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A photo still from God's Own Country. It is an extreme close up of the two lead actors leaning into each other, foreheads touching and eyes closed.

Daily Helping for January 19th, 2023 – God’s Own Country

This film has been on my to watch list for years. Countless people have recommended it to me, and it got rave reviews when it was released back in 2017. So when I finally sat down to watch God’s Own Country, I wondered if it would live up to the hype. Spoiler alert. It does. It absolutely does.

God’s Own Country tells the story of Johnny, an emotionally stunted and desperately lonely farm worker in rural England. He represses all of his emotions, lashes out at anyone who tries to get through to him, and takes out his frustrations by binge drinking himself into a stupor every night and engaging in casual hook ups. However, with his father ailing, Johnny needs help on the family farm, and they hire Gheorghe, a Romanian migrant worker, to help with the lambing season. Gheorghe is the perfect foil to Johnny, and against all the odds, they fall in love.

I cannot overstate how beautiful this film is. Everything about it is done to perfection; the production design, the cinematography, the direction, the performances. Everything. It’s hard to believe that this is director Francis Lee’s first film. But what I appreciated the most was the script. God’s Own Country portrays one of the most moving love stories I’ve seen in a long time with minimal dialogue. In particular, the scene where Gheorghe wordlessly teaches Johnny that physical intimacy can actually be tender and loving is probably one of the most beautiful, raw, and powerful scenes I’ve seen onscreen. It is a truly astonishing piece of filmmaking. Just like the rest of this extraordinary film.

Suggestions for artists I should check out? Please contact me with your ideas. I hope you enjoyed your daily helping of art!