Talking about sex and what it means to indulge in it is taboo in many countries, especially for women who after their forties are considered old. It is true though because, in my original country, women won’t dare ask for attention from their own husbands that are occupied with women much younger. All that is what drives uncertainty and hesitancy towards their body. Because it is their locked and brainwashed brain that thinks it can’t ask for more than it is being granted.
Nancy Stoke is a 55-year-old widow who dreams of having some pleasure. For that, she hires a sex worker named Leo Grande, with whom she hopes she can begin experiencing sexual pleasure she never got the chance to have with her husband. She even creates a list of activities she wants to do with Leo. They begin to discuss all the aspects of the relationship, what she needs, and how she can achieve it. All until the moment when the boundaries set by Leo are broken.
As soon as you realize Emma Thompson is attached to portray Nancy Stoke, all the doubts disappear. But even by her standards, this movie exceeds all expectations, especially in the last act. Written by British comedian Katy Brand and directed by Sophie Hyde, the film touches on women’s sexuality in a very subtle way. Nancy, who happens to be a high-school religious study teacher, would never dare to be seen in the position she is in with Daryl McCormack’s Leo Grande, but the young man does everything possible for his client to feel comfortable and ready for the pleasure of a lifetime.
But for it to happen, Nancy must allow herself to open up, be ready and let her past go. But she won’t. And if she did, the film would not be as good and as funny as it was. But the most important aspect of the film is the age, desire and pleasure that’s never reserved for a certain category of people. It’s a universal need that everyone has a right to experience and Emma Thompson pulls it off perfectly well.