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How Can I See a Movie Before It's Released?

Dear Lifehacker, I'm very excited about the release of an upcoming film, but its release is the same weekend as my wedding. Naturally, I don't want to disappoint my bride-to-be, but I'd still like to see the movie. Is there somehow a legal way I can watch it before it's released?

Sincerely, Eager for Early Admission

While there's never a guarantee that you'll be able to see a movie before it's released, there are several things you can do to try and make it happen. You'll have the best luck in bigger cities like Los Angeles and New York, but I've lived in Boston and smaller cities and have been able to find advanced screenings from time to time. If an active film community exists in the area you should be in good shape. With that criterion met, here's where to look and what to do to try and earn yourself some pre-screening tickets.

Get on a Pre-Screening Program

Pre-screening programs get you free, advanced tickets to a lot of movies. Most frequently they're genre films and comedies, so if you're looking to see a drama prior to its release you probably won't have much luck. You also don't get to pick and choose which movies you see. You'll simply be contacted if a screening is available and the company needs someone in your age group. Pre-screenings are often overbooked to make sure the theater is packed, so you have to get there early and wait in line for awhile. It's really not an idea, situation, but if you want to see a movie before it's released and pay nothing at all, these programs give you the option.

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One of the most popular advanced screening programs is The Screening Exchange . It's based in Los Angeles but they operate nationally. You just sign up on their web site and you'll receive emails when screenings are available. If you want to find other companies, just do a web search for "advanced movie screenings" and the name of your city (or nearest big city). This will turn up additional results.

Use Social Media

Social media can be a huge help when you're looking for advanced screenings. A web search for "advanced movie screenings twitter" or "advanced movie screenings facebook" plus the name of your city (or nearest big city) will provide you with accounts and pages that post about the latest options. For example, @MassScreenings came up right away when I did a Twitter search for Boston. There was even a MeetUp group . You may not always find options, but if there are a fair amount of screenings in your area there's probably someone who's tracking them on social media.

Check Screening Schedules at Local Film Schools

Many film schools bring in special guests on a regular basis to show their films. Sometimes these films are several years old but sometimes they've yet to be released. Check the film schools in your area to find out if they have screenings. If they do, you can usually find a schedule online or call to get one. In the event that the school is screening the movie you want to see, you have a couple of options. First, if security is lax you can probably just sneak in. Alternatively, you can bribe a student to help you get in. If you'd prefer a safer route, set some time aside to take a tour of the film school. When the tour is over, talk to someone in admissions about attending some classes, such as the particular screening you want to see. Most of the time they'll agree.

Check Screening Schedules at Film Societies

Film societies can be a great resource for advanced screenings and they are everywhere, from San Francisco, CA to Sarasota, FL to Austin, TX to the Twin Cities of Minnesota . Find a film society in your area and check their screening schedule. Most of the time you'll find advanced screenings of mostly dramas and independent films, so film societies are a good place to look if you're not in the market for a blockbuster Hollywood movie.

See If the Film Is Playing at an Upcoming Film Festival

Film festivals are generally seen as a platform for independent films, but there are plenty of bigger movies that screen as well. Often times they are part of gala events and require expensive passes, but you can sometimes circumvent this problem by waiting in a line. The rules will depend on the festival, but if one is underway when you want to see an advanced screening you should definitely check its schedule to see if the option is available. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Get on Movie Theater Mailing Lists

Although movie theaters generally won't screen films too far in advance, occasionally they'll offer tickets a few days ahead of release if you're a member of their mailing list. It may be yet another email in your inbox, but it doesn't take long to scan for advanced screening options and hit delete if you don't find anything appealing.

While none of these options can promise you an advanced seat at the theater, they're a good start. It can be fun to see a movie before it's out, but ultimately it's just a film. If you have to wait a little longer than everyone else, the movie will still be there when you get back and you'll be all the more excited to see it. Give this stuff a shot, but don't be too disappointed if you have to wait.

Love, Lifehacker

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Emma Thompson's New Movie Puts Aging and Sexuality into a Revolutionary New Light

Talking to the actress and her co-star Daryl McCormack about intimacy and the politics of consent.

daryl mccormack and emma thompson in the film good luck to you, leo grande photo courtesy of searchlight pictures © 2022 20th century studios all rights reserved

With a prolific career that has spanned four decades and garnered two Academy Awards, Emma Thompson is no stranger to delivering awe-inspiring, critically acclaimed performances on the big screen. But while her illustrious résumé includes Sense and Sensibility , Howards End , Love Actually , Nanny McPhee, and Saving Mr. Banks , Thompson’s latest outing finds her baring it all for the first time—both literally and metaphorically.

Directed by Sophie Hyde and written by Katy Brand, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande , which is now streaming on Hulu, follows a middle-aged, widowed, and recently retired religious education teacher named Nancy Stokes (Thompson) who, after a lifetime of sexual repression, decides to hire a charming, young sex worker named Leo Grande, played by Peaky Blinders ’ Daryl McCormack. Though they might not be a conventional match on paper, Leo uses his skills to help Nancy experience a life-changing sexual awakening, leading the pair to form a surprising human connection in the process.

