When I started the Axia Film Society I knew I was going to end up seeing a lot of films that I wouldn’t normally see. Pride definitely fits that category, although in a sense it doesn’t. I wouldn’t not see this movie, I just probably wouldn’t have gone to the cinema to see it, I would have waited for it to come out on DVD or seen it on Sky movies. This film is the reason I’m quite glad I started the film society because this film was worth going to the cinema for. Films like this are the reason why you’ll never see anyone bashing the British Film Industry.

Pride gives a very interesting look into both Gay Rights and the Miners Strike, although neither one is an overriding theme, this film’s main focus is the fact of prejudice itself and how it affects people. The plot ties in both of the struggles brilliantly. The plot itself centres around the political activist group known as Lesbians and Gays Support The Miners, and they resolve to raise money for the miners strike, believing that the way the police were treating the miners was exactly the same way the police were treating them.

Now the film is based on true life events, but I must be honest, I didn’t actually take time to really research this before going in to see the film. But I don’t think a film based on true life events should force you to do an incredible amount of research, you should just learn the basic gist. I think a good film based on true life should make you want to go and look up the books and the historical documents about the moment itself. Similar to how a comic movie should make you want to go and read the comics that the film is based on. In that case Pride definitely does that, it portrays the people of this historic event as extraordinary human beings that you only want to learn more about.

As the events are portrayed in the film, there are some issues in the sense that the plot kind of starts pretty slow and doesn’t feel very cinematic, in a sense, it feels more like a three part drama that was made specifically for Channel 4, but later on it definitely feels cinematic and does warrant it being a film release.

The writers also really took the time out to make sure that despite the fact that there are lots and lots of characters you get to know each one of them really well and you see their progression really well. I can’t think of any character in this film that I didn’t feel I knew more about by the end and didn’t feel that there was some sort of advancement in some sense, which considering some of the films that have been written these days, that is saying a lot!

This film had an all star cast, well not all star in the sense of movies, most of these are mainly well known for television roles, with the exception of Bill Nighy and Dominic West who have done quite a few films. Highlights include the aforementioned Bill Nighy and Dominic West, but we also have Andrew Scott, famous for playing Moriarty in BBC’s Sherlock, Joseph Gilgun who most people recognise from the Channel 4 drama Misfits, Paddy Considine and George McKay. Every actor does a brilliant job.

But for me the really stand out performance came from Imelda Staunton playing one of the main members of the miners support committee. She does a brilliant job as the woman trying to keep the miners happy whilst sticking up for the Lesbians and Gays Supporting The Miners group. For me she really should be up for Best Supporting Actress at the BAFTA’s. Andrew Scott also does an amazing job in his role, although I feel that he could have had a bit more screen time. Again I believe he definitely should be up for Best Supporting Actor, along with George McKay, who does a brilliant job playing the role of the closeted gay member of the group afraid to be discovered by his parents.

If any actors weren’t mentioned its purely because I don’t have enough time to mention all of them, but everyone did at least a fairly decent job if not giving one of the performances of their career. Whilst I am at it, I was expecting Bill Nighy to blow me away, and he didn’t completely, as I felt sometimes his performance was a bit too stilted, especially towards the beginning, he definitely by the end became a stand out member of the cast. Since he’s the most likely to be nominated for Best Actor in a leading role, despite the fact that he pretty much isn’t the leading actor of this film, I would not reject him winning that category at the BAFTA’s next year. I say BAFTA’s because I don’t believe this film will get nominated for an Oscar.

After coming from my last review, seeing Lucy, which was of the most pretentiously shot films I have seen, this was a breath of fresh air, this is one of the best shot films I have seen all year and also one of the best production designs I have seen. You can tell this film is set in the 80’s there is nothing that would suggest otherwise.

