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Johnny is a lonely and miserable young sheep farmer living in relative isolation in starkly beautiful northern England, losing himself in alcohol and casual sex until he meets Gheorghe, a Romanian migrant worker hired by his family to help work the lambing season. When the two are forced to live together, Gheorghe awakens the emotionally walled off Johnny, teaching him about tenderness and love, and giving him hope that, amidst the bleak hopelessness of his living situation, happiness may still be possible. While comparisons to 2005’s Brokeback Mountain are inevitable, first time writer/director Francis Lee crafts a more modern and subtle, yet unforgettable story that beautifully juxtaposes the brutality and beauty of livestock farming with incredibly intimate performances from Josh O’Connor as the oftentimes unlikeable Johnny and Alec Secareanu as his swarthy and more emotionally aware love interest – drawing us in as we see whether the seemingly broken Johnny will take the ultimate leap, and surrender himself to love once and for all.

 

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