“And yet, of course, the age that I am makes [such a scene] extremely challenging because we aren’t used to seeing untreated bodies on the screen. To be truly honest, I will never ever be happy with my body. It will never happen. I was brainwashed too early on. I cannot undo those neural pathways.” — Good Luck To You, Leo Grande star Emma Thompson discussing her full-frontal nude scene with Cinema Cafe during Sundance 2022.

A few days later (1.26.22) I reviewed Sophie Hyde’s “sex positive” two-hander. I basically agreed with everyone else’s favorable opinions while — concurrently! — agreeing with Thompson’s above statement, but phrased in my own way.

I was all but tarred and feathered for the latter…for mentioning the unmentionable by stating that (a) while the body positivity movement was well and good in terms of discouraging self-loathing tendencies among older or overweight women, at the same time it was (b) kind of off on its own lunar trajectory because most people don’t exactly relish the idea of watching nude scenes with fleshy women who are over, say, 40 or 45. (Or men for that matter.)

Several HE comment-thread scolds came after me with spears, swords, slander, slaps, handguns and grenades. I was all but vivisected. Such is the nature of your delightful spray-pissers on this site.

I described Leo Grande — three sexual and very personal encounters in an English hotel room over 97 minutes, plus one in a hotel bar — as an intimate, occasionally amusing, open-hearted exploration of an older woman’s sexuality, and that it makes it very clear what a transformational thing good sex can be (nothing wrong with that!).

I also said that most of us have problems with older or overweight people performing nude scenes or sex scenes, and that I wouldn’t want to see a nude scene with anyone who’s too old or saggy or out of shape. And yet the idea of older women enjoying sex as much as any 17 or 22 or 38 or 46 year-old is lovely and delightful, and that conceptually speaking if an actress of Thompson’s age wants to do a full-frontal nude scene, fine.

And then came a statement that only a truly evil person would vocalize. I said that if a 45-plus actress wants to do a nude scene, she should do what she can to leapfrog or transcend the concerns that Thompson herself has admitted having about her own body, and to bite the bullet by paying for a nice, mild tummy tuck and a subtle but artful boob lift. (And maybe an ass lift.) You think Paulina Porizkova would argue against this?

I’ve had work done on my eye bags, eyelids, neck wattle and thinning hair, and believe me I look much, much better because of these modest measures. There’s nothing wrong with resorting to touch-ups when age, biology and gravity start to work against you.

Again — last January Thompson said that she “will never ever be happy” with her body, and a few days after that I said two things — (1) no moviegoer will ever he delighted about ogling a body that’s seen better days, and (2) Thompson has nothing to worry about if she just pays a visit to my Prague friendos — they’ll fix her right up and with no one the wiser. What is so fucking awful about that? We’re all going to wrinkle and wither and die anyway so you might as well face old age with a little Prague fortification.