God’s Own Country, the film not the book, which had me confused a few weeks ago (this might contain the odd spoiler).
I can’t imagine what it is about the doe-eyed, tousle-haired, stubble-jawed, sweater-wearing Romanian farm hand Giorgio, who makes ewe’s milk cheese by hand, that can have caught everyone’s eye. Especially seen opposite the grunting, monosyllabic, drunken ingrate that is John, a farmer’s son. Much of the sex appears rough, grudging, sometimes verging on violence, that is until Giorgio is alone with John, then there is tenderness, although not before Giorgio has given him a well-deserved smack. Which made me think of the film Blue is the Warmest Colour in which two young women fall in love, in this film there is good deal of building the emotional base before letting them loose physically (and explicitly) at each other. In BITWC the couple spin out of control and away from each other, in GOC, we leave the film with some form of ‘happy ever after’ seeming possible.
The support story is really well done with some fantastic acting. With the ‘runt of the litter’ lamb probably winning the cute stakes, overall.
It is a pretty good film; the lack of overt penis action is probably what keeps it at a 15 rating. The comparisons with Brokeback Mountain are as obvious as they are unavoidable.
The photography is beautiful, the moors around Keighley have had a sympathetic camera lens trained on them, capturing the light and its movement. In that, as in its ‘gritty realism’, this film is not a million miles away from Catch Me Daddy, another belter albeit on a very different subject.