GOD’S OWN COUNTRY (2017)
A beautiful slow-burn of a love story, God’s Own Country puts a searingly impactful romance at the center of the story, cementing its place among LGBTQIA cinematic greats.
When a Romanian migrant worker arrives to assist with his family’s sheep farm, the young man’s attention shifts from drinking and casual sex to something new. Many may be quick to dismiss God’s Own Country as a Brokeback Mountain knock-off, and while there are certainly similarities, this story takes off on a different path. This isn’t just a story of one-time love and what could have been, but rather a tale of a man’s reckoning with his identity and his growth into his true self. What starts off as an antagonistic relationship quickly blossoms into much more. It’s about halfway through that the emotion truly takes over and director Francis Lee’s alluring film begins to shine. The beauty here is not just in the love developing between the two men, but in the emotional support, comfort, and understanding that emerges.
God’s Own Country never tries to be or say more than it is or should, rather it is a snapshot of feelings familiar to no one sexual orientation. The cast, from stars Josh O’Connor and Alec Secareanu to Gemma Jones and Ian Hart, deliver striking performances that are never not believable, in positive moments and in troublesome plot points. This is a beauty of a film that reminds you of your capacity to love and the power said love could hold.
Photo from Roger Ebert