There are countless films about love, but you will be hard pressed to find one better than Pride, because that’s what the film is about; love. It’s not a love story as such. There is no boy-meets-girl , but it is about love and how we as humans love one another.
Pride tells us the story of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM); a group of (surprise, surprise) gay men and women who supported the miner’s strike of the mid 80s. Led by Mark Ashton (Ben Schnetzer), LGSM struggled to find any miners willing to accept any money from “their kind”, until they happened across one South Wales mining community that did just that.
As a film maker, I have been trained to analyse everything I watch; to critically look at the framing of each scene and how the choices made by these particular film makers helps to tell the story written in words. It is extremely rare to find a film where this instinct to analyse doesn’t kick in while watching it, but Pride is one of the very few films to have achieved this.
From a technical point of view Pride is not the most beautifully shot film we will see this year, there will be no awards for editing or sound design or any of that. It’s a simply put together piece of cinema, but this simplicity just allows the fantastic story to shine through. You really won’t be able to help but feel a strong sense of joy and hope by the end of the film, and to truly believe in humanity and community spirit.
There are few weaknesses (very few) but in the interest of being balanced I’ll go into some depth. There are several impressive Welsh accents on display, Paddy Considine and Andrew Scott in particular hit the nail on the head. Bill Nighy, however didn’t quite pull it off. When he had to really stress emotion in his voice, he slipped into his usual deep tones that we all know and love. I understand the importance of the character of Cliff being Welsh, but if he’d been the customary English then it would have been forgivable I think. It also seemed a little bit of a stretch when Jonathan (Dominic West) won over the vast majority of the village people (not that Village People, though) by showing off his commendable dance skills.