God's Own Country ★★★★

God’s Own Country tells a tender and heartfelt story you’ve heard and seen before - but framed against a backdrop of working-class poverty and amidst a landscape of political tension (migration plays a key role in the central love story), it develops and discovers its own tone at the same time as our lead explores his (sexual) identity. 

Containing flawed but ultimately well-meaning characters brought to life by a fantastic cast, you feel absorbed in the tale of the frustrated Johnny and how his boundaries and obstacles come crumbling down when Gheorghe, a Romanian migrant worker, is hired to help on the farm. Teaching him how to love, the pair’s rivalry turns passionate and so begins a rocky road exploring a gay relationship in a less than accepting environment. 

God’s Own Country, sometimes disappointingly, incorporates a number of genre tropes and conventions - but as it discovers it’s strengths, a sturdier picture emerges that deserves to be seen. Helmed by a confident and impressive Francis Lee, God’s Own Country is a truly lovely, captivating, emotional and timely film that wins your heart despite initial restraint.

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