New gay farmer film heralded as ‘better than Brokeback Mountain’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Gay love story God’s Own Country is being heralded as ‘better than Brokeback Mountain’.

As you can see in the trailer below, the film follows Johnny, an angry, lonely young man relying on alcohol and casual sex, who lives on a farm in North England with his father and grandmother.

His life changes when Gheorghe, a Romanian migrant, is hired to work on the farm for the season.

As the two spend time together, an intense relationship develops on a backdrop of bleak Yorkshire moors and unflinching farming scenes.

New gay farmer film heralded as ‘better than Brokeback Mountain’
Gheorghe and Johnny (photo Picturehouse Entertainment)

Johnny is played by Josh O’Connor from Riot Club and Peaky Blinders, and Gheorghe by Alex Secareanu.

It is Secareanu’s first English-language role.

The Metro called it “a ravishing film that brings a poetic beauty to a harsh environment, and the characters are fascinatingly complex”.

The film has been compared to Brokeback Mountain, the 2005 film starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as shepherds in the American West, who fall in love in the 1960s.

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The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw called it “almost – but not quite – a Dales Brokeback,” similar in its poignant tone, though with a different context.

This film differs from Brokeback Mountain in that Johnny and Gheorghe’s love isn’t inhibited by the character’s respective wives or crushing internalised homophobia – Johnny is established as attracted to men from early on.

The obstacle they have to overcome is their own emotional boundaries and fear of vulnerability.

Bradshaw said it is “a very British love story, bursting at the seams with unspoken emotions, unvoiced fears about the future, and a readiness to displace every emotion into hard physical work”.

Answering “Is it as good as Brokeback?” the Metro said: “In some ways it’s better: it’s more intimate and character-driven, totally immersing you in their world.”

It’s sexier too, with scenes that the Telegraph called “muddy and vigorous, verging on explicit,” in the isolated fields away from prying eyes and judgement.

The film opened the 71st Edinburgh International Film Festival at the end of June, where it won Best British Feature.

It also won Best Feature at the Frameline41 International LGBT Film Festival.

Director and writer Frances Lee won the World Cinema Directing Award: Dramatic at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

God’s Own Country opens in UK cinemas September 1.

Watch the trailer below now: