“Pride” dir. by Matthew Warchus: Film Review

Pride is a British movie, directed by Matthew Warchus that premiered in 2014.
The plot of the film is based on a true story that occurred in London and Wales in the years 1984/85. It starts out as the story of the 20-year-old Londoner Joe (George MacKay), who is slowly coming to terms with his homosexuality and therefore joins the Gay Pride London 1984. There he meets a group of new lesbian and gay people, whom he soon becomes close friends with. Joe is one of the few characters in the movie that is actually fictional. He was created to give the audience an access point to the whole story and the actual real life characters in it.
The story takes place during the time of Britain’s great Miner strike under Margaret Thatcher. Since the Miners struggle to keep their strike up, this little group of people found a group called “Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners”, trying to raise money to help the mining communities out.
At first the Miners Union does not want to take the money that was raised for them because they are afraid of the implications that would follow if they were openly associated with a group of gay people. Therefore “Gay and Lesbians Support the Miners” decide to donate their money directly to one of the affected mining villages. They find the little Welsh village Onllwyn and after meeting with the responsible member of the Union they start donating directly to the people of Onllwyn and are, because they have raised so much money for them, even invited to visit.
As can be guessed, a small Welsh village in the early 1980s is not exactly gay friendly, nevertheless most of the people to warm towards the shrill guests from London.

Since it is a BBC movie I was actually going in, fully prepared that it is going to be a dark and absolutely depressing British drama, but was pleasantly surprised. Although dealing with serious topics the film balances incredibly well between comedy and drama. It has got a very light-hearted atmosphere and assembles some of Britain’s finest actors like Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Andrew Scott etc.
Unfortunately it is not in cinemas everywhere, but if you have got the chance please do go and see it, because I can most certainly say that Pride is the most beautiful film I have seen in a very long time.

“Good Omens – The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch” by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett: Review

Good Omens is the result of a collaboration between two of the greatest writers of our time, Terry Pratchett (Discworld) and Neil Gaiman (Sandman).
To sum up the whole plot of the novel would be rather too extensive but I’m still going to give it a try.
Basically, it’s the story of the apocalypse, but not in any way you have read about it before. The demon Crowley and the angel Aziraphale have been living on earth for a few centuries now and they have grown rather fond of it and their lifestyles. Nevertheless they are told by their respective bosses that the Antichrist is about to be born and that he needs to be taken care of, so that he can properly herald Armageddon when he’s old enough. Both sides observe the boy growing up, wondering when his destiny will show, since he does not seem threatening in the slightest. Only on his 11th birthday Crowley realizes that he and the satanic nuns might have made a mistake the night the boy was born and that the children seem to have been switched.
From then on it’s mainly Crowley running from his bosses and him and Azariphale deciding that they would much rather save the earth they live on. Aside from these two looking for the real Antichrist we also meet Newt Pulsifer, a member of the witchfinder army, who has become aware of some strange things happening in the village of Lower Tadfield, where Adam aka. the Antichrist happens to live. There Newt meets and falls in love with Anathema Device, a descendant of one Agnes Nutter, the very same Agnes Nutter who happened to predict the end of the world.
Crowley, Azariphale and Newt are not the only ones to make their way towards Lower Tadfield, but also the four horseman are on their way to join the Antichrist in bringing about the apocalypse. These four might seem a bit familiar if you are familiar with Pratchett’s writing, especially the fact that everything Death says is written in all caps is a feature of Pratchett’s Discworld novels.
To see how the grand finale goes down I strongly recommend you pick up the book as soon as possible.

It didn’t come as much of a surprise to me that I liked the book as much as I did, because I am a big fan of both Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett and even if you haven’t read anything by either of the two before, I am pretty sure you will love this book. It is absurd in a way that makes you smile constantly and also very witty, reflecting on society in a way that does not make it feel like it is being shoved in your face.
BBC Radio is also going to release a radio play for Good Omens, featuring some of Britain’s finest actors and also featuring the creators Gaiman and Pratchett themselves in a cameo appearance, just in time for Christmas. And as one of the actors who will be in the radio play, Colin Morgan, put it:

It’s a story about the Antichrist. There’s nothing more festive than that!”