It’s a bold film, in a world where it shouldn’t need to be bold
God’s Own Country thrives upon its open attitude towards its relaxed, natural setting. It’s a theme that the film relies on and with context, compliments the mountainous, remote landscape. The close shots of farmland and countryside bring about genuine feelings of isolation, something that is vital to the growth of both leading men.
When Johnny’s (Josh O’Connor) father is left severely injured after a stroke, a Romanian migrant worker (Alec Secareanu) is hired to act as an extra pair of hands around their farm in Yorkshire. Sent to rebuild one of the farm’s boundary walls, the pair form a special relationship that changes them both in their own unique way.
The actors themselves are terrific. Each bringing their own style of loneliness to combine in an effortless and powerful manner. Aided by superb debut direction from Francis Lee, the pair are able to express their emotions in a majestically personal way.
Behind all of this is a gritty script with no fear. It’s a bold film, in a world where it shouldn’t need to be bold, and credit really has to go to Lee for creating such a realistic project. God’s Own Country knows exactly where its heart is and wears it so proudly upon its chest. There is such a humanity about falling in love, and the film depicts it in such a basic yet masterful way.
Subtlely is massively beneficial to Lee as he creates his remote landscape, but more importantly, he manages to utilise it in the right way. With close shots in personal locations and a series of defensive actions and conversations, the film is as much about breaking barriers as it is building relationships. God’s Own Country is a triumph as it captures humanity at some of its most complicated moments.