A Subtle Look at Sexuality and Bonding in director Francis Lee’s Debut Feature God’s Own Country

Among the windswept moors of northern England, a young sheep farmer lives a bleak life spending his days tending to livestock and his nights drowning his conflicting emotions in booze. Johnny Saxby (Josh O’Connor) lives at home with his grandmother Deirdre (Gemma Jones) and his father Martin (Ian Hart) on a sheep farm on the remote landscape of Yorkshire. Martin has had a stroke that leaves him unable to do much of the work on the farm which leaves Johnny to shoulder the bulk of keeping the farm running. Along comes Gheorghe (Alec Secareanu), a Romanian immigrant looking for work who is hired to help out on the farm. Over time, Johnny and Gheorghe develop an attraction to each other, and Johnny finds the nascent relationship transformative.

First time director Francis Lee’s deft handling of the film has drawn some comparisons to Ang Lee’s Oscar-nominated Brokeback Mountain, another budding love story of a same sex relationship. Though some critics have noted the similarity, at least one, The Hollywood Reporter‘s David Rooney says God’s Own Country stands apart for its stark, unique setting and optimistic tone created by the story’s script.

Critics at RottenTomatoes agree with Rooney and give the film a resoundingly positive score of 98.

God’s Own Country runs 1 hour 44 minutes and is unrated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *