Running Time: 105 min

Francis Lee

United Kingdom


Film Website

Audience Award: Best Feature

Directing Award: World Cinema - Dramatic
Sundance Film Festival

Bill Sherwood Award: Best First Feature
Toronto Inside Out

Johnny Saxby grudgingly works his family farm by day and drinks to excess by night, seeking furtive sexual experiences with other men, anonymously and with practiced disaffect. When Romanian migrant worker Gheorghe arrives to assist with lambing season, Johnny’s attitude toward his family responsibilities softens following a multi-day job on the edge of the farm that has the two men spending day and night together. Although Johnny attempts his usual aggressive fumbling, Gheorghe instead coaxes him into a more tender experience, and the two develop romantic feelings.

Set in the fertile expanse of the Yorkshire countryside, actors Josh O’Connor and Alec Secareanu imbue their characters with tenderness and tenacity. Johnny learns from Gheorghe’s experience with both animal and human relationships, but as the health of Johnny’s father deteriorates, he retreats to his former ways at the expense of his relationship with Gheorghe.

Ian Hart (HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE) and Gemma Jones (BRIDGET JONES’ DIARY) turn in subtle but powerful performances as Johnny’s parents. With equal parts gritty realism, emotional eruptions and quiet compassion, the heart of GOD’S OWN COUNTRY lies in the possibility of a relationship between Johnny and Gheorghe surviving the reality of a strongly heteronormative culture. In his first feature, director Francis Lee has created a powerful and gorgeous film revealing the transformative power of love.
— Elisa McGovern