Pride (2014 film)

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Pride
Pride poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMatthew Warchus
Produced byDavid Livingstone
Written byStephen Beresford
Starring
Music byChristopher Nightingale
CinematographyTat Radcliffe
Edited byMelanie Oliver
Production
company
Distributed byPathé (France)
20th Century Fox (United Kingdom)
Release date
  • 23 May 2014 (2014-05-23) (Cannes Film Festival)
  • 12 September 2014 (2014-09-12) (United Kingdom)
Running time
120 minutes[1]
Country
  • United Kingdom
  • France
LanguageEnglish
Box office$16.7 million[2]

Pride is a 2014 British LGBT-related historical comedy-drama film written by Stephen Beresford and directed by Matthew Warchus. Based on a true story, the film depicts a group of lesbian and gay activists who raised money to help families affected by the British miners' strike in 1984, at the outset of what would become the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners campaign.[3] The alliance was unlike any seen before and was ultimately successful.[3]

It was screened as part of the Directors' Fortnight section of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival,[4][5] where it won the Queer Palm award.[6] Writer Stephen Beresford said a stage musical adaptation involving director Matthew Warchus is being planned.[7]

The film was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and for the BAFTA for Best British Film, Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Imelda Staunton and for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer.

Plot[edit]

Upon watching the news about the miners' strike, gay activist Mark Ashton realises that the police have stopped harassing the gay community because their attention is elsewhere. He spontaneously arranges a fundraiser to the miners during the Gay Pride Parade in London. Encouraged by the success, he founds "Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners". Among its first members are 20-year old closeted student Joe Cooper and an older gay couple Gethin and Jonathan, whose bookshop they use as headquarters.

LGSM faces opposition from the mining community who do not wish to associate with them, as well as within the gay community who feel that the miners have mistreated them in the past. Frustrated by the lack of response, the activists instead decide to take their donations directly to a small mining village named Onllwyn in Wales. Dai Donovan, spokesperson for the miners in Onllwyn, comes to London to meet their new allies. Though he is startled by the revelation of what "L" and "G" stand for in their name, he expresses his gratitude in a short, eloquent speech at a gay bar and the cause takes off.

In Onllwyn, the Women's Support group led by Hefina Headon and Maureen Barry debate whether to invite LGSM to the village as a thank you; Hefina's camp favours gratitude from all camps, whilst Maureen's camp considers the gays abhorrent. First-time volunteer Siân James speaks up fiercely in favour of inviting LGSM and is asked to join the committee. When LGSM arrives in Onllwyn, they are met with a frosty reception and Maureen leads a walkout after Mark's speech to the village. However, the next day Jonathan shares with Siân his knowledge of harassment laws and abuse of police power; the fiery Siân marches down to the police station to demand the release of illegally detained miners. Many grateful miners acknowledge LGSM's role in their release, relations begin to thaw and the two communities quickly become close. Finding herself on the outside, Maureen contacts a tabloid about the situation in Onllwyn. The resulting story humiliates The National Union of Miners, who call a vote on whether to accept LGSM's support.

Back in London, Mark declares that they will embrace the labels in the tabloid and throws an enormous music festival headlined by Bronski Beat, attended by Dai, Hefina and a number of the women from the village. Mark is badly shaken when he encounters a former lover who advises that he is terminal with AIDS. The festival "Pits and Perverts" raises thousands of pounds for Onllwyn, but the Union vote moves forward three hours without notice, and without Dai or Hefina, Maureen's camp succeeds in voting to refuse further help from LGSM. Disillusioned and haunted, Mark abandons LGSM. Gethin, who initially refused to participate due to his own experience coming out in a mining village, attempts to campaign alone and is violently assaulted and hospitalised. Joe is outed when his parents find photos from Onllwyn and he is kept away from the group.

In March 1985, the Miners' Strike is over. The miners of Onllwyn gather to go back into the mines. Joe sees the news and sneaks off to Onllwyn show solidarity, where he encounters Mark. Mark confronts Joe about hiding his activism and homosexuality from his parents. When Siân drives Joe home in the LGSM donated van, humiliating his conservative family, Joe decides to leave home.

