An irresistibly entertaining true-story comedy drama. 4/5 stars
This funny and touching film tells the tale of the unlikely alliance forged at the height of the 1984-5 Miners' Strike between a group of gays and lesbians and the inhabitants of a small mining village in South Wales.
Cue broad culture-clash humour when the London-based activists turn up in the Welsh village and even broader comedy when some of the villagers pay a return visit to the capital.
But there is real heart and soul here, too, not least in the warmly sympathetic performances from the likes of Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton and Paddy Considine among the Welsh, and Dominic West, Andrew Scott, George MacKay and Ben Schnetzer among their gay supporters.
There are also plenty of shrewd insights into the era and a rousing message of empathy and solidarity that's every bit as pertinent today as it was three decades ago.
A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.
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