Newly-elected as shadow secretary for health, Janet (Kristin Scott Thomas) throws a house party to celebrate. However from its opening moments, with Janet’s listless husband Bill (a peerless Timothy Spall), you can see the seeds of doubt being sown with each caustically etched character that comes to the front door.
With a cast list of acting royalty that positively brims with talent, ‘The Party’s’ cup never threatens to over runneth. From Cillian Murphy’s cripplingly self-absorbed trophy husband to Emily Mortimer’s pregnant lesbian and Bruno Ganz’s overly earnest faith healer, the film’s cards are clearly stacked to collapse.
...steadily sets about contaminating its cast with one painful truth after another.
As with its stark black and white palette, ‘The Party’ is an unflinching examination into the nature of presumption and people’s obsession with happiness, all played out within a growing blast radius. With each revelation that threatens to disrupt Janet’s life, ‘The Party’s’ plot steadily sets about contaminating its cast with one painful truth after another.
Short in running time and brutish by its end, ‘The Party’ is both a victim of its stage play origins and a triumph of actors who gleefully wring out every last splintered shard from their character’s bomb-blasted egos. See it for the acting, see it for the wicked comedy of errors that it is and revel in its characters’ selfish intentions. Theirs is a future, stretched so painfully thin that when the end comes, it is a both a shock and a wicked delight.