From the way the streets are set to the costume department, everything is done to exceptional detail. The film soundtrack also stood out for me as well, it will definitely be recognisable to anyone who spent a large amount of time in the gay disco scene in the 1980’s. It also had some brilliant dance choreography of any film I have seen this year on behalf of Dominic West. I never really want to comment of this sort of thing because I’m REALLY not a dance fan, but he definitely made it believable that he was a completely different character to any other role he had been in and made his character warm to the audience.

Do I have some negatives on this film? Well not as much as I would have thought, considering I can seem to find a negative in almost any film I watch! (Honestly this feels really forced) As I said before it does kind of start out slow and get better as the movie goes on, but I would hardly call that much of a negative. I also would have preferred it if a couple of the homophobic characters had changed towards the end of the film. A couple of them have a story arc but they are never sort of addressed again, especially the main homophobic character who really doesn’t change at all by the end of the movie in any positive sense, but I do understand that this is based on true events, so you are kind of limited in your options.

I also think that this film is too long in a sense. That may be weird seeing as I complained that Lucy was a bit too short, but I do think that there were a couple of scenes that could have been cut to save a bit of time. This film is the longest film that I have reviewed for the site so far, it runs just over the time Guardians of the Galaxy did. It’s just over two hours, but having said that, it’s still better than a couple of the longer films I have watched this year which definitely went on too long. In one case for example Twelve Years a Slave, which definitely should have been shorter than it was.

To summarise, this has actually been one of the best films I have seen all year, because I just can’t find that many negatives to look at. Considering a lot of the films that have come out this year, that is saying a lot. I really would expect this to turn up on my Top 10 best films of the year list, which as I mentioned, will likely be published at the end of the year, if not, the beginning of next year.

The film addresses prejudice in a “and then they came for me” attitude of “if we don’t stick up for them, then they wont stick up for us ideal”. At the same time it’s not about the miners or gay rights as is mentioned in the advertising campaign, it’s just about prejudice in general and how if we don’t support one another it’s not going to help anything. This is really great as a film for anyone who has felt downtrodden or like they are part of a group who is misunderstood.

I would definitely recommend anyone to go and see this in the Cinema, if not, check it out on DVD when it comes out later this year. Dr Buchan requested the film’s review, and has already asked me to pre-order the DVD on my feedback alone. Highly recommended.

Well guys did I get this right. Is this one of the Best British Films this year and just one of the best films this year all round, or was I watching this through rose tinted glasses. I’d love to get a comment from you guys whether a rebuttal or an agreement. I’ll take any thing here, and of course if there are any actors that I missed that you believe gave a stand out performance, then let me know.

Now its time to move on. The next two films are ones which I have been really looking forward to since I saw the film schedules for this year.

Come back on October 15 where I will be reviewing a modern update to a classic horror icon, its Dracula Untold. At the time of this reviews publication this film is not out yet, but you won’t have to wait long. It comes out Friday 3rd October, and should be available in most cinemas

Calvin – Nerd Consultant

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13 comments on “Pride
  1. Dream says:

    I really enjoyed reading your review, and find myself quite intrigued to see how the “events” are portrayed in the film compared to my recollections of the media portrayal of the “Miners Strike” at the time it actually occurred.

    Unfortunately visiting the cinema “isn’t my thing”, however I look forward to the DVD release.

    • Calvin Atkinson says:

      Well if you’re looking to get a DVD I just found out it is available for pre order on amazon right now and if you do it now you should get it on the day of release

  2. Gail Pirie says:

    After typing Calvin’s review of Pride I can’t wait to see this film myself. Heard so many good reports about it.

