Francis Lee flattered by Brokeback Mountain comparison

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 29 August 2017
Francis Lee

Francis Lee

Francis Lee is extremely flattered that his debut movie 'God's Own Country' has been compared to Ang Lee's Oscar-winning drama 'Brokeback Mountain'

Francis Lee insists it is very "flattering" that his debut film 'God's Own Country' has been compared to 'Brokeback Mountain'.

The 48-year-old filmmaker has helmed his first feature length movie and after receiving fantastic reviews when it premiered at Sundance in January the British-set gay love story has been compared to Ang Lee's 2005 drama about two cowboys who fall for each other and Francis is delighted with the praise.

Speaking to The Guardian newspaper, he said: "I'm not shying away from it, it's flattering. Ang Lee is an incredible filmmaker. But it is one of those things that gets written in headlines, but when people see the film they go, 'Well, it's actually not like 'Brokeback Mountain'. It feels like such a different story and such a different world. The films are like chalk and cheese in that sense."

The film follows the story of Johnny Saxby (Josh O'Connor), a Yorkshire sheep farmer who falls in love with Romanian migrant worker Gheorghe Ionescu (Alec Secareanu) and the filmmaker said he wanted to tell the story visually through sex scenes as he isn't a "big fan of dialogue".

He said: "It's the funniest thing that we're still talking about sex scenes in gay films. I'm not a big fan of dialogue. So he [Johnny] wasn't going to have a conversation where he goes, 'I'm feeling a bit like this now.' I had to tell it visually. That's where the sex really played in."

Francis sent the two leading stars to work on a farm for two weeks to learn the realities of the work in a bid to avoid "fakery".

He said: "I don't like fakery. I wanted everything to be real."

Francis has had a deluge of work offers due to the reaction to 'God's Own Country' but he has so far resisted taking on a big studio project because he doesn't want to commit to a huge movie yet.

He said: "The money is tempting, because I don't have any. But this experience has taught me that a film is going to take at least three years of your life to make. And to be able to care enough about all those tiny little details, you have to love it. It needs to feel like a compulsion."

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