On the morning of the 1985 Gay Pride Parade, Mark returns to the group and apologises for abandoning the cause. He leads LGSM to the Parade, where they are joined by hundreds of miners in a show of solidarity. The closing scenes reveal that the Labour Party incorporated rights for gays and lesbians in their party programme under pressure from the National Union of Mineworkers, Siân was later elected to Parliment and that Mark Ashton died of AIDS two years later.

Cast[edit]

LGSM members

  • Ben Schnetzer as Mark Ashton, founder of LGSM
  • Joe Gilgun as Michael (Mike) Jackson, Mark's best friend.
  • Faye Marsay as Stephanie (Steph) Chambers, the sole lesbian among the LGSM founders.
  • Dominic West as Jonathan Blake, Gethin's partner and the second person diagnosed with HIV in the UK. He has not developed AIDS and remains alive.
  • Andrew Scott as Gethin Roberts, Jonathan's partner and a Welshman who was alienated from his village when he came out sixteen years prior.
  • Freddie Fox as Jeff Cole, an effeminate man popular with the Onllwyn children.
  • Chris Overton as Reggie Blennerhassett, Ray's partner.
  • Joshua Hill as Ray Aller, Reggie's partner.
  • George MacKay as Joe "Bromley" Cooper, a fictional LGSM member and audience surrogate.

Women's Support Group members

Other characters

  • Bill Nighy as Cliff Barry, a leader of the men's union
  • Paddy Considine as David (Dai) Donovan, a leader of the men's union
  • Rhodri Meilir as Martin James, a leader of the men's union
  • Sophie Evans as Debbie Thomas
  • Karina Fernandez as Stella, an LGSM member who broke off to form an all-female group Lesbians Against Pit Closures
  • Jessie Cave as Zoe, Stella's girlfriend
  • Monica Dolan as Marion Cooper, Bromley's mother
  • Matthew Flynn as Tony Cooper, Bromley's father
  • Olwen Medi as Gethin's mother, who initially disowned him for being gay
  • Kyle Rees as Carl Evans, a miner who asks Jonathan for dancing lessons
  • Jack Baggs as Gary, Carl's friend who also asks for dance lessons
  • Jams Thomas as the Miners Union Leader
  • Deddie Davies as The Old Lady at Bingo
  • Russell Tovey as Tim, friend of Mark's

Release[edit]

Cinema release[edit]

Pride premiered at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, where it received a standing ovation and won the Queer Palm award.[8] The film was also screened at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, with the Washington Post reporting that Pride was "hugely popular with preview and festival audiences".[9] It was released to cinemas throughout the UK on 12 September 2014.[10] In France the film received its release on 17 September.[11] The distribution of the film in the UK and France was handled by Pathé.[12] CBS Films acquired the distribution rights for the film in the United States.[13]

The film received a limited release in the US on 26 September 2014, being screened in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.[14][15]

Controversies[edit]

In the UK the film received a 15 certificate by the British Board of Film Classification for "occasional strong language" and two scenes of a sexual nature,[16] one scene in a gay club where men are depicted "wearing 'bondage' clothing",[16] and a comedic scene where some of the characters discover a pornographic magazine in a bedroom.[16] The MPAA gave the film an R rating, the nearest US equivalent to the UK's 15 certificate. This reflects common practice; the British Film Institute states that "most" 15 certificate films are R-rated in the US.[17] The Independent published an article calling the MPAA's rating "draconian",[16] alleging that the R rating's higher age restriction ("no unaccompanied under-17s") was specifically applied due to gay content. The Independent's article formed the basis for a Guardian article[18] which further compounded the issue by mistakenly stating that the MPAA had given the film an NC-17 rating. This error was corrected a few days later.

