In this acid-laced amuse-bouche of a movie from British writer-director Sally Potter, dinner never makes it to the table but the guests still get served, early and often.
Janet (Kristin Scott Thomas) is hosting an intimate gathering of friends in her London home to celebrate her political ascension. “But the celebratory mood swiftly turns toxic at a gathering where nearly every guest might as well be wearing a self-affixed “kick me” sign. The one doing most of the kicking is Janet’s friend April (Patricia Clarkson), whose delight at her friend’s success is matched by her cynical disdain for politics. ‘I’m proud of you, even though I think democracy is finished,’ she declares, and the movie, although scrupulous in its satirical detachment, cannot help but agree with her point. Fast and funny, The Party shows just how quickly a small microcosm of enlightened liberal society can descend into coke-snorting, face-smacking, gun-toting chaos. It also demonstrates what can happen when a filmmaker takes on a well-worn cinematic subgenre — the dinner party gone horribly wrong — and strips it down to its blistering bare-bones essence.” — Justin Chang, L.A. Times.
(UK / 2017 / Directed by Sally Potter)
R / 1 hr 11 mins.