Pride (2014 film)
|Directed by||Matthew Warchus|
|Written by||Stephen Beresford|
|Produced by||David Livingstone|
|Edited by||Melanie Oliver|
|Music by||Christopher Nightingale|
|Distributed by||Pathé Distribution (France)|
20th Century Fox (United Kingdom)
|Box office||$16.7 million|
Pride is a 2014 British 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.
It was screened as part of the Directors' Fortnight section of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Queer Palm award. Writer Stephen Beresford said a stage musical adaptation involving director Matthew Warchus is being planned.
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.
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 bucket collection for 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 (called Gay's the Word) 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, and her supporters, favour gratitude from all camps, whilst Maureen's supporters consider 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 concert at the Electric Ballroom 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 implies 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 to 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, that Siân was later elected to Parliament and that Mark Ashton died of AIDS two years later.
- Ben Schnetzer as Mark Ashton, founder of LGSM
- Joseph 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.
- Andrew Scott as Gethin Roberts, Jonathan's partner and a Welshman who was alienated from his village when he came out sixteen years earlier.
- Freddie Fox as Jeff Cole, 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
- Imelda Staunton as Hefina Headon, member of the strike committee.
- Jessica Gunning as Siân James, wife of Martin.
- Liz White as Margaret Donovan, member of the strike committee and wife of Dai.
- Nia Gwynne as Gail Pritchard, wife of Alan.
- Menna Trussler as Gwen, an elderly member, and widow of William, who was a miner.
- Lisa Palfrey as Maureen Barry, a widow and sister-in-law of Cliff who is against LGSM support.
- 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 and member of the strike committee.
- 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, apparent ex lover of Mark.
Pride premiered at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, where it received a standing ovation and won the Queer Palm award. 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". It was released to cinemas throughout the UK on 12 September 2014. In France, the film received its release on 17 September. The film was distributed by Pathé in the UK and France, with the title being distributed through Pathé's British distribution partner 20th Century Fox. CBS Films acquired the distribution rights for the film in the United States.
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, one scene in a gay club where men are depicted "wearing 'bondage' clothing", and a comedic scene where some of the characters discover a pornographic magazine in a bedroom. 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.) The Independent published an article calling the MPAA's rating "draconian", 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 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.
The absence of any mention of Mark Ashton's communist beliefs in the film, despite his position as the leader of the youth branch of the Communist Party of Great Britain's (CPGB), has become a point of contention for his surviving friends. Fellow communist activist and a close friend of Mark Ashton, Lorraine Douglas, accused the film of having "glossed over Mark's politics and said nothing about the fact he subsequently became General Secretary of the YCL", the youth wing of the CPGB.
In its opening weekend Pride took £718,778 at the UK box office. 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. During its second weekend at the UK box office Pride retained its third-place position on the charts, with takings of £578,794. 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." 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. 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.
In the US, Pride grossed £84,800 from six theatres in its opening weekend. The film expanded slowly, adding cinemas in existing markets for its second weekend followed by release in additional cities from 10 October.
Pride was met with critical acclaim. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 92% of critics surveyed gave the film a positive review, based on a sample of 127 reviews, with an average score of 7.6 out of 10; the consensus on the film reads: "Earnest without being didactic and uplifting without stooping to sentimentality, Pride is a joyous crowd-pleaser that genuinely works." Metacritic gave the film an aggregate score of 79/100 based on 36 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews."
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". 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. 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". 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. Imelda Staunton's performance as Hefina Headon, who died in October 2013, 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". 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".
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".
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". Andrews' 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."
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipients||Result|
|Cannes Film Festival||25 May 2014||Queer Palm||Pride||Won|
|Flanders International Film Festival Ghent 2014||27 October 2014||Audience award "Port of Ghent"||Pride||Won|
|Leiden International Film Festival 2014||10 November 2014||Audience Award||Pride||Won|
|British Independent Film Awards||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||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||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||22 January 2015||Outstanding Achievement in Casting - Feature Film Studio or Independent Comedy||Fiona Weir||Nominated|
|British Academy Film Awards||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|
Music From and Inspired by The Motion Picture
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||15 September 2014|
|1.||"I Want to Break Free"||Queen||4:23|
|2.||"Shame, Shame, Shame"||Shirley & Company||3:47|
|4.||"Love & Pride"||King||3:21|
|5.||"Relax"||Frankie Goes to Hollywood||3:57|
|6.||"Tainted Love"||Soft Cell||2:37|
|7.||"West End Girls"||Pet Shop Boys||4:01|
|8.||"Karma Chameleon"||Culture Club||4:02|
|9.||"Pull Up to the Bumper"||Grace Jones||4:42|
|10.||"You Spin Me Round"||Dead or Alive||3:19|
|12.||"I Second That Emotion"||Smokey Robinson||2:42|
|13.||"Walls Come Tumbling Down"||The Style Council||3:23|
|15.||"Love Will Tear Us Apart"||Joy Division||3:21|
|16.||"Pale Shelter"||Tears for Fears||4:27|
|17.||"Making Plans For Nigel"||XTC||4:12|
|18.||"Our Lips Are Sealed"||Fun Boy Three||2:53|
|19.||"There Is Power in a Union"||Billy Bragg||2:49|
|20.||"Solidarity Forever"||Pete Seeger||2:51|
|21.||"Across the Great Divide"||Frank Solivan||3:54|
|1.||"Two Tribes"||Frankie Goes to Hollywood||3:24|
|2.||"Blue Monday"||New Order||4:04|
|3.||"For a Friend"||The Communards||4:36|
|4.||"All of My Heart"||ABC||4:49|
|5.||"Do Ya Wanna Funk"||Sylvester||3:29|
|6.||"Red Red Wine"||UB40||3:00|
|7.||"Genius of Love"||Tom Tom Club||3:28|
|9.||"Hard Times"||The Human League||4:54|
|10.||"I Travel"||Simple Minds||4:03|
|11.||"A New England"||Kirsty MacColl||3:48|
|12.||"Waiting for the Love Boat"||Associates||4:26|
|14.||"Living on the Ceiling"||Blancmange||4:03|
|15.||"Robert De Niro's Waiting..."||Bananarama||3:41|
|16.||"Keep On Keepin' On!"||The Redskins||3:52|
|17.||"Are You Ready to Be Heartbroken"||Lloyd Cole and the Commotions||3:05|
|18.||"Across the Bridge"||Christopher Nightingale||1:40|
|19.||"Autumn Montage"||Christopher Nightingale||1:25|
|21.||"Bread and Roses"||Bronwen Lewis||1:55|
- Pride at the British Board of Film Classification
- Pride at Box Office Mojo
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- "Movie Release Dates - September 2014". FilmJabber. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
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- Brooke, Michael. "The US Ratings System". BFI Screenonline. Archived from the original on 19 December 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
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- "Gay banner removed from Pride DVD cover in US" Archived 27 July 2018 at the Wayback Machine, BBC News, 5 January 2015
- Meddick, Simon; Payne, Liz; Katz, Phil (2020). Red Lives: Communists and the Struggle for Socialism. UK: Manifesto Press Cooperative Limited. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-907464-45-4.
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- Gant, Charles (23 September 2014). "Could The Riot Club be too posh to push at the UK box office". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 30 September 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
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- Pride (2014) at Rotten Tomatoes
- Pride at Metacritic
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- Bradshaw, Peter (11 September 2014). "Pride review – when gay activists struck a deal with miners". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 14 September 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
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