6.6/10
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85 user 179 critic

The Party (2017)

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Janet hosts a party to celebrate her new promotion, but once the guests arrive it becomes clear that not everything is going to go down as smoothly as the red wine.

Director:

Sally Potter

Writers:

Sally Potter, Walter Donohue (story editor)
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Popularity
3,285 ( 313)
4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Timothy Spall ... Bill
Kristin Scott Thomas ... Janet
Patricia Clarkson ... April
Bruno Ganz ... Gottfried
Cherry Jones ... Martha
Emily Mortimer ... Jinny
Cillian Murphy ... Tom
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Storyline

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. Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A comedy of tragic proportions.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 February 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Festa See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$37,396, 18 February 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$749,827
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

All the actors in the film also have successful careers as stage actors. See more »

Quotes

April: Look, if Dennis Thatcher and Prince Philip could trail behind their female leaders without complaint, then so can Bill.
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Connections

References Master Chef (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

SUMMERTIME
Written by George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward
Performed by Albert Ayler
Published by Frankie G Songs (ASCAP)
DuBose and Dorothy Heyward Memorial Fund Publishing (ASCAP)
Administered by Songs of SMP (ASCAP), Downtown DLJ Songs (ASCAP)
and Ira Gershwin Music (ASCAP) © 1935 (Renewed)
All rights on behalf of Ira Gershwin Music administered by WB Music Corp.
and Raleigh Music Publishing, LLC d/b/a Steve Peter Music o/b/o Nokawi Music (ASCAP).
Master Recording Courtesy of DA MUSIC
Deutsche Austrophon GmbH&Co.KG (Freedom)
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User Reviews

 
A theatrical standard brought to the big screen
14 October 2017 | by euroGarySee all my reviews

The middle-class dinner party in which the thin veneer of polite society is ripped away to expose the dog-eat-dog savagery underneath has provided ample fodder for playwrights since probably the birth of theatre, but films in which such a gathering is the sole focus are rarer. So step forward British auteur Sally Potter.

Having been appointed Shadow Minister for Health, Janet (Kristen Scott Thomas) and her husband Bill (Timothy Spall) throw a celebratory dinner party for their friends: the acerbic April (Patricia Clarkson) and (played by Bruno Ganz) her new age partner Gottfried ("prick an aromatherapist and you'll find a fascist" says April); lesbian professor Martha and her 'Masterchef' runner-up partner Jinny (Emily Mortimer), who is carrying their purchased foetuses ("babies are born every day, in large numbers - large enough to put our planet at risk" is April's unsentimental but accurate comment). Banker Tom (Cillian Murphy) arrives with his wife's apologies: she will be along later. Thus the stage is set, but when a champagne cork shatters a window it is an omen that this will be a dinner party none of the attendees will soon forget.

Trendy lefties who spend too much time thinking are an open goal when it comes to comedy, with their talk of 'post-post-feminism' and their professorships in Utopian Americanism, and Potter does not miss the target in her - I suspect affectionate - mickey-taking. There is nothing original in this - not even the 'twist' at the end - but the film is so entertaining that does not matter (with one exception: when banker Tom heads to the bathroom to snort cocaine I rolled my eyes - just once I would like to see a fictional young banker who *does not* have a coke habit: don't any of them simply put the kettle on?)

There is good acting all around: Clarkson gets all the best lines - albeit at the expense of depth of character - but that merely makes the others work harder with the lines they have been given. Thomas, whose character is the most fully-formed, is noteworthy.

At just over seventy minutes this is rather a short film. Quite why Potter decided to make it in black-and-white I do not know - extra filmsnob points I suppose. But it is hugely entertaining and I look forward to seeing it again. (After all, any film which lists in the credits 'production dog' *must* be good!)


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