God’s Own Country
Cert: Year: 2017 Length: 104 mins
Cinema Handout (PDF 94KB)
Score: 72.92% Attendance: 119
Many parts of the world make claim to being "God's Own Country", including New Zealand and even the Lake District. In this case it is Yorkshire, and, to the Saxby family, it might be a bit tongue in cheek; their lives on an inexorably failing livestock farm cannot seem to be anything remotely like heaven. Martin (Ian Hart) has had a stroke and is virtually incapacitated.
This leaves his mother (Gemma Jones) to worry and his son, John (Josh O'Connor), to shoulder most of the work, against his will and temperament: he had wanted to go to university with all his mates. This leaves him morose and virtually an alcoholic, getting blind drunk most nights in the local. "And what does he live for, now? When he is in town for livestock auctions, Johnny has fleeting sexual encounters with people he meets there" - Peter Bradshaw, Guardian. Note the word 'people' here: John may not be out of the closet, but he is gay. His life changes for the better, finally, when his father hires a Romanian, Gheorge, to help out...
So we are in 'Brokeback Yorkshire' territory here. Like Brokeback, their relationship grows to be more than they thought.
Under battered Yorkshire skies, with grime beneath its nails and soil clodding up the treads of its boots, Francis Lee's outstanding feature debut 'God's Own Country' is a work of roughhewn alchemy. But instead of gold, from the muck and straw it spins a thrillingly real story of gay love
Jessica Kiang, Bbc.com
It is a film which lives and dies by the performances which Lee gets from his cast, and these are excellent: sharp, intelligent and emotionally generous Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
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