Film review: Pride (4 out of 5)

Pride. SUS-140914-075321001
Pride. SUS-140914-075321001

The summer of 1984 was just 30 years ago, but so much has happened in that time.

Pride pinpoints a period when attitudes were very different.

It was also a turning point in UK history when mining communities across the country saw the end of an era as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher refused to back down to the unions.

This very British movie charts an unusual real-life alliance back then when a section of the London gay community decided to help the striking miners.

Thankfully we have moved on, but in 84 there were very strong homophobic views in many quarters.

The question was whether a small mining community would accept cash from this particular group.

Although there is much humour in this film, it also highlights strong personal stories alongside the main theme.

American born Ben Schnetzer plays the real-life character Mark Ashton, the young man who gathered a group of gay friends, aiming to make a real difference and collect money to the miners.

This was also a time when AIDS first surfaced and we see the effects this had on young men and women and the fear it created.

In fact, the most telling scene involves an uncredited Russell Tovey.

As well as an excellent script that has plenty of light moments, there is also a top-notch cast, including Imelda Staunton, Paddy Considine, Bill Nighy, Dominic West and Andrew Scott.

With that much acting ‘weight’ behind the movie it’s no surprise this is heralded as the next Billy Elliot.

There are similarities but Pride edges it for me.

Film details: Pride (15) 120mins

Director: Matthew Warchus

Starring: Ben Schnetzer, Bill Nighy, Paddy Considine, Imelda Staunton

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol