Political, hysterical and downright ruddy fun, Pride is brimming over with heart and soul. The film opens and closes at two consecutive London Pride marches. The year in between each event makes up the film’s narrative. When the unions refuse to accept donations from the gay community in support of the miners, the LGSM are formed. Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners recognise the injustice and victimisation that the miners of 1980s Britain are facing. When their contributions are rejected they go directly to the source. By contacting a tight-knit mining village in Wales, LGSM begin to form a unique friendship and take a controversial step in the direction of change. Pride celebrates the connection formed between two very separate communities as well as highlighting the grief and prejudice experienced by both. Injustice unites in Pride and we are left with a fabulous reminder that despite background, lifestyle, experience and sexuality, it’s our experiences and passions that make us human. It is our instinct, love and humility that makes us all one species and not so different after all. Amidst all of its cheesiness, Pride harks back to British classics such as The Full Monty and Brassed Off. It has charm, comedy and character and it kept me beaming from ear to ear whilst tears rolled down my cheeks. When it wants to be, Pride is silly and cheeky but it is as bleak as it is blissful. It hits you hard when you least expect it. The film’s trailer was reminiscent of frivolous garbage such as Sunshine on Leith but the film is actually surprisingly sincere and meaningful.
The success of Pride lies in its writing and its cast. The film revolves around numerous characters and it refuses to select a central one. I found myself caring deeply about at least twelve of the film’s subjects. Imelda Staunton brings hilarity and heart to a ballsy committee member and, alongside Bill Nighy, steals the film. Staunton and Nighy not only remind us that they are cinematic royalty but compliment their younger co-stars. The film’s greatest scene remains between just Nighy and Staunton. A simplistic, short and sincere moment that captures the heart of Pride through only a few perfectly delivered lines. Andrew Scott, Paddy Considine and Dominic West also give moving performances but others such as Joseph Gilgun get a little trapped in what they always do best. This isn’t a bad thing. It’s what we expect from such movies. Films as moving as Pride don’t come along all that often. We wouldn’t want them to because they would soon lose their magic. But when they do they are pure joy. Pride isn’t particularly impressive from a cinematic point of view but it does what it set out to do. Pride is socialist, old-fashioned and completely unapologetic. It’s one of those glistening gems that makes me place my hand on my heart when I tell people about it.
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