“Nancy has spent 30 years looking down on these young people that she’s teaching—young people who aren’t that much younger than Leo,” Thompson tells BAZAAR.com . “But in this instance, she looks up. I know that sounds sort of, well, shallow, but actually, with a pedagogue like Nancy, a teacher who’s normally right, Leo teaches her so much. There was something very powerful about the act of looking up.”

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In a joint Zoom interview, Thompson and McCormack speak about the film’s revolutionary depiction of female desire and sexuality, the importance of consent and communication in intimate encounters, and how their characters help to “unlock” a new part of each other before going their separate ways.

In some ways, one could argue this film unfolds like a four-act play—each act for a different meeting. What kinds of early conversations did you have either together or with your director, Sophie Hyde, about building that sense of trust and intimacy that permeates throughout the film?

Daryl McCormack: I felt like it started to happen quite organically for both of us. I think we both really were aware [of] how much we needed to trust each other in order to go through this film together, because it does bring us to such places of vulnerability, but as people, we needed to just feel like we were totally safe in each other’s hands. I think we just started analyzing who these people were and knowing that they were individuals in a room, and in a sense how the piece brings them to a place where they’re very parallel and that they actually cross and go off in different directions by the end of the film.

Personally, it was mainly just developing a sense of comfort with Emma as an actor, because for me, it was very daunting at first. But the more we got to know each other, the more we could just speak, and I think the essence of ourselves just fed into the characters.

Emma Thompson: That’s right, absolutely. It was a very sort of organic process, and we were very much thrown together—all of us—because we shot it in lockdown [in 19 days]. Norwich, the city we shot it in, which is quite small and beautiful, felt so quiet. It was like it was there for us alone, and we walked around on our own, and we had very little time off, and during that time we were running the lines and trying to work out, “Who was passing who? What is happening here?What’s happening?” Because it is two people in the room, but it’s not a play. It wouldn’t work in the same way as a play, because you need the infinite landscape of the face and the body to go right in there. And Sophie’s intention of making us feel one another, feel like you’re in the room with them, feel what it’s like to be them—this is something that only movies can achieve.

Daryl, in the opening scene, Leo tells Nancy that he doesn’t feel demeaned or degraded—and in some ways, he thinks being a sex worker is his vocation. What did you take away from your own real-life research and conversations with sex workers that you wanted to convey on the screen?

DM: With Leo, I really wanted to convey the sense of power that I felt they have found in their vocation. We were really lucky to speak to a handful of sex workers that were honestly inspiring, going into a profession that very much can be dangerous, they were able to just draw such authority and such boundaries for themselves to work in a safe environment, to then offer something of what I felt was beautiful value. I just found that completely admiring, and so my hope really was just to carry essences of all of them into Leo, and just hope that that sense of self and that sense of Leo having gone on a journey to find out who he is as a young man behind just being a sex worker, that I was embodying that in the room.

emma thompson and daryl mccormack in the film good luck to you, leo grande photo courtesy of searchlight pictures © 2022 20th century studios all rights reserved

In this film, there are a number of shots of your characters looking at their own reflection. What do you think Nancy and Leo see when they see themselves in the mirror, and how would you say that is indicative of the way they both move through the world?

ET: That’s a really good question. It’s a good question for all of us—isn’t it?—with regard to our relationship with mirrors, which I don’t think are the best invention. [ McCormack laughs. ] They’re hard, shiny surfaces reflecting a hard, shiny version of the self, and actually they are very good things to cover up from time to time and forget about so that you can reenter your body and be inside it. We talk about the male gaze and the female gaze and objectification, but we objectify ourselves every time we look in a mirror. We go, “Oh, I’m over there, reflected in that surface.” But is that you? Is that how you feel? It’s so interesting.

When Nancy looks in the mirror, you can see her, she can see nothing but faults , and Leo is standing behind her going, “You can’t see any beauty?!” And he’s trying to help her, and she gets angry and says, “You know what? I suppose you spend a lot of time in the gym,” because she feels less than, and then they have a kind of spat. The mirror provokes reactions. But then at the end, when she looks at herself in the mirror, she’s finally able to use a kind of neutral gaze that says, “This body is mine now. It’s mine again. I own it, and I live in it. It’s given me this beautiful moment of unbridled, unboundaried pleasure, and I gave that to myself, because this young man saw that I could do that.” It’s such a touching, essential, and private moment. So it was very, very moving to do. [ Turns to McCormack. ] But your looks in the mirror are so different.

DM: Yeah, Leo has moments in the mirror when he’s in the room on his own, and I think Katy did such a great job of inviting these moments, these kind of private moments, because you see both characters in the room together. So to see them both actually having a private moment in the mirror on their own was very powerful.

