It’s the summer of 1984 – Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is on strike. At the Gay Pride March in London, a group of gay and lesbian activists decides to raise money to support the families of the striking miners. But there is a problem. The Union seems embarrassed to receive their support. But the activists are not deterred. They decide to ignore the Union and go direct to the miners. They identify a mining village in deepest Wales and set off in a mini bus to make their donation in person. And so begins the extraordinary story of two seemingly alien communities who form a surprising and ultimately triumphant partnership.
ActorsStarring: Bill Nighy, George MacKay, Dominic West, Andrew Scott, Imelda Staunton, Paddy Considine, Ben Schnetzer, Joseph Gilgun, Jessica Gunning, Faye Marsay, Freddie Fox, Chris Overton, Joshua Hill, Jessie Cave, Shane Salter, Larissa Jones, Karina Fernandez, Monica Dolan, Joseph Gilgun, Faye Marsay, Freddie Fox, Liz White, Russell Tovey, Michael Vardian
There is a healthy sub-genre of British Cinema that celebrates the quirkiness of the Brits, their subcultures and their local communities. Combine that with a backdrop of economic hardship, an abundance of prejudice, and a dash of politics and you get a very funny movie like Pride.
The movie tells the unlikely yet true story of how the Gay and Mining communities found and supported each other through hardships in the days of the mining strikes in the early 1980s.
The actual plights of both the mining and the gay communities in that time period are hardly touched upon in the movie – it fully assumes the backdrop is understood and offers no new insights into these whatsoever. And don’t look for a balanced historical dramatisation of the events either. But don’t worry about that. It is a comedy, not a documentary. There is still the true and powerful message about how a handful of strong-willed individuals can have impact at national political level.
The acting is excellent pretty much all around. The cast is great. Bill Nighy delivers a wonderfully understated supporting performance; Imelda Staunton is great both in her angry moments and in her sillier scenes; Paddy Considine is a softie at heart yet credible as informal leader of the local mining community. But the younger actors also definitely hold their own. While I found Ben Schnetzer (The Book Thief) likeable, he did come across as a tad too lightweight for the charismatic leadership role everyone seemed to fully accept him in. George Mackay however (Sunshine on Leith) is excellent.
It is an excellently crafted feel-good movie. Very uplifting. And very very funny.