Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Emma Thompson Took Off All Her Clothes for Nothing: Disney Sending “Leo Grande” to Hulu, Not Theaters


Emma Thompson bares all in “Good Luck, Leo Grande.” She plays a widow who hires a charming sex worker to rev up her love life in this offbeat Sundance comedy.

And the award winning actress literally does take it all off in a brave scene that underscores her character’s transition back into the world of the living. Thompson could easily have gotten an Oscar nomination if “Leo Grande” were handled properly.

But Disney and (Fox) Searchlight have decided to chuck “Leo Grande” and bypass theaters alrogether. They’re sending it to Hulu on June 17th, where this gem directed by Sophie Hyde and written by Katy Brand, will go to die.

“Leo Grande” (the sex worker is played by Daryl McCormack, who’s terrific) got raves at Sundance. I gave it a very positive review. In the days when independent films meant something, it would have been a substantial art house hit. There would certainly be a lot of press about it, enough to get smart people into theaters.

I feel bad for all the filmmakers, especially Thompson. They all deserve better, starting with this two time Oscar winner. It’s more than likely that the Academy will go back to theater- only eligibility for the next season, thus setting “Leo Grande” adrift in the world of the Emmys, maybe, and then out to sea.

Searchlight is sending two more films to Hulu as well: a gay rom com called “Fire Island” and a summer throwaway called “Not Okay.” What they’ve done to Thompson is certainly “not okay.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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