But Leo is very different. I think his moment in the mirror is something that catches him off guard and something he doesn’t really anticipate. And it’s that thing where you see the surface level, and it kind of throws him into certain spirals of shame that he knows he’s grown past and he knows that he’s better than, but I just thought it was so interesting because, despite him showing such an almost perfect image, he still [has those] struggles.

There’s another pivotal scene when Nancy starts to allow herself to feel attracted to Leo, and she asks him to take his shirt off and asks for permission to touch him. Why do you think those depictions of consent and intimacy are so important when it comes to illustrating the constantly changing power dynamics between these two characters?

DM: I think it’s just such a beautiful moment in the film, because I think Leo’s main objective is to lay a safe foundation for Nancy to explore this and to feel that she has authority over it, too, and that she has access to ask for what she wants and to go and explore what she wants.

It’s such an amazing moment, because it kind of catches you off guard. I think there is a moment where she just feels relaxed, and all she does at first is feel his arms, and I just think it’s really beautiful to invite consent into that, because it really does become part of her desire to explore these experiences. I really felt like it does honor what sex workers do as well, which is lay the foundation for their client to go and have the experience that they want.

Katy did a really good job of making sure that consent is that navigating factor, because—we were just saying this—it adds to the sexiness, knowing [that] somebody wants something and that they ask and someone says, “Yes,” and then it continues. It propels that feeling of like, “This is right, this is what I want, and we’re allowed to ask for what we want.”

ET: The eroticization of consent is hugely important in this movie. It’s very erotic to say to someone, “Is this okay?” And then for that person to say, “ Yes .” It’s such a beautiful moment when Leo says, “Yes, of course. Yes, you can touch.” And she’s partly curious because she’s never felt a body like his before, but also she’s overwhelmed with this desire, with this lust—and she can’t even cope with it! She has to sit down and take a step away! Because that’s the first unlocking, actually, in a way, when she just goes, “Oh, my God,” [and] this [feeling] comes up inside her. It was such a beautiful thing to play.

daryl mccormack and emma thompson  in the film good luck to you, leo grande photo courtesy of searchlight pictures © 2022 20th century studios all rights reserved

Emma, you’ve already talked about how many people think it was brave of you to drop your robe at the end of the film as Nancy because they aren’t used to seeing untreated bodies. How did you decide how you wanted to stand in that moment, and what do you think that moment in the movie represents for Nancy in terms of her place in the world outside of this room?

ET: I decided to look at some old paintings. I went to the medieval paintings of Eve, because I thought, “This is a kind of prelapsarian moment for Nancy. She’s gone back to a kind of God.” She describes, “My body’s now a garden of delights,” or, “a paradise of delights.” And I thought, “What does that mean? What does she mean?”

She found herself in this new place where she can feel pleasure inside this body, which has become like a sort of garden to her. So I went and looked at pictures of Eve, and she’s always standing in the same way in those medieval pictures—they both are, actually. They’re just standing incredibly relaxed with one leg slightly bent, one knee crooked, and I thought, “That’s so interesting. I’ve never stood like that in front of a mirror ever .”

In this moment, Nancy’s seeing her body as her own, an unlocked space in which she can experience this beautiful human thing—sexual pleasure, erotic pleasure—and she’s completely at ease with it, and she’s so happy and released. It’s a moment of deep, deep release, and that’s not something that anyone I know associates with standing in front of a mirror. That’s not what I feel, but she does. So that’s what’s happening in that moment, I feel, for her, an unlocking.

The entire film is built on the interplay of power and intimacy between these two characters who come from very different walks of life. Was there a piece of direction from Sophie that changed the way you navigated or thought of a particular scene?

DM: The fourth and final meeting where they meet outside of the room. There was a really interesting power dynamic there, because I felt like Nancy had done so much growing to the point where she had experienced all this, but even [she] knew when she overstepped a certain boundary, and Leo was coming in slightly hurt and slightly guarded. I think that’s a beautiful moment in terms of power and intimacy, because there’s true recognition, and then to see that they go flung back into one of the most celebrated parts of intimacy in the film. It was just a testament to Katy writing those shifts, but that for me was interesting about power.

ET: Absolutely, because Nancy’s much older, and she’s a teacher, so she will have made a lot of assumptions about Leo. And we all make assumptions about one another—we all do, that’s just a human thing—but every single one of those assumptions is utterly and completely blown out of the water by her experiences with him. She reveals herself to him in a way that she’s never revealed herself to anyone . And it’s not romantic, it’s just honest, because the only way she can reach herself is by clawing aside, unpeeling all of these accepted tropes: “No, I actually don’t find my children that interesting. No, I wasn’t that keen on being a mom. I actually maybe could have done something more interesting with my life, I don’t know.” All of the things that she says are quite taboo subjects. It’s very difficult for a mother to say that— very difficult.

I mean, I don’t hear women saying that. It’s too dangerous. It undoes everything inside you, because motherhood is such a massive part of our psyches, but she gives it all up to Leo. And at the end of it, all she can do is apologize and thank him for what he’s done for her. She learns so, so much, and she’s able then to say to the young girl they meet in the cafe, “No, this is what we’re doing, and I want you to understand that pleasure is right.”

