Buckets of Pride – ★★★
Matthew Warchus must fancy himself as a bit of a Terrence Malick seeing as Pride is the first film he’s directed in fifteen years. His first being Simpatico which was based on the Sam Shepard play and starred Nick Nolte, Sharon Stone and Jeff Bridges. The story of the miners strike of 1984 is one that will be known to many but I’d wager you haven’t heard tell of the L.G.S.M; lesbians and gays support the miners and their efforts for the cause.
Joe played by George MacKay is our way into the story. He’s a fresh faced twenty year old from the suburbs of London who gets swept up in the excitement of a pride march and is hooked on the camaraderie and outlandish behaviour of the people he meets. Mark (Ben Schnetzer) the chief rabble rouser learns of the miner strike and upon seeing how the miners are being treated by the police decides to start a fundraising campaign. He, along with other frequenters to Gay’s The Word bookshop, form the L.G.S.M and start raising funds. The only issue is that not too many unions or miners want to be associated with them until they come across one in the Welsh valleys.
While the committee made up of Cliff (Bill Nighy), Dai (Paddy Considine) and Hefina (Imelda Staunton) are happy to take their money they are unsure if the rest of the mining community will be as welcoming. Due to the insistence of Sian (Jessica Gunning) they invite them down from London and show them some Welsh hospitality.
It will bring to mind films like Brassed Off, Billy Elliott and The Full Monty and has more than the miners strike at work within the film. The themes of repression, isolation and abandonment, as well as hope and community all come together in this exploration of the human condition. Bill Nighy steals most scenes and it’s quite nice to see Paddy Considine playing a very subdued, even sedated role for once. Dominic West and Andrew Scott work well as a couple giving a lot of heart to the film.
At times it loses momentum to sentimentality and song and dance numbers, which run the risk of undermining the message. Most issues are resolved too neatly and some are passed over far too quickly. However stellar acting by all concerned in this ensemble cast and a core message of standing up for those in need has never been more relevant than the times we find ourselves in today.
Pride is released on Friday the 12th of September