God's Own Country

God's Own Country

(2017)

Countryside romance about two sheep farmers in remote England that won debut director Francis Lee the Directing Award at Sundance.... More

"Johnny (Josh O'Connor) works long hours on his family's remote hill farm. Isolated and frustrated, he numbs the daily frustration of his lonely existence with nightly binge-drinking at the local pub and casual sex. When Gheorghe (Alec Secareanu), a handsome Romanian, arrives to take up temporary work on the family property, Johnny suddenly finds himself having to deal with emotions he has never felt before. An intense relationship forms between the two, which could change Johnny's life forever." (Sydney Film Festival)Hide

Flicks Review

Some of the greatest romance stories show how one person’s love can fuel another’s drive for self-improvement. This is the pinpoint focus of God’s Own Country, the feature debut of actor-turned-filmmaker Francis Lee. For anyone who can remember their young heart being soothed and captured for the first time, it is as intense as that experience.... More

Johnny (Josh O’Connor) has spent most of his isolated 20s trapped on his deteriorating father’s farm, twisting him into a bitter asshole. He drinks excessively. He roots carelessly. He’s too damn old to be acting like a mopey teenager. Not the most likeable chap then, but the movie makes you understand how he got this way.

Gheorghe (Alex Secareanu), a Romanian man of nature hired to help on the farm, sees the beauty in the land that Johnny has come to resent. The new guy is not immune to Johnny’s ultra-dickishness, but the more time they spend tending to the farm, the more Johnny’s defences crumble. There is so much to peel away from his hardened shell that when he’s at his most vulnerable, the intimacy hits with raw energy.

O’Connor and Secareanu perform this yin-and-yang relationship to perfection, especially during the sex scenes. From the measured choreography to the slightest facial expression, so much is conveyed through these moments. The scenes take on a language of their own, going beyond words in a way that only masterful cinema can do.

It’s a film that changes our perception of Johnny in a way Gheorghe changes his perception of the land - it can be hollow or serene, gloomy or rich, dying or thriving. Homophobia and xenophobia play a role in the film, but they’re in the background like the rest of the terrain. Love comes first in God’s Own Country and it dawns on you like the Yorkshire sun.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

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BY freshdude superstar

A raw, real, unadorned and honest depiction of both a connection between two people and a harsh rural life in the UK.
With sparse but well written dialogue, and visual realism of farm life, this film engages the audience on an intimate level.


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The Press Reviews

  • BBC

    Under battered Yorkshire skies, with grime beneath its nails and soil clodding up the treads of its boots, Francis Lee's outstanding feature debut God's Own Country is a work of rough-hewn alchemy. Full Review

  • A rigorously naturalistic drama that yields stirring performances from the collision between taciturn demeanours and roiling emotional undercurrents. Full Review

  • Lee's love for this hard land and the boy trapped in it - so fully embodied by young British actor Josh O'Connor - is unexpectedly moving and rich. Full Review

  • It is, in its way, a very British love story, bursting at the seams with unspoken emotions, unvoiced fears about the future, and a readiness to displace every emotion into hard physical work. Full Review

  • Skipping some of the more predictable narrative obstacles we've come to expect from the coming-out drama, this sexy, thoughtful, hopeful film instead advances a pro-immigration subtext that couldn't be more timely ... Full Review

  • A dig into the nature of humanity from a director already fluent in the language of brutality and tenderness. A stunning love story that in its finest moments is pure poetry. Full Review

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