And … all of the sort of ingested misogynistic, patriarchal modes that she lived in—because she grew up with them—she’s had to let them go. That’s amazing to see someone quite so hidebound change in that way—and through pleasure. We think pleasure is sort of pointless. [ They both laugh. ] But, no, it’s not pointless. It’s spiritually, hugely important and often very healing, and they heal one another. It’s a beautiful thing to have had the privilege to play.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is now streaming on Hulu.

Max Gao is a freelance entertainment and sports journalist based in Toronto. He has written for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, NBC News, Sports Illustrated, The Daily Beast, Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, Men's Health, Teen Vogue and W Magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @MaxJGao.

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Good Luck to You, Leo Grande: how to watch, awards and everything we know about the Emma Thompson film

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is a sensual comedy that shows retirement doesn’t mean you have to slow down.

Emma Thompson as Nancy and Daryl McCormack as Leo in Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande places a whole new spin on the idea of completing a bucket list. When many people think of retirement, they envision senior villages, cross-country trips in RVs or dinner reservations before 4 pm at local restaurants. If you happen to be one of these individuals, then you'll be in for quite the surprise when watching this new film from Emma Thompson. 

In the comedy, Thompson plays a retired school teacher and widow who realizes she's gone much of her life without good sex. While she loved her husband for many things, his bedroom endeavors were not one of them. With him gone and with some extra time on her hands, the former educator goes after what she wants with the help of a young and attractive sex worker. 

Here's everything we know about Good Luck to You, Leo Grande.  

How to watch Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is streaming on Hulu (available as a standalone streaming service or as part of the Disney Bundle ) in the US. It is available via digital on-demand in the UK.

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande runtime

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande has a runtime of 1 hour and 37 minutes. 

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande rating

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande has been rated R in the US and a 15 in the UK.  

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande reviews

It looks like Good Luck to You, Leo Grande has officially been classified by Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab) as "certified fresh" receiving a 96% on the Tomatometer. 

Wanting to check things out for ourselves, the WTW team ventured to see the film. Read our review for Good Luck to You, Leo Grande . 

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande awards and nominations

See the major awards and nominations that Good Luck to You, Leo Grande has earned:

Golden Globes

British Independent Film Awards

Satellite Awards

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande plot

Genesius Pictures, a production company behind Good Luck to You, Leo Grande , had this to say about the plot of the film: 

"The film follows Nancy Stokes, a retired schoolteacher and widow, who is yearning for some adventure, some human connections and some sex. Good sex. Whilst her husband Robert provided a home, a family and something resembling a life, good sex was never on offer. But he’s gone now and Nancy has a plan: she will find adventure with a sex worker named Leo Grande. 

"In an anonymous hotel room, Nancy greets Leo. He looks every bit as good as his picture, but what Nancy wasn’t expecting was conversation as well as fornication. Leo has a view on everything and though he may not always tell the truth, Nancy finds she likes him. And he likes her. With growing sexual confidence, Nancy starts to relax. Over the course of three rendezvous, the power dynamics shift and their well-worn masks begin to slip.

"Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is an uplifting comedy that challenges expectations. Nancy & Leo discover an unexpected bond in this hilarious, heartwarming sex-positive tale of empowerment and self-discovery."

Is it us, or is anyone else oddly reminded of Blanche Devereaux from the legendary series The Golden Girls ? 

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande cast 

Again, starring as the lead of Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is Emma Thompson. There aren’t enough good things than can be said about the incomparable actress. In her last big role as the Baroness in Disney's Cruella , she left quite the impression on viewers. Something about the character’s cheeky remarks and incredible sense of style almost made us forget who the focal point of the film actually was. 

Also on Thompson’s long resume are projects such as Last Christmas , Late Night , Bridget Jones's Baby and Men in Black: International . Additionally, we’re personally looking forward to her portrayal as Miss Trunchbull in the upcoming new Matilda movie. 

Joining the actress on screen is Peaky Blinders actor Daryl McCormack. Fans of the hit show will recall that he played Isiah Jesus. McCormack was featured in the series The Wheel of Time and the film Pixie as well.  

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande trailer 

The Good Luck to You, Leo Grande trailer is nothing short of entertaining. For those that are fans of the amazing series Grace and Frankie , this film may be up your alley.  

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande director 

Sophie Hyde had the distinct honor of directing Good Luck to You, Leo Grande . While this is arguably the most notable project that she’s been a part of thus far, she certainly has other credits under her belt. Hyde has also directed Animals , The Hunting and 52 Tuesdays .  

