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God's Own Country

Director:  Francis Lee
Year Released:  2017
Rating:  2.0

Deeply unhappy British farmer Johnny (Josh O'Connor) - who drinks too much, engages in casual sex with random men and lives with stubborn parents - has his life changed when his disabled father takes on Romanian migrant worker Gheorghe (Alec Secareanu) who shows Johnny a tenderness he never felt before (but being an emotional wreck, he has difficulty accepting and reciprocating the affection). Any movie that starts with the main character's hand in a calf's backside and follows that up with him forcefully penetrating a male stranger is not going for subtlety - same could be said for what follows, which is a flagrant Brexit-isolationist-meets-kind-foreigner tale, with love improbably triumphing over casual hookups and alcoholism and depression. The murkiness of the English countryside is oddly alluring from a visual standpoint, but it's a shame the inner worlds of its two leads aren't more nuanced.

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