- Colin Fraser
GOD'S OWN COUNTRY
The life of a young, isolated English farmer is turned upside down with the arrival of a Romanian labourer.
Starring Josh O'Connor and Alec Secareanu
Think BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN as penned by Emily Brontë. Set in the wilds of Yorkshire, this has all the lusty longing and windswept locations that recalls the heartbreak of Cathy and Heathcliffe (though here mercifully free of death and tragedy). That the story's protagonists are both men, this gay love story also recalls more recent shenanigans in the mountains of Wyoming (though once again, without death and tragedy). At its heart, and there's plenty of that, GOD'S OWN COUNTRY is a modest tale of a frustrated young man who works his aged parents' farm where a good night out (any night out) means binge drinking at the village pub. It's a life where the foreseeable future means more, a lot more, of the same until the arrival a balancing force; an immigrant worker who steals the lad's heart (if not his virginity). Stunningly shot and scored, here is a film that rides on terrific performance - the leads are never less than convincing as they square off against one another in frequently provocative scenes. This is not for the faint-hearted. Yet despite that provocation, their sexuality is not at issue, it just happens to be. And that's what makes the story so compelling, so real, so utterly spellbinding. As this country ties itself in knots of equality, GOD'S OWN COUNTRY is a timely release, and one of the finest love stories in years.