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"Pride": Gay Rights and Workers' Rights Unite Adorably 

Tuesday, Sep 23 2014
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How interesting: This year's best hope for a movie from the U.K. to please crowds in the USA is an ensemble uplifter about the London gay and lesbian activists who raised money to pitch in for the National Union of Mineworkers strike of 1984. Rightists and scolds should at least appreciate the value it places on warm-fuzzy nostalgia. Organized around the not-quite-radical idea that plucky nonthreatening homosexuals and provincial Welsh workingmen's wives are equally and universally adorable, Stephen Beresford's script charges headlong into familiar, low-stakes culture-clash shtick. This does afford lots of savory moments for a fine, game cast including Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Paddy Considine, Bill Nighy, and Andrew Scott (best known around here as Sherlock's Moriarty). The resulting movie is essentially sexless, but unabashedly pro-solidarity — even when it sees the courageous reduced to the merely cutesy. Director Matthew Warchus works in broad and sometimes clumsy strokes, but he is self-evidently the right man for the job of making a film about getting lots of people on board while being warmhearted. It might also have been called Compassion, but then you lose that important reference; the movie's climax, after all, is an affirming protest march. You'd have to be Margaret Thatcher to resist it.

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Jonathan Kiefer

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SF Weekly movie critic Jonathan Kiefer is on Twitter: @kieferama and of course @sfweeklyfilm.

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