God's Own Country | Chicago Reader

God's Own Country

Johnny Saxby is going nowhere in life: his days are full of hard labor, as he struggles to maintain his father's Yorkshire sheep farm following the old man's stroke, and his nights are full of hard drinking, as he broods over his lot and tamps down his attraction to other men. Fortunately for Johnny (Josh O'Connor), help on both fronts arrives in the form of Gheorghe (Alec Secareanu), a swarthy Romanian migrant worker who's tough enough to win his respect as well as his desire. This tale of cautious gay romance in a seriously macho environment naturally calls to mind Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain (2005), though writer-director Francis Lee creates a more credible rural milieu, anchored in the grubby details of raising livestock and the furious emotional repression of his male characters. By the end of the movie Johnny has found some measure of happiness, but don't ask him to describe it.

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