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Terrell Smith has a diverse writing background having penned material for a wide array of clients including the federal government and Bravo television personalities.  When he’s not writing as Terrell, he’s writing under his pseudonym Tavion Scott, creating scripts for his audio drama podcasts. Terrell is a huge fan of great storytelling when it comes to television and film. Some of his favorite shows include  The Crown ,  WandaVision , Abbot Elementary   and  Godfather of Harlem .  And a fun fact is he's completely dialed into the TLC  90 Day Fiancé  universe. 

new movie releases emma thompson

Lily James, Shazad Latif & Emma Thompson star in spring's must-see romantic comedy

In partnership with studiocanal.

Individually they’ve starred in some of the UK’s best-loved romantic comedies, including Love Actually , Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again , Yesterday and Bridget Jones’ Baby . And now Dame Emma Thompson and Lily James are teaming up to play mother and daughter alongside rising star Shazad Latif in what promises to be the must-see film of spring, What’s Love Got To Do With It?

From a screenplay by Jemima Khan , inspired by her own romance with cricketer and former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, the romantic comedy drama takes a fresh look at the modern world of romance against a vibrant backdrop of London and Lahore.

Take our poll:

Lily James plays documentary maker Zoe, exhausted from swiping to find her Mr Right and coping with the strong opinions voiced by her mother Cath (Emma Thompson). Zoe’s childhood friend Kazim (Shazad Latif) is a doctor who plans to follow his parents’ wishes for an assisted marriage with a bride from Pakistan.

WATCH: What's Love Got To Do With It? trailer

The pair ponder love, friendship and families as Zoe starts filming a documentary about Kazim’s upcoming nuptials. As their worlds collide, Zoe discovers she may need to adopt a new approach to her relationships… and there might just be a ‘will they won’t they’ storyline to keep us all guessing too!

The film is touted to become the next blockbuster hit from StudioCanal and Working Title, producers of some of the most iconic romantic comedies in history, including Bridget Jones’ Diary, Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral and About Time. 

a poster for the film What's Love Got To Do With It?

Promising vibrant costumes, a heartwarming story and lots of laughs along the way, What’s Love Got To Do With It?  is a moving celebration of love in its many forms. Its cross-cultural approach and diverse ensemble cast adds a fresh spin to this much-loved genre, with a soundtrack that features Naughty Boy and Lily herself. 

Expect hilarious one-liners from Kazim's older relatives, a love story that keeps you guessing and poignant moments as Cath and Zoe rediscover their bond despite the former's 'unique' approach to parenting. The film makes an entertaining night out for friends or a thoughtful experience to share on Mother's Day. 

Lily James and Shazad Latif in their new film

What's Love Got To Do With It? is in UK cinemas from 24 February. Find local listings and buy tickets at  whatslovefilm.co.uk .


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Emma Thompson on her new film — and the idea the female orgasm has to be performative

Mary Louise Kelly, photographed for NPR, 6 September 2022, in Washington DC. Photo by Mike Morgan for NPR.

Mary Louise Kelly

Jonaki Mehta

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new movie releases emma thompson

Daryl McCormack and Emma Thompson star in the film, Good Luck To You, Leo Grande. Nick Wall/Searchlight Pictures hide caption

Daryl McCormack and Emma Thompson star in the film, Good Luck To You, Leo Grande.

In Good Luck to You, Leo Grande Emma Thompson plays a woman who decides to embark on a journey of sexual self-discovery and acceptance.

This period of introspection unfolds almost entirely inside one room with two people: Nancy Stokes (Thompson), a recently widowed woman who is reckoning with her marriage that lasted three decades without her experiencing a single orgasm, and Leo Grande (Daryl McCormack), the young sex worker who she has hired to teach her what she's been missing.

The Academy Award and BAFTA-winning actor spoke with All Things Considered and described the joy of portraying a woman on screen who is focused mostly on one thing: her own pleasure.

This interview with Mary Louise Kelly has been lightly edited for length and clarity. It contains some adult content.

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande film trailer.

Interview highlights

On why she wanted to play this character

She's bliss, she was bliss from beginning to end. She's a decent, ordinary, responsible woman. She represents an awful lot of women in my country. She's unintentionally, mostly funny. But the situation that she's in was irresistible to me. It was so unusual, I've never seen these two people in this situation, ever. It's sort of irresistibly delicious. It's delightful. It gives so much pleasure. And yet, there's so many conversations that can come out of it, that go very deep into the female experience, and the male experience of sex.

On what resonates for women who have watched the film

What resonates is the idea that the female orgasm somehow has to be performative. Because the female orgasm is there to convince the man that he's managed it, he's achieved it, he's done the thing he's supposed to do for the woman.

To be honest, brutally honest, an awful lot of men don't concern themselves with female orgasms, they don't care. It's remarkably kind of un-emotionally developed. And yet a sort of shared experience that leads to that kind of intense and releasing pleasure is actually available to us all.

And it would be nice if we could find a way towards it that was a little bit more skillful. And Leo is very, very skillful. What's so wonderful about the story is that Leo is not there to give Nancy her orgasm, that's not his purpose.

new movie releases emma thompson

McCormack, Thompson, and film director Sophie Hyde attend the Good Luck To You, Leo Grande premiere in New York City. Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Tribeca Festiva hide caption

McCormack, Thompson, and film director Sophie Hyde attend the Good Luck To You, Leo Grande premiere in New York City.

