God's Own Country
Josh O’Connor, Alec Secareanu, Gemma Jones, Ian Hart
Hailed as the UK’s answer to Brokeback Mountain since its early appearances at Sundance and Berlinale, Francis Lee’s remarkable debut feature tells a story that is nevertheless anything but derivative.
Johnny Saxby, a taciturn young man, lives on a failing Yorkshire farm with his father and grandmother. Unhappy and frustrated with his life, he numbs his daily frustrations with binge drinking and casual sex. But when Gheorghe, a Romanian migrant worker, is brought in to help during lambing season, it ignites an intense relationship between them that sets Johnny on a new path.
It’s a perceptive and intelligent film from this first-time filmmaker with outstanding performances. The Yorkshire-born Lee eschews sentimentality for realism, acknowledging that while the British countryside is beautiful, it can also be wild, lonely and profoundly estranging.