It's the time of the season for Year-End lists. In which critics, filmmakers and - well, everyone - is posting their lists of what the best movies or 2017 were. If you've been reading a lot of these, one title that has shown up a lot and that you may not be familiar with is GOD'S OWN COUNTRY, the first feature by writer/director Francis Lee. The drama takes us into the lives of a pair of gay farm workers in Britain, the aimless and self-destructive Johnny, played by Josh O'Connor (of the British TV series THE DURRELLS OF CORFU), and Gheorge (Alec Secareanu), a Romanian migrant worker who teaches Johnny to slow down and appreciate the finer aspects of life and love.
Winner of multiple British Independent Film Awards, including Best Picture, GOD'S OWN COUNTRY has also appeared on multiple critic's year end lists, including Sight & Sound's Best Films of 2017 and Empire's Top 10 Films of 2017, as well as on numerous individual lists.
Here's what the critics are saying about GOD'S OWN COUNTRY:
NPR's Ella Taylor says, "At its heart, GOD'S OWN COUNTRY is an intensely full-throttle, grand love story and a coming-of-age parable in which an emotionally stunted boy finds his path to manhood eased through the tenderness and care of a lover.
Cary Darling of the Houston Chronicle calls the film "an electrifying feature debut" and "a haunting meditation on love blooming in rocky terrain, one that lingers long after the lights have gone up."
From David Lewis of the San Francisco Chronicle, "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."
Isaac Feldberg of the Boston Globe says, "O’Connor and Secareanu give such aching performances that their romance feels real."