A 71-minute movie in black-and-white seems a rather poor return on the price of a cinema ticket these days. The Party is a theatrical comedy - it would have to be half of a double bill on stage or perhaps better suited to a TV play. It's like a middle-class upgrading of THE ROYLE FAMILY relocated to somewhere like Hampstead or Swiss Cottage.
MP Janet (Kristin Scott Thomas) is hosting a drinks do to celebrate becoming a Shadow Minister (from sarcasm at Thatcher's expense we can safely infer that she is Labour). Her husband Bill (Timothy Spall) is weirded out after some bad news at the hospital. First guests to arrive are their best friend Patricia Clarkson (in uber-bitch overdrive) and partner Bruno Ganz, then a lesbian couple, then manic coke-snorting Cillian Murphy (at his dishiest), whose wife – though we never see her – provides all the drama. Infidelity (off-screen)is super-abundant and provides most of the humour.
They're (meant to be) a bunch of unlikeable phoneys, given some snappy dialogue by writer/director Sally Potter (who gave us ORLANDO in 1992 – now there was a weird movie). Unavoidable echoes of Mike Leigh's ABIGAIL'S PARTY (1977), which was much more more hysterical than Janet's celebration here. Slight and intermittently funny. Not very good value.
Comedy / Drama
Comedy / Drama
To celebrate her long-awaited prestigious post as a Shadow Minister for Health and, hopefully, the stepping stone to party leadership, the newly-appointed British opposition politician, Janet, is throwing a party for friends at her London flat. Of course, in this select and intimate soirée, apart from Bill--Janet's self-denying academic husband--a motley crew of elite hand-picked guests have been invited: There's April, the sourly cynical American best friend; her unlikely German husband, Gottfried; there's also Jinny and Martha; and finally, Tom, the smooth banker in the impeccable suit. But inevitably, before dinner is served, the upbeat ambience will shatter to pieces, as festering secrets will start surfacing in this perfect domestic war-zone. Undoubtedly, after this night, things will never be the same again.
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November 30, 2017 at 07:03 PM