Another thing that's so irresistible about the film is that Leo's interested in pleasure for its own sake, and a feeling that it's something that everyone can have, but that a lot of people find difficult to access, which we know to be the case.

So therefore, for Leo, the examination of pleasure, particularly of female pleasure, is intimately connected with the fact that it would make the world a better place. And I feel that he's right about that. How he says, "Oh, imagine how much less BS there would be." And I also imagine how much less sexual violence there would be.

On the role of nudity and representing an older woman at peace with her own body

It is radical because normally, the bodies that we choose to put on screen have been treated in some way. They're either bodies that conform to what we've decided is the ideal, which is impossible for most people to achieve, which is why most women will look in the mirror, or not look in the mirror, because they experience a kind of loathing or hatred, or at the very least a dissatisfaction.

new movie releases emma thompson

Thompson says she found her character to be "irresistibly delicious." Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images hide caption

Thompson says she found her character to be "irresistibly delicious."

Oddly enough, I went quite into sort of the past. I thought, "How am I going to do this?" I don't know how to do this, because I can't do it. But how does Nancy get there? What's going on inside her? And I decided that because she had experienced this joy, that suddenly she's looking at her body without any filters.

She's seeing it for the first time as her home, the place where she lives, the place where she can experience joy on her own or with someone else should she choose. And when I was trying to work out how I wanted her to stand, I went and looked at all the old medieval pictures of Eve in the Garden of Eden because I thought, "Well, she wasn't self conscious." It was all male artists, but at the same time, all those medieval Eves and Adams, they just stand with one leg slightly bent, very relaxed. And that's what I took for my inspiration for her stance.

On how the role changed or liberated her in her own life

I think what it did for me, certainly, was it made me re-recognize the waste of time that non-acceptance of one's body is. It's a waste of our time. And God knows I've wasted a lot of time. And of course, that's not my fault, actually. Because the iconography that surrounds us is absolutely inescapable. They gave me the opportunity to put my body where my mouth is, and to allow a film to be made that I hope will be of some assistance, indeed, to young women, and indeed to young mothers whose 8-year-olds are saying, "I don't like my thighs." So everything about it, I hope, will give people a release and a kind of desire to appreciate themselves, to appreciate their bodies, and what their bodies can do for them and not to continually want them to be something else.

This interview was adapted for the web by Manuela Lopez Restrepo

British Period Dramas

British period drama movies & TV series

British Period Dramas

Lily James and Emma Thompson star in ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It?’ trailer

Downton Abbey star Lily James is back on our screens soon with a brand new romantic comedy!

The English actress has launched a stellar movie career since playing Lady Rose in ITV’s hit period drama series , appearing in the likes of Rebecca , The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society , The Dig , Darkest Hour , and Mamma Mia 2 .

Now she’s back in What’s Love Got To Do With It? , alongside national treasure Emma Thompson as her mum.

In a rare bit of casting for Lily James, this one’s not a period drama, but we do love a rom-com so we thought we’d let you know about it anyway!

Watch the trailer here:

The official synopsis reads: “How do you find lasting love in today’s world? For documentary-maker and dating app addict Zoe (Lily James), swiping right has only delivered an endless stream of Mr Wrongs, to her eccentric mother Cath’s (Emma Thompson) dismay.

“For Zoe’s childhood friend and neighbour Kaz (Shazad Latif), the answer is to follow his parents’ example and opt for an arranged (or “assisted”) marriage to a bright and beautiful bride from Pakistan.

“As Zoe films his hopeful journey from London to Lahore to marry a stranger, chosen by his parents, she begins to wonder if she might have something to learn from a profoundly different approach to finding love.”

new movie releases emma thompson

What’s Love Got To Do With It? will be released in cinemas on 23rd January 2023 .

The movie comes from the director of Elizabeth , Shekhar Kapur, and is written by Jemima Khan ( American Crime Story ).

Its cast also includes Shazad Latif ( Spooks ), Asim Chaudhry ( Black Mirror ), Shabana Azmi ( 24 ), Sajal Aly, Jeff Mirza ( The Good Karma Hospital ), poet Mim Shaikh, Iman Boujelouah, Mariam Haque ( Black Mirror ), and comedian Sindhu Vee.

Based on Daphne du Maurier’s classic novel,  Lily James’ 2020 adaptation of Rebecca is streaming on Netflix now – here’s the trailer:

Lily James hasn’t reprised her role as Lady Rose in either of the two Downton Abbey movies, but perhaps she’ll return in the rumoured third film ?

