This is a severely uplifting affair from start to finish: slick, snappy, and sappy. Based on a true story from 1984, Pride begins with a fun, coiffed group of London gay and lesbian activists raising funds to support a beige, dusty Welsh mining community that's dragging itself through a protracted strike. The thing is, some of those stodgy Welshmen don't want to touch gross gay money! Then for an hour and a half, a string of instructive sequences—sequences we've seen so many times, they're practically part of our eternal souls—permanently dissolves the very notion of preconceptions and prejudice. Eventually, most of the beady-eyed Welsh bigots embrace their gay benefactors, and even the dustiest of the old Welsh biddies finds a few minutes to gigglingly reminisce about dildos or bore the hell out of an entire leather bar. AIDS provides some third-act bleakness, but we end on a hopeful final scene during which a giant mechanical arm holding a spray bottle will extend from the screen to force-mist your eyes while the closing credits roll over shots of the characters framed heroically against Whitehall. As the music swells over and over, it's hard to take anything in this film seriously—but in real life, it's a beautiful thing when oppressed parties that are pitted against each other realize that they're being frustrated, embittered, and undermined by the same oppressors. This powerful and important message almost survives Pride. recommended

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