In January 2015, it was reported that the cover of the US DVD release of the film makes no mention of the gay content. A standard description of "a London-based group of gay and lesbian activists" was reduced to "a group of London-based activists", and a lesbian and gay banner was removed from a photograph on the back cover.[19]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

In its opening weekend Pride took £718,778 at the UK box office.[20] The film was the third highest-grossing release of the weekend, behind Lucy in second place and The Boxtrolls, which debuted at the top of the box office.[20] During its second weekend at the UK box office Pride retained its third-place position on the charts, with takings of £578,794.[21] The Guardian reported that the film had a drop of just 12% in takings during its second weekend at the box office, as well as a strong weekday performance at the box office, commenting: "After a somewhat shaky start, Matthew Warchus' film is displaying signs of solid traction with audiences."[22] In its third weekend at the UK box office, Pride dropped to sixth in the charts with takings of £400,247 over the weekend period.[23] By its fourth weekend Pride had dropped to tenth place in the box office, with takings of £248,654 and an overall UK gross totalling £3,265,317.[24]

In the US, Pride grossed £84,800 from six theatres in its opening weekend.[25] The film expanded slowly, adding theatres in existing markets for its second weekend followed by release in additional cities from 10 October.[25]

Critical response[edit]

Pride has been met with critical acclaim. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 92% of critics surveyed have given the film a positive review; based on a sample of 127 reviews, with an average score of 7.6 out of 10. The site's consensus reads: "Earnest without being didactic and uplifting without stooping to sentimentality, Pride is a joyous crowd-pleaser that genuinely works."[26] Metacritic gave the film an aggregate score of 79/100 based on 36 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[27]

Geoffrey Macnab, of The Independent, noted how Pride followed on from other British films such as The Full Monty, Brassed Off and Billy Elliot as "a story set in a Britain whose industrial base is being shattered".[28] Macnab, who gave the film a five-star review, praised the screenplay for combining "broad comedy with subtle observation" and noted that director Matthew Warchus "relishes visual contrasts and jarring juxtapositions" throughout the film.[28] Macnab's review stated that Pride retained its humour and accessibility without trivialising the issues addressed in the film.

Peter Bradshaw, reviewing for The Guardian, described the film as "impassioned and lovable".[29] Bradshaw praised performances of the cast, including Bill Nighy's "taciturn shyness" in his portrayal as Cliff and the "dignified and intelligent performance" from Paddy Considine as Dai.[29] Imelda Staunton's performance as Hefina Headon, who died in October 2013,[30] was met with positive reviews by critics. Geoffrey Macnab said Staunton's performance as the matriarchal Hefina was "part Mother Courage and part Hilda Ogden".[28] Ben Schnetzer's performance as Mark Ashton drew positive reviews. Charlotte O'Sullivan, writing for the London Evening Standard, said: "Schnetzer is a New Yorker with an unpromising CV (he was one of the few good things about The Book Thief) and he's fantastic here".[31]

Paul Byrnes in The Sydney Morning Herald described the film as "dry, surprising, compassionate, politically savvy, emotionally rewarding and stacked to the gills with great actors doing solid work".[32]

Nigel Andrews, writing for the Financial Times, gave the film one star out of five, describing it as "a parade of tricks, tropes and tritenesses, designed to keep its balance for two hours atop a political correctness unicycle".[33] Andrews's review read, "Nothing in modern history is more amazing than the cultural rebranding of the UK miners’ strike as a heroic crusade, rather than a Luddite last stand for (inter alia) union demagoguery, greenhouse gas and emphysema."[33] A letter to the Financial Times in response to Andrews argued that the film underlined Arthur Scargill's "intransigence" during the strike.[34]

Awards[edit]

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients and nominees Result
Cannes Film Festival[8] 25 May 2014 Queer Palm Pride Won
Directors' Fortnight Pride Nominated
Flanders International Film Festival Ghent 2014[35] 27 October 2014 Audience award "Port of Ghent" Pride Won
Leiden International Film Festival 2014[36] 10 November 2014 Audience Award Pride Won
British Independent Film Awards[37] 7 December 2014 Best British Independent Film Pride Won
Best Director Matthew Warchus Nominated
Best Screenplay Stephen Beresford Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Imelda Staunton Won
Best Supporting Actor Andrew Scott Won
Best Supporting Actor Ben Schnetzer Nominated
Most Promising Newcomer Ben Schnetzer Nominated
Golden Globe Awards[38] 11 January 2015 Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Pride Nominated
London Film Critics Circle Awards 18 January 2015 British Film of the Year Pride Nominated
Dorian Awards 2014[39] 20 January 2015 LGBTQ Film of the Year Pride Won
Unsung Film of the Year Pride Won
Film of the Year Pride Nominated
Artios Awards[40] 22 January 2015 Outstanding Achievement in Casting - Feature Film Studio or Independent Comedy Fiona Weir Nominated
British Academy Film Awards[41] 8 February 2015 Best British Film Pride Nominated
Best Actress in a Supporting Role Imelda Staunton Nominated
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer Stephen Beresford and David Livingstone Won
GLAAD Media Awards 21 March 2015 Outstanding Film - Wide Release Pride Nominated
Irish Film & Television Awards 24 May 2015 Actor in a Supporting Role in a Feature Film Andrew Scott Nominated
David di Donatello 12 June 2015 Best European Film Pride Nominated