Downton Abbey: The Complete Collection  box set is  available on DVD on Amazon .

new movie releases emma thompson

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack in Good Luck to You, Leo Grande (2022)

Nancy Stokes, a retired school teacher, is yearning for some adventure, and some sex. And she has a plan, which involves hiring a young sex worker named Leo Grande. Nancy Stokes, a retired school teacher, is yearning for some adventure, and some sex. And she has a plan, which involves hiring a young sex worker named Leo Grande. Nancy Stokes, a retired school teacher, is yearning for some adventure, and some sex. And she has a plan, which involves hiring a young sex worker named Leo Grande.

Official Trailer

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If “you want the iconography of the female body to change,” Emma Thompson said, “then you better be part of the change.”

Emma Thompson and the Challenge of Baring All Onscreen at 63

The actress made the choice to disrobe. Still, she says, it was the most difficult thing she’s ever done in her four-decade career.

If “you want the iconography of the female body to change,” Emma Thompson said, “then you better be part of the change.” Credit... Charlotte Hadden for The New York Times

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Nicole Sperling

By Nicole Sperling

It’s the shock of white hair you notice first on Emma Thompson, a hue far more chic than anything your average 63-year-old would dare choose but one that doesn’t ignore her age either. It’s accompanied by that big, wide smile and that knowing look, suggesting both a wry wit and a willingness to banter.

And yet, Thompson begins our video call by MacGyvering her computer monitor with a piece of paper and some tape so she can’t see herself. “The one thing I can’t bear about Zoom is having to look at my face,” she said. “I’m just going to cover myself up.”

We are here across two computer screens to discuss what is arguably her most revealing role yet. In the new movie “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande,” directed by Sophie Hyde, Thompson is emotionally wrought and physically naked, and not in a lowlight, sexy kind of way.

Thompson plays Nancy, a recently widowed, former religious schoolteacher who has never had an orgasm. At once a devoted wife and a dutiful mother harboring volumes of regret for the life she didn’t live and the dull, needy children she raised, Nancy hires a sex worker — a much younger man played by relative newcomer Daryl McCormack (“Peaky Blinders”) — to bring her the pleasure she’s long craved. The audience gets to follow along as this very relatable woman — she could have been your teacher, your mother, you — who in Thompson’s words “has crossed every boundary she’s ever recognized in her life,” grapples with this monumental act of rebellion.

“Yes, she’s made the most extraordinary decision to do something very unusual, brave and revolutionary,” Thompson said from her office in North London. “Then she makes at least two or three decisions not to do it. But she’s lucky because she has chosen someone who happens to be rather wise and instinctive, with an unusual level of insight into the human condition, and he understands her, what she’s going through, and is able gently to suggest that there might be a reason behind this.”

Daryl McCormack and Thompson in “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande,” which the screenwriter Katy Brand wrote with the actress in mind.

Thompson met the challenge with what she calls “a healthy terror.” She knew this character at a cellular level — same age, same background, same drive to do the right thing. “Just a little sliver of paper and chance separates me from her,” she quipped.

Yet the role required her to reveal an emotional and physical level of vulnerability she wasn’t accustomed to. (To ready themselves for this intimate, sex-positive two-hander that primarily takes place in a hotel room, Thompson, McCormack and Hyde have said they spent one of their rehearsal days working in the nude.) Despite a four-decade career that has been lauded for both its quality and its irreverence and has earned her two Academy Awards, one for acting (“Howards End”) and one for writing ( “Sense and Sensibility” ), Thompson has appeared naked on camera only a few times.

She said she wasn’t thin enough to command those types of skin-baring roles, and though for a while she tried conquering the dieting industrial complex, starving herself like all the other young women clamoring for parts on the big screen, soon enough she realized it was “absurd.”

“It’s not fair to say, ‘No, I’m just this shape naturally.’ It’s dishonest and it makes other women feel like [expletive],” she said. “So if you want the world to change, and you want the iconography of the female body to change, then you better be part of the change. You better be different.”

For “Leo Grande,” the choice to disrobe was hers, and though she made it with trepidation, Thompson said she believes “the film would not be the same without it.” Still, the moment she had to stand stark naked in front of a mirror with a serene, accepting look on her face, as the scene called for, was the most difficult thing she’s ever done.

“To be truly honest, I will never ever be happy with my body. It will never happen,” she said. “I was brainwashed too early on. I cannot undo those neural pathways.”

She can, however, talk about sex. Both the absurdities of it and the intricacies of female pleasure. “I can’t just have an orgasm. I need time. I need affection. You can’t just rush to the clitoris and flap at it and hope for the best. That’s not going to work, guys. They think if I touch this little button, she’s going to go off like a Catherine wheel, and it will be marvelous.”

There is a moment in the movie when Nancy and Leo start dancing in the hotel room to “Always Alright” by Alabama Shakes . The two are meeting for a second time — an encounter that comes with a checklist of sexual acts Nancy is determined to plow through (pun intended). The dance is supposed to relieve all her type-A, organized-teacher stress that’s threatening to derail the session. Leo has his arms around her neck, and he’s swaying with his eyes closed when a look crosses Nancy’s face, one of gratitude and wistfulness coupled with a dash of concern.

