I’ve never been a fan of director Sally Potter. Her new film, The party, is a uninterresting, annoyance of a film. It stars Kristin Scott Thomas as Janet, a politician from the opposition party, who has received an important promotion. Janet has invited a few friends to celebrate the good news. But her husband, Bill (Timothy Spall), sits around drinking too much and listening to music. He does not look to be in a celebratory mood. Then the guest arrive: cynical April (Patricia Clarkson, the only bright light among the cast), and her life-coach husband, Gottfried (Bruno Ganz), lesbian couple Martha (Cherry Jones) and Jinny (Emily Mortimer), announcing that Jinny is pregnant with triplets, and millionaire banker Tom (Cillian Murphy). A bunch of hysterical nuts! Tom’s wife, Marianne, will arrive later, Tom says before he goes to the washroom to snort some cocaine. Tom also brought a gun. During the evening Bill tells Janet that he is dying and leaving her for Marianne. Meanwhile, Janet is texting a secret lover. It becomes too busy with life-coach Gottfried trying to save the world, April insulting everyone, the lesbians fighting and Tom’s fits of jealous rage. It’s a mess! Shot in a very ugly black-and-white, it at times feels that it was a stage play. But nope, it’s an original screenplay by Potter. It begs the question: Why was it made? Just put The party in the WTF category and forget about it. It clocks in at only 71 minutes. Quite enough. Avoid!
Kristin Scott Thomas