DIRECTOR: Francis Lee
2017 | UK | 104m
Dubbed “Best Film” at the Edinburgh, Frameline San Francisco, and Berlin international film festivals, Francis Lee’s debut feature tells the story of a hard-drinking Yorkshire lad whose tedious life is changed forever when a handsome, migrant worker arrives.
Preferring the pub to his grueling work on the family farm, 24-year-old Johnny (Josh O’Connor) numbs his frustration by binge drinking and having impersonal sex with young strangers in toilet stalls or the back of his van.
As lambing season approaches, a skilled Romanian worker (Alec Secareanu) is hired. When Johnny is forced to camp with him for several nights near the flock, the pair become physically intimate. Unlike Johnny’s quick encounters, the older man slowly takes control of their lovemaking, showing Johnny more affection than he’s ever known before.
Much of the credit for the movie’s success is due to the intense chemistry between the two male leads. Their nudity is casual and natural, and yet their love scenes are graphic and sizzling hot.
As the film progresses, the viewer is left wondering if these two men’s budding romance can overcome such a harsh environment. God’s Own Country is a haunting meditation on love and intimacy that offers hope.