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PRIDE

SYNOPSIS: It is the summer of 1984; Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers is on strike. At the Gay Pride March in London, a group of gay and lesbian activists decide to raise money to support the families of the striking miners. The problem is the Union seems embarrassed to receive their support.

Review by Louise Keller:
Pride is a double sided coin in this inspiring, funny and moving story in which courage and conviction counter discrimination and bigotry. Based on a little known true story in which two disparate groups forge an unlikely bond during a long contentious strike in England during Maggie Thatcher's reign, TV actor Stephen Beresford has written a terrific screenplay that allows us to understand the issues - big and small. Barriers tumble and pride is upheld as the tapestry of emotions is woven together when gay and lesbian activists become staunch supporters of striking miners. With the heart of Billy Elliott and the conviction of Milk, this is a crowd pleasing film filled with passion - and passion is the fuel for change.

After a brief prologue in which the hopelessness of the miners' plight is described as the union and government reach an impasse, we meet the small group of gay and lesbian activists (LGSM - Lesbian and Gay Support Miners), parading in the 1984 Gay Pride march. They are passionate about raising money for the striking miners. Believing it can only be misguided pride that stops the mineworkers union from accepting their calls offering support, the group randomly picks the small Welsh mining town of Dulais, deciding they will deliver the money raised in person.
There are wonderful comic opportunities for director Matthew Warchus as the LGSM group arrives in Dulais in their bright red bus to face a town of tough miners, many of whom have little time for the gay community. The expression on the faces of the conservative townsfolk says it all.
Paddy Considine, Imelda Staunton, Jessica Gunning and Bill Nighy deliver strong performances as members of the Welsh community who befriend the LGSM, while an energized group of youngsters (including Ben Schnetzer, Faye Marsay and George MacKay) impress. The subplot involving Joe (MacKay), whose homosexuality has been kept secret from his bigoted parents is one of the film's key points. Watch out for Dominic West as the outrageous Jonathan, who likes to let loose on the dance floor.

The big emotional hit comes with the forging of the bond between the miners and the LGSM - and we are not disappointed. Warchus handles these scenes with great restraint, which works to the film's advantage.
The revelations at the end of the film about the long term achievements for this minority group reinforce strongly how everyone can make a difference. It's heartwarming and reassuring and the journey we partake is a joyous one.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

PRIDE (M)
(UK, 2014)

CAST: Bill Nighy, Andrew Scott, Dominic West, Joseph Gilgun, Imelda Staunton, Paddy Considine, George MacKay

PRODUCER: David Livingstone

DIRECTOR: Matthew Warchus

SCRIPT: Stephen Beresford

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Tat Radcliffe

EDITOR: Melanie Oliver

MUSIC: Christopher Nightingale

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Simon Bowles

RUNNING TIME: 120 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Entertainment One

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 30, 2014







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