Ever go to a party and stand there contemplating leaving, unsure if you are having a fun time? This movie made me feel the same – not the leaving, but, as the lights came up, what the heck just happened? Sally Potter’s brief, brisk and small film The Party is worth seeing – the cast is interesting and uniformly good, and this is unlike any movie you’ll see this year. Points for that. You will need to ditch the thought that inevitably rings in your head 30 minutes in – “why don’t they all just leave?”, and if you do quelch that nagging, sit back and enjoy the drama and domestic chaos.
Starring the always stellar Kristin Scott Thomas as the UK politico host, and Patricia Clarkson as her steadfast and superbly cutting friend, the small cast of characters, including Cillian Murphy all coked up and Timothy Spall looking embalmed, have webs of lies, love and huge flaws to sort out over a dinner that is burning in the kitchen. The dramatic pace is maintained by Potter and The Party is an exercise in great acting. But, yikes, people, call an Uber.