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Why God's Own Country is one of the year's greatest films


Looking for a refreshing, heartfelt alternative to explosions and noisy spectacle? Then you've got it in the form of the critically lauded God's Own Country.

Currently on limited release in selected Cineworlds, it's a moving and emotive story of same-sex romance set in the windswept valleys of Yorkshire.

Josh O'Connor gives a superb performance as Johnny, who has been put in charge of the family farm as his father (Ian Hart) suffers ill-health. He gains a reprieve by beginning a relationship with Romanian farmhand Gheorghe (Alec Secarneau) – but is there a chance of lasting happiness for either of them?

One thing's for sure, the movie has stunned the critics. "There will be many people who see themselves in the furtive glances and mud-covered kisses from which God's Own Country weaves its harsh but hopeful narrative, and they will do so while witnessing a finely crafted piece of cinema", writes Jude Dry in Time Out.

Meanwhile Trevor Johnston in Little White Lies says the movie casts a haunting spell: "You'll find yourself getting teary a week later - a potent, haunting meditation on the soul-stirring significance of being open to love."

Sight and Sound's Alex Davidson says it's a movie of landscapes as well as romance: "The relationship between the two men isn’t the only romance in the film, as the camera slowly falls in love with rural Yorkshire, exploding in the end credits into a gorgeous colour montage of archive footage showing farmhands at work in the fields, beautifully accompanied by Patrick Wolf’s haunting song The Days."

Meanwhile across the pond American critic Guy Lodge says in Variety that the film marks a synergy between landscape and its characters: "As captured in close-up by DP Joshua James Richards’ perceptive camera, even a gesture as innocuous as two fingertips grazing each other is a dramatic moment, practically accompanied by a silent fanfare of trumpets."

And in The Hollywood Reporter, David Rooney is full of praise for the entire production: "Graced by its refreshingly frank treatment of gay sexuality, its casually expressive use of nudity and its eloquent depiction of animal husbandry as a contrasting metaphor for the absence of human tenderness, this is a rigorously naturalistic drama that yields stirring performances from the collision between taciturn demeanours and roiling emotional undercurrents."

Now it's your turn to see what the hype is all about – click here to book your tickets for God's Own Country and send us your responses @Cineworld.

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