★★★★★ | Pride
A film that includes Wales, miners, politics, gays and an ’80’s soundtrack, ticks all my boxes! Pride is one of those films that will do well, a mix of topics, a “people” film, part tear-jerker, part bio-pic (based on true events, with real characters), part comedy, think Billie Elliot, Kinky Boots or Calendar Girls.
The story is simple, set in 1984 in the midst of the Miner’s strike, the Unions versus Thatcher’s government and its hard stance, and a politicised London gay boy suddenly gets the idea to raise funds for the miners, having heard how they are being intimidated back to work.
He forms the Lesbian and Gays Support the Miners Group (LGSM) and starts fund-raising for them. However, after their first round of bucket rattling, it becomes apparent that the Unions aren’t keen on taking their money. So they go direct, and find a South Wales mining community who will take their cash and donations. And this is the start of the bonding of two disparate communities.
The majority of the film deals with how the two communities grow to know each other, how the London group gets to grips with a small community and its prejudices (or in some cases, lack of them) and the Welsh group and their education in to the world of “the gays”!
The film provides so much repeatable fodder, I guarantee that you will be quoting this film next month! My favourite is still Imelda’s line from the preview: ‘We’re off to Swansea now for a missive lez off!’
My recommendation, go see it, go get your cockles warmed, sing-along-a-bronski-beat and watch some of the smoothest disco moves on the silver screen courtesy of the amazing Dominic West!
The cast is incredible, including the lovely Andrew Scott (Moriarty from Sherlock) gives a hell of a performance as part of the “older” gay couple paired with Dominic West as his partner, Imelda Staunton as the kind of Welsh matriarch I know and love, Bill Nighy gives one of his best subtlest performances, but it’s the ones I’m not that familiar with that really set the stage for this film. George MacKay is amazing as a then underage closeted young man on a journey, Joseph Gilgun gives a great performance as one half of a platonic political couple with Ben Schnetzer who plays Mark, the driving force and sometimes eloquent spokesperson behind the LGSM. Watch out for a cameo from the lovely Russell Tovey too.
Matthew Warchus and Stephen Beresford have given us a true slice of early ’80’s nostalgia, wrapped up in a slice of political and social history and some of the most comic scenes you’ll ever see.
I’d give this film 6 stars out of 5 is I could, but I’ll make do with 5 for now!
In Cinemas 12th September