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PARTY, THE

SYNOPSIS:
Janet (Kristin Scott Thomas) is celebrating her promotion with a few close friends at her London apartment. Husband (Timothy Spall) appears distracted and is eagerly quaffing his glass of wine. It is an evening of revelations - all of them unexpected.

Review by Louise Keller:
It's short, sharp and anything but sweet - this delectable comedy of errors whose top drawer ensemble cast thrives on cutting dialogue and revelations that sees lives unravel like a ball of wool in the hands of a playful kitten. An unexpected flit of fancy from Sally Potter (Orlando, The Tango Lesson, Yes), this Party is rather irresistible. Sure some of the action can be construed as contrived and the situations exaggerated to make their point, but the players elevate it on its stark black and white backdrop that seems to accentuate everyone's foibles. It's theatrical and overtly funny.

The opening close up of the lion's head doorknocker could well be symbolic of the lion's den we are about to enter. It is quickly followed by a close up of a distraught-looking Kristin Scott Thomas as she answers the door. But wait. Let's go back to the beginning...

Firstly, we meet Scott Thomas' hostess Janet, whose promotion up the political ladder is about to be celebrated. But she has a secret. Contrasting Janet's effervescence is her husband Bill's (Timothy Spall) despairing demeanour, as he sits in the lounge room clutching a glass of wine. He occasionally gets up to change the music on the vinyl.

The guests are a curious bunch. There's Patricia Clarkson's April, whose one-liners steal the film. My favourite is: You're a first class lesbian and a second class thinker. Bruno Ganz as April's new age German partner is Touchy Feely. There's Cherry Jones and Emily Mortimer as lesbian couple Martha and Jinny. Cillian Murphy's Tom arrives last. He is a banker in an expensive suit, who keeps rushing to the bathroom to snort coke. His wife Marianne is going to be late.

The evening begins with a smashed window from a ricocheting Bollinger cork, a curious fox that mysteriously appears from the garden and charred vol au vents from an overheated, smoky oven. Just as glasses are being raised to toast Janet in her new promotion, the revelations begin. They are farcical. And so begins the unraveling.

Potter's concise screenplay makes sure the characters do not overstay their welcome. They're an interesting bunch and we can't help but want to know more about them - even after the credits have rolled.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

PARTY, THE (MA15+)
(UK, 2017)

CAST: Patricia Clarkson, Bruno Ganz, Cherry Jones, Emily Mortimer, Cillian Murphy, Kristin Scott Thomas, Timothy Spall

PRODUCER: Christopher Sheppard, Kurban Kassam

DIRECTOR: Sally Potter

SCRIPT: Sally Potter

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Aleksei Rodionov

EDITOR: Anders Refn, Emilie Orsini

MUSIC: Not credited

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Carlos Conti

RUNNING TIME: 71 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Madman

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 12, 2018







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