  3. David Jarvis says:

    Hey Calvin,

    Great review again. I will probably rent this at some point on Lovefilm.
    When I saw the initial marketing about this film I thought, maybe a bit cynically, is this just going to be another formulaic feel good film in the mould of The Full Monty or Made in Dagenham. I do generally like films like that though and you’ve really sold me on this one.
    I’ve recently been rewatching ‘The Wire’, several years after I saw it the first time, and I remember it being really good but I’d forgotten how good. Dominic West plays the main character, Detective Jimmy McNulty, and he’s fantastic. I remember when I watched it the first time I didn’t know who he was and was shocked to find out he wasn’t American, as I was with Idris Elba also.
    He’s clearly a very talented actor and I’d be interested to see what he’s done with the role in Pride.
    ‘The Wire’ is an all time favourite TV drama of mine. It’s got so much intelligence, detail, authenticity and, most notably, it’s got a lot of heart.
    If anyone was interested in that sort of subject matter i.e the ‘war on drugs’, I’d recommend the documentary ‘The House I live In’ by Eugene Jarecki.

    • Calvin Atkinson says:

      hey David

      glad to hear i sold you on Pride.
      yeah you are definitely on the money with the wire it is one of the best dramas of the last few years and every actor involved gave great performances though i almost missed it at the time because i was busy watching Deadwood which i would also recommend as i reckon it is as good as the wire
      I do enjoy a good documentary so i’ll give “the house i live in” a go

      • David Jarvis says:

        I agree on Deadwood, been a few years since I saw it but I remember being hooked and the whole thing seeming so authentic. Great cast in that one too. I’ll have to give it another watch when I get chance.

  4. Ronnie Hunt says:

    Pride is one of the best films I have ever seen remembering the miners strike of 1984/85 the film was spot on in recreating the atmosphere of that period did not know about the brave support from the gay people to the miners A very moving film fantastic acting such a brilliant film I went to see pride twice at the cinema and will be buying the DVD.

    • Calvin says:

      hey ronnie

      glad to hear you got so much enjoyment out of it and i agree with everything you said

      it is available for pre order on DVD on amazon at the minute though no release date has been given yet though i’ve already got my order in and i know Dr Buchan has one ordered

  5. Calvin says:

    Just got a email from Amazon telling me that Pride is going to be released on Blu ray and DVD on March 2nd great news for everyone who wanted to get the film on DVD

  6. Dream says:

    I’ve just had the opportunity of watching “Pride”, and wanted to just say ‘thanks’ to you Calvin as I wouldn’t have even been aware of, or entertained the idea of watching this content matter, had I not read your review.

    The ‘Minors Strike’ I recall from the media at the time (along with my parents and peers perspective), however I found the film more of a “cultural snapshot” – remembering the mind-set of society in 1984 (both portrayed at the time by the media and experienced by myself), and only 3 decades ago appears quite astounding to me when I consider how much has changed… and how much remains the same!

    There’s something about “British Films” (or perhaps these BBC/C4/Lottery Funded type films) which makes them very distinctive and “earthy”, crafted in a fashion almost opposite to Hollywood. The humour I found beautifully subtle and dark, and I felt the story was “character driven” (which again was done with excellence as this breed of film oft is from my perspective).

    There may well have been much “artistic license” taken, however the actual historical facts presented at the closing of the film I found deeply profound and had absolutely no knowledge of, bringing a tear to the eye after much chuckling.

    For me a great review (as I said before) and BRILLIANT film now I’ve seen it – fingers crossed “Kill the Messenger” is as entertaining and illuminating 🙂

    • Calvin says:

      Hey dream

      Really glad to hear you enjoyed Pride I agree with you’re opinion espcially on Hollywood handling of films like this and that is the very reason I suspect it won’t be nominated for an Oscar still if we’re enjoying it that’s all that matters

      I really hope kill the messenger is good with its March 6th release my review should be on site for March 13th

  7. Calvin says:

    i’m happy to inform are newcomers and regulars that Pride has been nominated for 3 Bafta’s

    Outstanding British Film,

    Oustanding Debut By A British Writer, Director or Producer for Stephen Bersford (Writer) and David LIivingstone (Producer)

    and Best Supporting Actress for Imelda Staunton

    here’s hoping it does well

  8. Gail pirie says:

    Just watched Pride. What a brilliant film and Calvin your review of the film was spot on. I absolutely loved it and so did my husband Stuart. Would recommend this film to anyone.

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