Power politics

PRIDE (Matthew Warchus). 120 minutes. Opens Friday (September 26). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NNNN

Made in the crowd-pleasing spirit of Billy Elliot and based on a true story, Pride tracks the attempts of a grassroots organization of gays and lesbians based in London to support striking mineworkers against Margaret Thatcher’s vicious regime. Of course, the small-town miners aren’t sure they’re interested.

The pic, directed by stage veteran Matthew Warchus, taps some familiar tropes – closeted people, coming-out stories, flamboyant queers (a potent Dominic West, for example) teaching uptight miners to loosen up – but that just ups the pleasure factor.

The actors are excellent, especially Ben Schnetzer as the activists’ charismatic leader, whose pro-union politics meet resistance from an LGBT community on the cusp of the AIDS crisis. No surprise that Imelda Staunton and Bill Nighy are also good as union supporters.

It gets a bit too warm and fuzzy – bordering on manipulative – at the end, but this is an important story proving that activists with ingenuity can build improbable political coalitions.


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