To the screenwriter, Katy Brand, who acted opposite Thompson in the second “Nanny McPhee” movie and who imagined Thompson as Nancy while writing the first draft, that look is the point of the whole movie.

“It’s just everything,” Brand said. “She feels her lost youth and the sort of organic, natural sexual development she might have had, if she hadn’t met her husband. There is a tingling sense, too, not only of what might have been but what could be from now on.”

Brand is not the first young woman to pen a script specifically for Thompson. Mindy Kaling did it for her on “Late Night,” attesting that she had loved Thompson since she was 11. The writer Jemima Khan told Thompson that she had always wanted the actress to be her mother, so she wrote her a role in the upcoming film “What’s Love Got to Do With It?”

“I think the thing that Emma gives everybody and what she does in person to people, and also via the screen, is that she always somehow feels like she’s on your side,” Brand said. “And I think people really respond to that. She will meet you at a very human level.”

The producer Lindsay Doran has known Thompson for decades. Doran hired her to write “Sense and Sensibility” after watching her short-lived BBC television show “Thompson” that she wrote and starred in. The two collaborated on the “Nanny McPhee” movies, and are working on the musical version, with Thompson handling the book and co-writing the songs with Gary Clark (“Sing Street”).

To the producer, the film is the encapsulation of a writer really understanding her actress.

“It felt to me like Katy knew the instrument, and she knew what the instrument was capable of within a few seconds,” Doran said. “It isn’t just, over here I’m going to be dramatic. And over here, I’m going to be funny, and over here I’m going to be emotional. It can all go over her face so quickly, and you can literally say there’s this feeling, there’s this emotion.”

Reviewing “Leo Grande,” for The New York Times, Lisa Kennedy called Thompson “terrifically agile with the script’s zingers and revelations,” while Harper’s Bazaar said Thompson was “an ageless treasure urgently overdue for her next Oscar nomination.”

The obvious trajectory for a film like this should be an awards circuit jaunt that would probably result in Thompson nabbing her fifth Oscar nomination. But the film, set to debut on Hulu on Friday, will not have a theatrical release in the United States.

Thompson doesn’t mind. “​​It is a small film with no guns in it, so I don’t know how many people in America would actually want to come see it,” she said with a wink.

That may be true. But more consequently, because of a rule change by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that reverts to prepandemic requirement of a seven-day theatrical release, “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” is not eligible for Oscar consideration, a reality that the director Sophie Hyde is not pleased with.

“It’s really disappointing,” Hyde said. “I understand the desire to sort of protect cinema, but I also think the world has changed so much. Last year, a streaming film won best picture.” She argued that her film and others on streaming services aren’t made for TV. They are cinematic, she said, adding, “That’s what the academy should be protecting, not what screen it’s on.”

Thompson, for one, seems rather sanguine about the whole matter. “I think that, given the fact that you might have a slightly more puritanical undercurrent to life where you are, that it might be easier for people to share something as intimate as this at home and then be able to turn it off and make themselves a nice cup of really bad tea,” said Thompson, laughing. “None of you Americans can make good tea.”


new movie releases emma thompson

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Lily James, Emma Thompson, Shazad Latif in Toronto-Bound Rom-Com ‘What’s Love Got to Do with It?’: Watch Trailer

By Naman Ramachandran

Naman Ramachandran

Shazad Latif Lily James Whats Love Got to Do With It

Studiocanal and Working Title have unveiled the official trailer for Shekhar Kapur’s keenly anticipated cross-cultural British romantic comedy “ What’s Love Got to Do with It ?”

The film will have its world premiere as a gala presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 10.

The cast also includes Shabana Azmi (“Halo”), Asim Chaudhry (“People Just Do Nothing”), Mim Shaikh (“Freehold”), Jeff Mirza (“Eternals”), Iman Boujelouah (“Kal & Cambridge), Mariam Haque (“Finding Alice”) and Sindhu Vee (“Starstruck).

The film is written and co-produced by Jemima Khan (“The Case Against Adnan Syed”) and her Instinct Productions. She was married to former cricketer Imran Khan, who was until recently the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Producers also include Nicky Kentish Barnes (“About Time”) and Working Title Films’ Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.

Executive producers on “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” include Ron Halpern, Anna Marsh, Joe Naftalin, Sarmad Masud, Sarah Harvey, Lucas Webb and Katherine Pomfret.

Ivor Novello Lifetime Achievement Award-winning and Mercury Prize nominated composer, Nitin Sawhney has created the music for the film, with British-Pakistani record producer, DJ, songwriter, and musician Naughty Boy adding his skills to the soundtrack, alongside three-time BRIT Award and Mercury Prize nominee, Joy Crookes. Kanika Kapoor and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan will also feature on the soundtrack, with Khan also appearing in the film.

Studiocanal is fully financing and will release in its own territories — U.K., France, Germany and Australia and New Zealand — and is selling the film worldwide. The film will be released in U.K. cinemas on Jan. 27, 2023.

Watch the trailer here:

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