Review: The Party

Title: The Party
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Sally Porter
Starring: Timothy SpallKristin Scott ThomasPatricia Clarkson
Runtime: 1 hr 11 mins

What It Is: When Janet (Scott Thomas) invites some friends over for a get-together to celebrate an accomplishment, not everything goes as well as you’d assume. Her husband Bill (Spall) is ill, but no one knows what or why. Her friends Martha (Cherry Jones) and Jinny (Emily Mortimer) are lesbians expecting their first child together. Her best friend April (Clarkson) and her husband Gottfried (Bruno Ganz) are having some issues at all. That’s just the tip of the iceberg for this dysfunctional group.

What We Think: It’s short at only 71 minutes and it gets to its point. Throughout you’ll grow to despise the characters and I think that’s the point the whole time. As the revelations unfurl we begin to dislike them all the more. I thought the script was brilliant. Throughout there are great conversations going on the entire time. Whether it’s Gottfried waxing on life with Bill or the curmudgeonly April telling Janet why she’s wrong about this and that. The reveal is one that you can sort of see coming from a million miles away. This is one thing holding this film back. I loved the decision to film it in black and white it just worked.

Our Grade: A-, Outside of the denouement being somewhat predictable this is a fantastic film. Porter puts a light touch on this from behind the lens. She directs a stellar cast with a great script of her own writing. You can point to this or that or even the characters being completely insufferable as a “reason” to dislike this. While this is 100% a valid reason it made the film far more enjoyable. Obviously, this is a recommendation, like what’d you expect?