The Party | Fast and furious: Sally Potter’s brisk comedy is a wickedly funny farce

The Party Timothy Spall

A comedy of tragic proportions. 

An Abigail’s Party with posh lefties, Sally Potter’s deliciously tart comedy The Party revolves around another social gathering that goes embarrassingly and painfully awry.

Kristin Scott Thomas plays politician Janet, throwing a dinner party in her London home to celebrate her appointment as shadow health secretary; Timothy Spall is her distracted academic husband; and their guests are squabbling lesbian couple Cherry Jones and Emily Mortimer; coke-snorting, highly wired banker Cillian Murphy; and Patricia Clarkson’s former activist and her flaky New Age partner Bruno Ganz.

Lemon-sharp, Clarkson gets the best lines (‘Tickle an aromatherapist and you find a fascist,’ is one of her scathing zingers) as Potter lays bare her characters’ foibles and flaws with acid wit. Shot in crisp black and white and running a brisk 71 minutes, this scathing intellectual farce may appear stagy but it positively zings with cinematic energy.

Certificate 15. Runtime 71 mins. Director Sally Potter

The Party is available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Lionsgate UK and Picturehouse Entertainment.