The Party

A comedy of tragic proportions.

A gathering of old friends fasten their seatbelts for a bumpy night of explosive revelations in The Party, from veteran British writer-director Sally Potter. Boasting a stellar international ensemble cast including Kristin Scott Thomas, Patricia Clarkson, Cillian Murphy, and Timothy Spall, The Party is indebted to a long tradition of dinner-party-from-hell classics.

The Party might lack the striking originality of Potter’s more experimental work (Orlando or The Tango Lesson), but it puts a contemporary spin on a reliably popular genre, and is arguably the most effortlessly fun film of her career, with a star-studded cast and a witty script.

Poster for the caviar-black comedy The PartyThe setting is a well-appointed London home on an auspicious night for hostess Janet (Scott Thomas), a career politician celebrating her promotion to shadow health minister in the unnamed parliamentary opposition party. Ominously, her academic husband, Bill (Spall), appears to be in shock at the news, numbing himself with booze to a soundtrack of jazz and blues.

Among the guests at the party are April (Clarkson), a former idealist turned wisecracking cynic, accompanied by an unlikely partner in the shape of ageing New Ager Gottfried (Bruno Ganz). Martha (Cherry Jones) is a veteran feminist college professor whose younger English wife, Jinny (Emily Mortimer), has just learned she is pregnant with triplets. The wild card in the pack, millionaire banker Tom (Murphy), arrives in a highly agitated state with a generous stash of cocaine and a concealed firearm. What could possibly go wrong?

– Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter

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