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Party (The)

Country: UK, Language: English, 71 mins

  • Director: Sally Potter
  • Writer: Sally Potter
  • Producer: Alice Dawson; John Giwa-Amu

CGiii Comment

Your cliches are unbearable...

Sally Potter wrote it...and, it is the only truthful and believable line in the whole film. A 'feature' film that - including credits - has a runtime of [only] 68 minutes. With a splendid cast delivering dire dialogue, money's worth is called into question.

Imaginatively described as a comedy, this 'party' is a dour mess...replete with eye-rolling stereotypes...the dungaree-wearing lesbian [pregnant with triplets], the butch lesbian with a heterosexual past, the coke-snorting-gun-carrying banker [a jaw-dropping overly-acted performance by Cillian Murphy]...and then there's poor Bruno Ganz as the [German] dippy-hippy-life-coach, he has some of the worst lines ever to have disgraced the silver screen.

Patricia Clarkson spouts ascerbic post-post-post-modern feminisim. Kristin Scott Thomas does a cross between Mrs Durrell and Nigella Lawson, a domestic goddess with an edge! And...poor Timothy Spall, totally miscast.

And just when you thought it couldn't get any worse...there's the final twist, right at the very end...this is a 68-minute-film that leaves you thinking: You have got to be f**king joking!!!


The(ir) Blurb...

A brilliant ensemble cast get their teeth stuck into Britain’s political elite in Sally Potter’s biting and supremely entertaining satire. Janet (Kristin Scott Thomas) has just been appointed Shadow Minister for Health and has invited some friends around to celebrate. Her dazed husband (Timothy Spall) seems happy enough to see razor-tongued April (Patricia Clarkson), but struggles to check his intolerance of flagrant new-ager Gottfried (Bruno Ganz). Next to arrive are Martha (Cherry Jones), described by April as ‘a first-class lesbian and a second-rate thinker’, and her wife Jinny (Emily Mortimer), but things seriously derail when unhinged and chemically-enhanced banker Tom (Cillian Murphy) bursts in looking for his wife. Dinner always appears to be on the cusp of being served but never quite arrives.

As in Luis Buñuel’s The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, the guests remain hungry and volatile. The film, however, serves up a full course of character dissections, with Potter’s spit-fire dialogue and Aleksei Rodionov’s prowling camera revealing much more than the individual ambitions and petty grievances of the guests. Written in the lead-up to the 2015 British General Election, Potter’s potent, funny and deliciously nasty film relishes stripping bare characters who fail ‘to keep to their own party-line of what is morally right and politically left’.

Clare Stewart

Cast & Characters

Patricia Clarkson as April;
Bruno Ganz as Gottfried;
Cherry Jones as Martha;
Emily Mortimer as Jinny;
Cillian Murphy as Tom;
Kristin Scott Thomas as Janet;
Timothy Spall as Bill

From the same director:

Gold Diggers (The) London Story (The) Orlando Rage
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