Movie #238 2020: Pride (2014)

Would you look at that? A gay watching a movie about gays. Groundbreaking.

Pride is the 2014 movie based on a true story; the story of an unlikely partnership between a London-based gay rights movement and a group of striking Welsh miners. Set in 1984 at the height of Thatcherism, mine closures, and picket lines, the LGBTQ community band together to figure out how they can raise the most money and the most awareness. They quickly realise that the miners are receiving little to no financial support during their rebellion, and begin to fund raise in order to support them. As you’d expect from the 1980s, some of the members of the miners’ union are at first a little hesitant and are nothing short of embarrassed that ‘those disgusting queers’ are the only ones helping to aid their cause. After a while, human dignity and understanding takes over, and a strong alliance forms.

You know what? I’m often really dubious of British cinema in that the majority of it seems to be kitchen sink, low budget tosh that just doesn’t appeal to the Blockbuster movie lover in me. Of course I love indie films too, but British cinema doesn’t quite hit that note sometimes either. However, with Pride, my goodness a chord was struck.

As a gay from a mining family I’ve never felt so instantly invested in a narrative as I did with this. I’d heard from so many people – interestingly, mostly straight people – that this was a stunner of an emotional and emotive movie. However, I didn’t actually expect to love it as much as I did. (I’ve said before that a lot of LGBTQ cinema is really underwhelming to me with its minuscule budgeting and poorly acted, one-dimensional story lines, and I still stand by that for the most part.)

This is a cast that is expertly chosen, with each member of it being fully deserving of their role. Let me break it down for you. Joseph Gilgun (most notably Woody from This Is England) is a national treasure. Imelda Staunton is Imelda Staunton. Bill Nighy wrings every ounce of comedy out of the script as you’d expect him to. Menna Trussler – who I’d never heard of – steals the entire show in the minor role she has. Oh, George MacKay is in it too if you’re interested in that sort of thing. Yep, this is a perfect cast and there is your proof.

What Pride get right is that it tells a complete story. Not only is the plot well laid out, but this is a story that deserves to be told. As a whole, this is so uplifting, there’s feel good representation of gay people rather than a focus on LGBT angst and depression, and the main positive that I took out of this is that the entire thing acts as a lesson in what can be achieved if you overcome difference and just support each other. 

The main thought going through my head throughout most of this movie? God, being heterosexual must be so boring. However, at least there are some good examples of heterosexuals – alongside the obligatorily fabulous gay characters – in this. Aside from the clear antagonists, this film has an entirely likeable bunch of personalities within it regardless of sexuality, and that was really nice to see.

Fancy a good sad cry? Fancy a good happy cry? This is your movie. It’s one that should be watched by all, no matter whether you identify as queer or not.

And don’t forget, Olivia Colman once said ”GAY RIGHTS!”, and she meant it. 🏳️‍🌈

Pride is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video in the UK.

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