Oct 20

“Pride” Movie: So Many Reasons to See This Uplifting Film

In the new Pride movie, based on true events, United Kingdom mineworkers are assisted by gay activists during a lengthy union strike in 1984. The film was directed by Matthew Warchus and written by Stephen Beresford.

I think it’s best not to know a whole lot else about the film before going in. So how’s this for staying broad and general? Rex Reed, New York Observer: “In Pride, lives are changed, values are shared, and the best instincts of the human race are revealed, in one of the hippest examples of liberating enlightenment ever seen on film.”

But just in case you want me to be a bit more specific than that…

Who’s in the Pride movie?

To name a few stars, there’s Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, and Dominic West.

The theme?

David Denby, New Yorker: “The question the movie asks is: What is solidarity?”

Odie Henderson, rogerebert.com: “The title ‘Pride’ comes to mean different things for the film’s characters. For some, it’s pride in their achievements; for others, it is pride in who they are or what they have become.”

The tone?

Charles Gant, Variety: “The U.K. has a history of mining gold from stories of personal growth rooted in traditional communities, notably the fictional ‘The Full Monty’ and ‘Billy Elliot,’ and it’s this tradition that has brought forth ‘Pride’…”

David Denby, New Yorker: “…(I)n general, the picture is short on politics and historical context (there’s almost nothing about the strike itself) and long on comedy, sentiment, and music.”

How is the gay community portrayed in the Pride movie? The nongay community?

Dave Calhoun, TimeOut: “The ‘gays’, as the Welsh call them, are led by young Mark Ashton (Ben Schnetzer), loud and determined. Those at his side in Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) include barely out Joe (George MacKay) and a couple, actor Jonathan (Dominic West) and his more meek partner Gethin (Andrew Scott), for whom a return to Wales holds special meaning.”

Odie Henderson, rogerebert.com: “The 80’s era paranoia and misinformation about AIDS haunt the proceedings, as does the danger of being out and proud in a hostile environment. The fear of identifying and associating with people whom society rejects is always in the background, as is the fear of familial rejection because of one’s identity.”

How do women fare? 

David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter: “Unsurprisingly, the women of the community are the least threatened by the outsiders, among them feisty, salt-of-the-earth Hefina (Imelda Staunton), progressive thinker Sian (Jessica Gunning) and Gwen (Menna Trussler), a sweet old dear who greets them with joyful curiosity.”

Mark Kermode, The Guardian: “…(A)ll the best lines [go] to the working-class women whose indomitable spirit equals and outdoes that of their embattled menfolk.”

Will you like it?

Dave Calhoun, TimeOut: “It’s a joyous film, full of love and warmth but unafraid to admit that with sticking out your neck comes struggle and sorrow. Truly lovely.”