Pride: Its Spirit Soars—Movie

Pride” proves that inspirational doesn’t have to be preachy or cloying…it can  be extremely entertaining. Such is what describes “Pride”…extremely entertaining…joyfully so. Directed by Matthew Warchus and written by Stephen Beresford, “Pride” is based on true events in Great Britain during the days of Prime Minister Thatcher.

pride

In 1984 the miners were on strike in Great Britain. While the strike was going on, the first Gay Pride Day was taking place in London. That is where we are first introduced to Joe, aka Bromley, (George MacKay). A not yet out-of-the-closet student, he meets Mark (Ben Schnetzer) and Mike (Joseph Gilgun) during the march, but is reluctant to give them his name, just his school. From there on in, he’s known as Bromley. He’s drawn to Mark and Mike and their group of friends because of the group’s camaraderie and the idea that with them he can be himself. The ragtag group of gays and lesbians is led by Mark, an activist whose enthusiasm is contagious. Not one to be stopped by any obstacles, he’s always full of ideas about what and how the group should be doing to garner more support for their cause.

It’s against this backdrop that Mark sees the potential in supporting the miners’ strike, rationalizing that both groups are underdogs striving to seek better lives. As one might expect, this idea is met with less than an enthusiastic response from his group and out-and-out hostility from some of the miners. Undeterred, the group eventually forms Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM). But when the union is reluctant to welcome their support, Mark has a eureka moment—aligning their group with one group of miners. Mark starts making phone calls and hits pay dirt when Gwen (Menna Trussler) answers the phone in the office of a small group of miners in South Wales. In London, the LGSM meets with the Welsh miners’ emissary, Dai (Paddy Considine), who tentatively accepts their support on behalf of the union and eventually the LGSM make its way to the Welsh community to present in person the money the group has raised. Some of the miners’ committee members are won over immediately—most especially some of the older committee members such as Cliff (Bill Nighy), Hefina (Imelda Staunton) and the aforementioned Gwen. But winning support from the whole committee and the entire group of miners is not going to be easy, if even possible, and therein lays the conflict.

To its credit, “Pride” doesn’t dwell on conflict. The film focuses instead on how the two sides come together, and that is where the joy comes to the forefront. But “Pride” is based on true events and therefore it’s hard not to think about AIDS beginning to take hold during this same time-frame. The film doesn’t shy away from the subject. It can’t. So it addresses it and moves on.

“Pride’s” cast is simply wonderful…from the younger actors to the more seasoned performers. We see much of the film through Bromley’s eyes and the way in which George MacKay portrays his gradual awakening and confidence is amazing. Ben Schnetzer’s Mark is terrific throughout and he makes you feel the passion he has for the cause. Imelda Staunton and Bill Nighy are wonderful in portraying the elders trying to bring some common sense to their community. Menna Trussler’s Gwen basically steals every scene in which she is in, she is that adorably funny. Finally, there is Dominic West ,who gives a fabulous portrayal as Jonathan, one of the older members of the LGSM. And when West’s character gives a dance performance that out Travolta’s Travolta, and in so doing, helps unite the two groups…well, enough said.

At the film’s conclusion, “Pride” will have you cheering in your seat without playing on your emotions in a cheap, pandering way. But it so deserves those cheers.

4 out of 4 nuggets

 

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4 Responses to “Pride: Its Spirit Soars—Movie”

  1. thycriticman Says:

    Another perfect score eh? You must be watching some excellent movies! Glad that great performances and a lack of pandering help get the powerful messages across!

    Like

  2. The Imitation Game: Film-making at its Best | Joan's Nuggets Says:

    […] you are in the need for a spirit booster upon leaving the theatre, this reviewer suggests seeing “Pride” immediately to see how far we’ve hopefully progressed as human […]

    Like

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