Starring: Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West
Director: Matthew Warchus
Running Time: 120 mins
Pride is a British film that tells the story of the LGSM (Lesbians and Gay Men Support The Miners), who form an unlikely bond with a small mining village in South Wales and, despite all of the prejudice that they suffer from, they help the miners in their lengthy strike throughout 1984.
Now, this film is simply hugely enjoyable. Based on a true story, it’s interesting too, and while some of the historical facts are a little bit dubious, it’s a very upbeat portrayal of a very doom and gloom period in Britain, filled with great characters, comedy and a fascinating story.
One of the most important things that this film does is that it tries to stay neutral on a topic that fiercely divided the country. Of course, being on the side of the gays and the minors, it’s centred around an anti-Thatcher group, however this film does very well to avoid the political side of everything and turn this true story into an enjoyable, Hollywood-esque one.
That story is delivered very well throughout, and it blends the historical story of the miners’ strike and gay activism in the 1980s with the drama of the individual characters with whom we become so connected throughout this film, which makes it all the more powerful to watch at some points.
And another plus point is that there’s not one main character in the film. Various periods focus on different individuals, whether it’s a village committee member, a young man from Bromley or a couple of bookstore owners, and that helps to emphasise the atmosphere of solidarity, alliance and equality that this film aims to bring across.
The cast here is absolutely fantastic too. Every single performance was incredibly strong, and hugely convincing, while the mix and strong bond between the younger and older characters and actors really helped to make this a much more pleasant and genuine-feeling film to watch.
However, I thought that Imelda Staunton’s performance was absolutely fantastic, by far the stand-out of the film, as she was just such a strong individual throughout, largely the bridge between the gay and the mining community, and was probably the main component in making their bond so strong, while she also does a great job of being absolutely hilarious at many points throughout.
Overall, this gets an 8.0, because it was simply an uplifting, interesting, very well-performed, and most of all, enjoyable film.