It was either my Maar or Paar who told me about the Miner’s Strike of 1984. I didn’t understand just how momentous the event was until much, much later. It shaped modern Britain – would Margaret Thatcher have ever though that? Pride isn’t the first movie showing us exactly how impactful the strike was, but it is definitely the best one I have ever seen. It is a well written (by Stephen Beresford) and perfectly cast movie that is very, very funny, incredibly touching, and made me wish that I was taught more in school History lessons than about the World Wars.
There are multiple stories in Pride right from the beginning. It’s London’s Gay Pride march in 1984 and we meet Joe (George MacKay) just turned 20 and still in the closet, at least with his parents. He meets Mark (Ben Schnetzer) and Mike (Joseph Gilgun) who are passionate LGBT activists, however in a brilliant line Mark notes how activism shouldn’t exclude anyone (I’m paraphrasing terribly). They understand how much the LGBT community has in common with the striking minors – both are hated by the government, the po-po (I had to, sorry), and the media.
This leads to them forming the Lesbians And Gays Support Minors and they begin sending money to a small village in Wales (how they choose Onllwyn is very, very funny) without going through the Miner’s Union (NUM). Eventually the town invites them for a visit and they hop into van and after getting lost eventually make it. The reception is mixed but through good music and shared political beliefs there is a merging of the two. It’s funny, and exciting, and full of so much hope.
Pride has so many characters yet I never once found it hard to follow all of them and never did I feel unsympathetic to any of them, even the ‘baddie’ of the film. I fell in love with them all and this was definitely because of the incredible cast. Dominic West, Ben Schnetzer, Imelda Staunton, Bill Nighy all played their characters just perfectly. In fact there was one part when almost the whole village ended up in a London gay club (men only but as if something like that would stop the women of Onllwyn) where I could see just how brilliant Imelda Staunton and the rest of the cast were.
Directed by Matthew Warchus Pride balances the laughs and the tears (the ending had me blabbing) with such skill and tact that as a whole package it was one of the best movies I have ever seen. If you get the chance, go. Go see it right now.