Soundtrack[edit]

Pride
Music From and Inspired by The Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by
Various artists
Released15 September 2014 (2014-09-15)
Length153:09
LabelUniversal Music
ProducerChristopher Nightingale
Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."I Want to Break Free"Queen4:23
2."Shame, Shame, Shame"Shirley & Company3:47
3."Why?"Bronski Beat4:04
4."Love & Pride"King3:21
5."Relax"Frankie Goes to Hollywood3:57
6."Tainted Love"Soft Cell2:37
7."West End Girls"Pet Shop Boys4:01
8."Karma Chameleon"Culture Club4:02
9."Pull Up to the Bumper"Grace Jones4:42
10."You Spin Me Round"Dead or Alive3:19
11."Freedom"Wham!5:20
12."I Second That Emotion"Smokey Robinson2:42
13."Walls Come Tumbling Down"The Style Council3:23
14."Temptation"Heaven 173:26
15."Love Will Tear Us Apart"Joy Division3:21
16."Pale Shelter"Tears for Fears4:27
17."Making Plans For Nigel"XTC4:12
18."Our Lips Are Sealed"Fun Boy Three2:53
19."There Is Power in a Union"Billy Bragg2:49
20."Solidarity Forever"Pete Seeger2:51
21."Across the Great Divide"Frank Solivan3:54
Total length:01:17:31
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Two Tribes"Frankie Goes to Hollywood3:24
2."Blue Monday"New Order4:04
3."For a Friend"The Communards4:36
4."All of My Heart"ABC4:49
5."Do Ya Wanna Funk"Sylvester3:29
6."Red Red Wine"UB403:00
7."Genius of Love"Tom Tom Club3:28
8."Homosapien"Pete Shelley4:34
9."Hard Times"The Human League4:54
10."I Travel"Simple Minds4:03
11."A New England"Kirsty MacColl3:48
12."Waiting for the Love Boat"Associates4:26
13."Ghosts"Japan4:32
14."Living on the Ceiling"Blancmange4:03
15."Robert De Niro's Waiting..."Bananarama3:41
16."Keep On Keepin' On!"The Redskins3:52
17."Are You Ready to Be Heartbroken"Lloyd Cole and the Commotions3:05
18."Across the Bridge"Christopher Nightingale1:40
19."Autumn Montage"Christopher Nightingale1:25
20."Homecoming"Christopher Nightingale2:50
21."Bread and Roses"Bronwen Lewis[42]1:55
Total length:01:15:38

