God’s Own Country

God’s Own Country
Date: 15/05/2018 Times: 7:30 pm - 9:15 pm


This is the second in a mini season of films about men falling in love with each other, the other being Call Me By Your Name.  We had to postpone the showing because of the closing of the William Loveless Hall, due to snow in February.  It was placed 14th in the Guardian’s top 20 for 2017.  It won Best Film at the Edinburgh and Berlin Film Festivals and was nominated for a BAFTA as Outstanding British Film. It won Best Film, Best Debut Screenwriter and Best Actor for Josh O’ Connor at the British Independent Film Awards.

Johnny Saxby (Josh O’Connor) works long hours in brutal isolation on his family’s remote farm in the north of England.  He numbs the daily frustration of his lonely existence with nightly binge-drinking at the local pub and casual sex.  When a handsome Romanian migrant worker Gheorghe (Alec Secareanu) arrives to take up temporary work on the family farm, Johnny suddenly finds himself having to deal with emotions he has never felt before.  An intense relationship forms between the two which could change Johnny’s life forever.  The performances are superb and include two by Ian Hart as Johny’s increasingly frustrated father, Martin, and Gemma Jones as his taciturn grandmother.

God’s Own Country isn’t shy about paying homage to the classic Brokeback Mountain but in many ways, it is a better film.  That is because director Francis Lee crafts a love story that is unabashedly raw, sexy and heartfelt.  This is not a movie about coming out and the collateral damage that ensues.  It’s a universal tale about giving yourself over to love, even when you seem hopelessly broken.  Astonishingly, this is Lee’s first feature film and he wrote the screenplay too.
God’s Own Country is unrelentingly authentic in its sense of place, and we can feel the damp, windy landscape of the Moors, and the harsh, gritty ways of the farm.  Like Johnny, much of the screenplay is wordless, but simple gestures say everything.  And when Johnny in the end must figure out a way to express his love for Gheorghe — or lose him forever — we find ourselves profoundly moved.  It’s why we go to the movies.

Click below for reviews and further information.

God’s Own Country

Year: 2017

Country: UK

Cert: 15

Duration: 104 mins

Dir: Francis Lea

'A stunning love story that in its finest moments is pure poetry'

Venue: William Loveless Hall