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.
Performances – Josh 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.
Story – The 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.
Romance – The 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.
Settings – The 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.
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.