Mark Ashton (Ben Schnetzer) is the charismatic leader of young, impassioned campaigners, who operate out of the Gay’s The Word bookshop in London run by Gethin (Andrew Scott).
Reading news stories about the miner’s strike, Mark recognises a cause to champion. “Mining communities are being bullied just like we are,” he tells his coterie comprising Mike (Joseph Gilgun), Jonathan (Dominic West), Jeff (Freddie Fox), Steph (Faye Marsay) and closeted new boy, Joe (George MacKay). They form LGSM - Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners - and rattle tins for a randomly selected Welsh community. Mining representative Dai (Paddy Considine) invites Mark and co to the Dulais Valley where committee members Hefina (Imelda Staunton), Cliff (Bill Nighy) and Sian (Jessica Gunning) embrace the fundraisers with open arms. However, some of the locals are repulsed. “We’re being backed up by perverts,” sneers homophobic mother Maureen (Lisa Palfrey), kindling conflict between some of her neighbours and the LGSM. Based on an inspirational true story, Pride is a barnstorming culture-clash comedy drama that defiantly lives up to its title. Performances are exemplary, ignoring a few wobbles with the Welsh accents, including a fiery turn from Schnetzer as a fresh-faced trailblazer and sobs aplenty from MacKay as the catering student who cannot conceal his sexuality forever. Scriptwriter Stephen Beresford strikes a perfect balance between joy and sorrow, sharing polished one-liners among the ensemble cast. Cast in the magnificent mould of The Full Monty and Billy Elliot, Matthew Warchus’ film rouses viewers to bellowing laughter while choking back a deluge of hot, salty tears.