God’s Own Country (2017) Movie Review

Director: Francis Lee

Writer: Francis Lee (Screenplay)

Starring: Josh O’Connor, Gemma Jones, Harry Lister Smith, Ian Hart, Alex Secareanu, Melanie Kilburn

Plot: Spring. Yorkshire. Young farmer Johnny Saxby numbs his daily frustrations with binge drinking and casual sex, until the arrival of a Romanian migrant worker for lambing season ignites an intense relationship that sets Johnny on a new path.

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Powerhouse Performances

Story: God’s Own Country starts a we meet frustrated young farmer Johnny Saxby (O’Connor) who to cover up his own pain of his life drinks and has casual sex with any young man in the farming world, he is jealous of his old friends that went off to college and the big city, leaving him alone in the life he can’t stand.

When a Romanian Gheorghe Ionescu (Secareanu) applies for a job, he is given the job, he works harder than Johnny, knowing this is a huge chance in a new country and when the two are forced to work together, than finally put their differences aside and become lovers too.

Thoughts on God’s Own Country

Characters – Johnny Saxby is a young man that has found himself trapped in a farming life, he has seen his friends achieve a lot more from their lives, leaving him behind, in a routine he can’t handle, turning to alcohol to try and get through each night, hoping to find a quick sexual encounter with a stranger to fix his needs. He starts to learn more about enjoying the smaller things in life when he starts working with Gheorghe. Gheorghe Ionescu is a Romanian coming to England in search of work, he will take any farm work that comes his way, he accept minor abuse from Johnny before stepping up to defend himself, he will do the more difficult work and once he learns about Johnny, the starts to show him how big the world can be. Deirdre and Martin are the grandmother and father Johnny is working for, they are the only ones that would give him a chance and things aren’t looking for on the farm for them.

PerformancesJosh O’Connor and Alec Secareanu are both fantastic in the leading roles, they bring the chemistry required, while also showing how they are seen as outsiders in the world. With the more experienced stars Gemma Jones and Ian Hart add to the supporting roles in the film.

StoryThe story here shows a young man that has been struggling with the everyday life of farm work for his family until a stranger starts work on the farm, the young man must face the reality of taking life more seriously in work and relationship wise. This does show us how difficult the farming life can be in the more modern world where people are moving a lot faster, with them feeling left behind, while also showing us how people could give someone hope, despite the struggles they will have been through themselves. We have a love story that shows us just what it is to be important to someone, no matter what people might think of the relationship you have.

RomanceThe romance in the film shows the relationship build between the two men and how things can go through the troubles of one’s natural behaviour.

SettingsThe film uses the Yorkshire farm backdrop to show us just how difficult the job and area will be, how isolated it will be from the rest of the world.

Scene of the Movie – Searching.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Some of the animals scenes are too much.

Final Thoughts This is a powerful look at relationships by the using the environment of farming backdrop to show how life itself can be difficult, with two brilliant performances from the leads.

Overall: Brilliant.

ABC Film Challenge – Adventure – N – The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) Movie Review

Director: Lasse Hallstrom, Joe Johnston

Writer: Ashleigh Powell, E.T.A. Hoffmanm (Screenplay) Marius Petipa (Nutcracker Ballet)

Starring: Mackenzie Foy, Tom Sweet, Meera Syal, Ellie Bamber, Matthew Macfadyen, Nick Mohammed, Morgan Freeman, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren

Plot: A young girl is transported into a magical world of gingerbread soldiers and an army of mice.

Tagline – In 2018, the legend you know has a dark side.

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Alice in Wonderland?

Story: The Nutcracker and the Four Realms starts when a teenage girl Clara (Foy) is getting thrown into formal occasions that she is prepared or interested in, where her godfather Drosselmeyer (Freeman) offers her a key, which is meant to take her to a magical kingdom.

Clara finds herself heading to the Fourth Realm, where she must lead the battles against the even Miss Ginger (Mirren) who wants control of all four realms and will do anything to stop Clara gaining control.

Thoughts on The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Characters – Clara is a teenage girl that is has seen her mother pass away and her father is trying to become closer with her as they can grieve together, she isn’t happy with this and wants to break out of this life, she finds herself transported to a magical land where her mother once ruled and she must reclaim the throne from an enemy. Drosselmeyer is Clara’s godfather who offers her a key encouraging her to enjoy her life. Mother Ginger is the evil woman living in the darkest looking to control the four realms, while Sugar Plum is controlling the kingdom waiting for the queen to return.

PerformancesMackenzie Foy is the strongest of the performers in this film, we can see the look of amazement with the new land, while being filled with the sadness in her life. We have big names like Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman who just doesn’t seem to get going, looking like they are just looking for a pay check for their work.

StoryThe story here follows a teenager who gets transported to a magical kingdom to save it from an evil waiting to arise and take control. The story here does feel like it is just another version of Alice in Wonderland, we have the young girl went to a new world, a loose cannon leader trying to take control and quirky side characters. It is trying to show the signs of how a girl must work to get over her own grief to move on with life, which is the only interesting part of the story, while the rest just becomes predictable.

Adventure/FantasyThe adventure side of the film shows Clara heading to a new area filled with magical landscapes and creature, which does play into the fantasy elements involved in the film.

SettingsThe film does use locations to show the different worlds that Clara comes from an heads to, which shows her different live she could have.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film do disappoint because you can see the green screen for most of the big sequences.

Scene of the Movie – The first arrival.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nobody seems to look that interested.

Final Thoughts This does seem to look like a rip off, of Alice and Wonderland without hitting the magical notes it wants to.

Overall: Dull and Uninspiring.