Back in the virtual Sundance Film Festival of 2022, the world was in the middle of an Omicron surge when Oscar perennial Searchlight and its streaming partner Hulu acquired Sophie Hyde’s “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande.” The film scored raves for Best Actress Oscar-winner Emma Thompson (“Howard’s End”), who plays a widow who hires a sex worker (Daryl McCormack of “Peaky Blinders”) to teach her about sexual pleasure. Intended for smart adults, this movie fits the Searchlight Oscar movie box.
When queried ahead of release, the distributor suggested to IndieWire that the film would likely chase Emmys. Behind the scenes — and well ahead of its planned June 17 release on Hulu — Searchlight appealed to the Academy to grant the film Oscar eligibility, even though the distributor had no intention of qualifying the film in theaters.
That’s because even a four-walled, one-week Oscar-qualifying release