Pride DVD Review

DVD Review by Clayton Barnett

The Premise
U.K. gay activists work to help miners during their lengthy strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984.
The Review
A lot of advertising material has compared Pride to The Full Monty and Billy Elliot and rightly so - it's another cracker British working class against-the-odds tale with a big heart.
Playwright, and first time screenwriter, Stephen Beresford came across Pride’s true story (a slice of turbulent English history I knew nothing about) and upon reading it was compelled to share it. He’s done a stellar job crafting rounded characters where other hack writers would have stuck to cliché camp gays or one-note bigots. He’s paired up with theatre director Matthew Warchus, filming only his second feature, and their skill in storytelling shines through. The Welsh mining town has some simply classic salt of the earth villagers, no Hollywood hunks or bombshells, just real and hilarious people. Jessica Gunning, who plays one of the younger community leaders, is a standout. Paddy Considine is typically solid but it’s Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton, the respective patriarch and matriarch of the village, who are a class act and play beautifully off each other. You’ll be left in fits of laughter when Imelda takes the village ladies out in London’s gay scene. The LGSM group (that’s Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners) is equally filled with great character actors, including Sherlock’s Moriarty himself, Andrew Scott, and Dominic West (The Wire). Recent newcomber Ben Schnetzer (The Book Thief) spearheads LGSM and lights up the screen with his unbridled enthusiasm. And the film really cracks into gear when the two disparate groups meet. Comedy gold. Though the script pulls its punches far too much, sanitising the homophobic behaviour in what would have been actually quite brutal back in the 80s. Not that everyone wants to see that, but being a tad more realistic would make it all the more believable and emotional. The mainstream make-over is most apparent in the fact that there’s only one true gay kiss and it’s mostly obscured. Sadly it still received an R rating in the United States.
The Verdict
While at times a little sanitised for the mainstream, you can't help but be knocked over by Pride’s inspiring true tale. One of the best ensemble casts seen on screen lately will leave you feeling sore from laughing and full of life.
The Trailer
The Info
DVD Releases: 4th March 2015
Rating: M - Contains offensive language, sexual references & drug use
Duration: 120 minutes
Genre:  Drama Comedy
Starring: Bill Nighy, Dominic West, Andrew Scott, Imelda Staunton, George MacKay, Joseph Gilgun
Director: Matthew Warchus (Simpatico)
The Extras
Anachronisms In the final scene shot outside the Houses of Parliament and set in the late 1980s, Portcullis House is shown in the background. The building was not commissioned until 1992 and only opened in 2001. Also, the Terrace of the Commons is shown in the background of the same scene with marques on it. These would not have been installed in the 1980s and were a later addition.
When the LGSM are counting their recent donations, on top of a stack of 1p pieces, you can see a coin with the "Royal Shield" reverse. This design was introduced in 2008.