to finally try, chief among them some good sex for once in her life. She is, however, desperately self-conscious and inexperienced, and evades Leo’s amorous advances by questioning the young Irishman about his family and motivations for choosing his profession. Sophie Hyde’s irresistible, impeccably acted comedy drama charts the unlikely duo’s subsequent encounters, as Nancy begins to overcome her inhibitions while Leo’s too-perfect image is revealed to be a construct that hides a deeper truth.

Notes by David O’Mahony

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