Running for 71 minutes, “The Party” plays like a 1940s comedy made for the modern era. It’s shot in black and white, it has wonderful acting, dramatic situations, and clean dialogue.
The movie stars Kristen Scott Thomas as Janet, the newly elected shadow minister of health, who invites her friends over to celebrate. They include her friend April (Patricia Clarkson), her German life coach partner Gottfried (Bruno Ganz), two Lesbians expecting triplets (Emily Mortimer and Cherry Jones), and Tom (Cillian Murphy), the husband of Janet’s colleague.
Trouble brews at the party when Janet’s husband Bill (Timothy Spall) announces his terminal illness and that he has had an affair with Tom’s wife. Things spin out of control for everyone.
Written and directed by Sally Potter, “The Party” starts off kind of murky, but finishes with a 1940s charm. It pertains to the way the characters talk and react to such drastic situations, the way the movie was filmed, and the way the humor is spliced in all of this.
I love the shots of Murphy with his cocaine and gun and Spall with his drinking and record player. They also have a scene together later on that pays off. Thomas and Mortimer are both excellent in the ways they deal with their own drama, and it never goes overboard.
Now playing in select cities.