Review: Pride

Drawn from sadly forgotten fact by scripter Stephen Beresford and director Matthew Warchus, Pride has its audience-pleasing contrivances and the vaguest hint of cheese, and yet, nonetheless, it is fine and fabulous entertainment.

Drawn from sadly forgotten fact by scripter Stephen Beresford and director Matthew Warchus, Pride has its audience-pleasing contrivances and the vaguest hint of cheese, and yet, nonetheless, it is fine and fabulous entertainment. Back in 1984, as (bloody) Thatcher’s mining strike continues unabated, we meet young and closeted Joe (George MacKay), who falls in with a friendly group at a London gay bookshop at the very moment that one, Mark (Ben Schnetzer, excellent), recognises that miners are as oppressed and intimidated as they have been (and often still are). Assembling Joe (rechristened ‘Bromley’), Mike (Joseph Gilgun), Jonathan (Dominic West), Gethin (Andrew Scott), Steph (Faye Marsay) and others, money is raised by the ‘LGSM’ (Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners), but the Mineworkers Union shamefully aren’t interested and keep hanging up on Mark. However Dai (Paddy Considine), a local leader from a Welsh village hit hard by the strike, journeys to meet them and uneasily agrees to let them come and meet the townspeople at a gathering that’s initially awfully awkward. Nevertheless, some of the council members, like Cliff (Bill Nighy) and Hefina (Imelda Staunton), are grateful and take a shine to the gang, leading to the expected warming-up of the community and the increasing power of the movement, all of which might sound slightly calculated but is staged with great humour and spirit. Featuring the inevitable 80s soundtrack (Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Culture Club, Bronski Beat), particularly fine work from Nighy, Staunton, Mackay and Schnetzer, and a real sense of maintain-the-rage passion, this is immensely likeable and very moving. It also reminds us that solidarity is forever – or at least it should be… Pride is in cinemas now. Rated M.

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