In the dales of Yorkshire, Johnny (O’Connor) spends his days toiling on his family’s sheep farm and his evenings binge drinking in pubs and having rough, transactional gay sex. When Johnny’s sick father Martin (Hart) hires Romanian migrant worker Gheorghe (Secareanu) to help with lambing season, Johnny is at first insulting and dismissive. Slowly, the men get to know each other, and a mutual attraction develops.
The bleakly beautiful landscape of Northern England forms a fitting backdrop for this same-sex love story, chock-full of stifled emotions and desire. First time writer/director Lee anchors the nuanced performances in a harsh reality, accentuated by the windswept cinematography and documentary-like shots of farm life. A bundle of angry repression, Johnny’s awakening to love and acceptance is portrayed with sensitivity by O’Connor, and Secareanu is equally fine in a less showy role. Don’t miss this piercing, rough-hewn drama from Britain.