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pride at the British Board of Film Classification
  2. ^ Pride at Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ a b Knegt, Peter (22 April 2014). "Here's The First Image From Matthew Marchus's 'Pride,' Which Will Close Directors' Fortnight at Cannes". Indiewire.
  4. ^ Goodfellow, Melanie (22 April 2014). "Cannes Directors' Fortnight 2014 lineup unveiled". Screendaily. Screen International.
  5. ^ "British film talent gathers for Cannes send-off". BFI. 9 May 2014.
  6. ^ "Festival de Cannes: la "Queer Palm" décernée à "Pride" du Britannique Matthew Warchus". Le Soir (in French). 23 May 2014.
  7. ^ Mitford, Oliver (9 October 2014). "Blockbuster British film Pride could become a stage musical". Best of Theatre.
  8. ^ a b Roddick, Nick (27 May 2014). "Pride - Cannes Film Festival - film review". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  9. ^ Hornaday, Ann (12 September 2014). "Gay activists and miners on strike: an unlikely pair in film festival favorite 'Pride'". Washington Post. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  10. ^ Calhoun, Dave (9 September 2014). "Pride". Time Out. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  11. ^ "Pride - film 2014". AlloCiné (in French). Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  12. ^ "Pride shoot date set". BBC. 5 September 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  13. ^ Vlessing, Etan (7 September 2014). "Toronto: Bill Nighy Blasts Margaret Thatcher for Bashing Gays, Trade Unions". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  14. ^ Jones, Stephanie. ""Pride" Opens in NY, LA, and SF September 26". PCM World News. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  15. ^ "Movie Release Dates - September 2014". FilmJabber. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  16. ^ a b c d Burrell, Ian (30 September 2014). "Pride: Are US film censors pandering to homophobia?". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  17. ^ Brooke, Michael. "The US Ratings System". BFI Screenonline. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  18. ^ Child, Ben (2 October 2014). "US censors accused of homophobia over restrictive Pride rating". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  19. ^ BBC News: Gay banner removed from Pride DVD cover in US, 5 January 2015
  20. ^ a b Fletcher, Harry (16 September 2014). "The Boxtrolls knocks Sex Tape off UK box office top spot". Digital Spy. digitalspy.com. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  21. ^ Reynolds, Simon (23 September 2014). "The Boxtrolls spends second weekend at top of UK box office". Digital Spy. digitalspy.com. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  22. ^ Gant, Charles (23 September 2014). "Could The Riot Club be too posh to push at the UK box office". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  23. ^ Gant, Charles (30 September 2014). "Billy Elliot Live skips past The Equalizer to top UK box office". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  24. ^ Gant, Charles (7 October 2014). "Gone Girl finds gold and Dracula Untold sucks bucks at the UK box office". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  25. ^ a b Brooks, Brian (28 September 2014). "'Skeleton Twins' Robust In Specialty Box-Office Expansion; 'Pride' Solid In Debut". Deadline. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  26. ^ Pride (2014) at Rotten Tomatoes
  27. ^ Pride at Metacritic
  28. ^ a b c Macnab, Geoffrey (12 September 2014). "Pride, film review: Two tribes and plenty of nostalgia in this feelgood hit". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  29. ^ a b Bradshaw, Peter (11 September 2014). "Pride review – when gay activists struck a deal with miners". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  30. ^ Moses-Lloyd, Rachel (17 October 2013). "Screen star Imelda Staunton to immortalise miners' supporter, Hefina Headon, in film about strike". South Wales Evening Post. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  31. ^ O'Sullivan, Charlotte (12 September 2014). "Pride - film review: 'Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton escape national treasure status to show us something new'". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  32. ^ Byrnes, Paul (29 October 2014). "Pride review: Gays add flair in feel-good miners-strike flick". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  33. ^ a b Andrews, Nigel (11 September 2014). "Pride - film review: Schmaltz and piety abound as gay rights activists join forces with striking miners". Financial Times.
  34. ^ "'Pride' underlines how intransigent Scargill was". Financial Times. 3 October 2014.
  35. ^ "'Pride' wint publieksprijs Film Fest Gent". Het Laatste Nieuws (in Dutch). 27 October 2014.
  36. ^ Frequin, Vincent (10 November 2014). "Recordaantal bezoekers voor Leiden International Film Festival". Dichtbij.nl (in Dutch).
  37. ^ Barraclough, Leo (7 December 2014). "Matthew Warchus' 'Pride' Wins Top Prize at British Independent Film Awards". Variety.
  38. ^ "2015 Golden Globe Awards: Winners List". CNN. 11 January 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  39. ^ "Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Name Boyhood Film of the Year". GALECA. 20 January 2015.
  40. ^ "2015 Artios Awards". Casting Society of America.
  41. ^ "Bafta Film Awards 2015: Winners". BBC News. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  42. ^ Sisk, Emma (13 September 2014). "How Welsh singing starlet Bronwen Lewis turned rejection on The Voice into big screen Pride". WalesOnline.

External links[edit]