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  • Entertainment

MOVIE: God’s Own Country is a devilishly good film

Wednesday, 6th September, 2017 7:00pm
MOVIE: God’s Own Country is a devilishly good film
MOVIE: God’s Own Country is a devilishly good film

THERE is a big market these days for Christian movies, like ‘The Shack’ or last year’s ‘Risen’, especially in the bible belt states of the USA. 

One offering unlikely to perform well in this market is the recently released ‘God’s Own Country’. 

The film tells the story of young Johnny Saxby (played by Josh O’Connor) who works long hours alone on his family’s remote farm in the north of England.  He is less than enthusiastic about his demanding occupation that was somewhat thrust upon him by his crippled father, and to numb the pain, Johnny cripples himself nightly with the demon drink. Then when a Romanian migrant worker arrives to help out on the farm, Johnny finds himself with a new friend, and perhaps something more.  

The movie is written and directed by first timer Francis Lee, and both he and his project have been garnering high praise from critics and festival juries alike, having won the special jury award at the Toronto International Film Festival. 

It has been described by many as the Bolton version of ‘Brokeback Mountain’, but that is perhaps an unfair and simplistic comparison. 

It’s certainly raw and bleak, but also strikingly realistic. At its heart is the story of a romance, it just happens to be between two men, and the fact that this is no longer shocking, is refreshing.  The film is very accomplished at what it does, and succeeds in portraying the isolation and loneliness of rural farming. 

Thanks to its two young leads and its subject matter, it’s also very youthful and current, with a love story that will pull at the heartstrings. 

Having said all that, this is definitely more of an independent film than a Cineplex big budget blockbuster. 

The story is slow to unfold and there are many brooding shots of characters looking off into the distance, so if that is not your cup of tea, choose something else. 

But if you are at home in the IFI, and enjoy a well-scripted and well-acted drama, this is the movie for you. We score it a devilishly delightful 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Paul O'Rourke

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