Of the 13 films eligible for this year’s Queer Palm Award, Matthew Warchus’s “Pride” took home the prize, beating out the likes of Mélanie Laurent’s “Respire” and Xavier Dolan’s “Mommy” (though notably there’s little queer about “Mommy” beyond its writer-director, and Dolan’s already won this — so it all makes sense).
“Pride” — which closed Director’s Fortnight — stars Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Andrew Scott and Paddy Considine and looks like a LGBT history take on the “uplifting comedic drama” genre that the Brits have been churning out nicely as of late. Or at least that’s certainly suggested by the official synopsis:
Set in the summer of 1984 – Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is on strike. At the Gay Pride March in London, a group of gay and lesbian activists decides to raise money to support the families of the striking miners. But there is a problem. The Union seems embarrassed to receive their support.
But the activists are not deterred. They decide to ignore the Union and go direct to the miners. They identify a mining village in deepest Wales and set off in a mini bus to make their donation in person. And so begins the extraordinary story of two seemingly alien communities who form a surprising and ultimately triumphant partnership.
The film follows in the Queer Palm footsteps of Gregg Araki’s “Kaboom,” Xavier Dolan’s “Laurence Anyways” and — last year — Alain Guiraudie’s “Stranger By The Lake.” Oddly enough, if “Mommy” wins the Palme D’Or, it will be the second year in a row a Queer Palm-eligible film won Cannes’ top prize, but didn’t actually take home the Queer Palm (see: “Blue Is The Warmest Color”/”Stranger By The Lake” last year).