‘The Party’ Tells of a Soiree Gone Wrong

Dark Comedy Posits Right and Wrong Aren’t Always Clear

Darkly comic and filmed in black and white, Sally Potter’s The Party, is not a typical soiree-gone-wrong story. The film takes place in England and follows Janet (Kristen Scott Thomas) and her husband Bill (Timothy Spall) as she throws a party in honor of her long-awaited appointment as Shadow Minister of Health. Janet invites her closest friends to celebrate including the cynical April (Patricia Clarkson) and her self-proclaimed life-coach boyfriend Gottfried (Bruno Ganz), professor Martha (Cherry Jones) and her wife Jinny (Emily Mortimer), and the sketchy banker Tom (Cillian Murphy). Some unexpected circumstances rear their ugly heads, knocking the celebration off kilter and quickly into mayhem. In the fracas, The Party reveals the clash between realism, idealism, and spirituality, positing that “right” and “wrong” are not always black and white, even though they may seem that way.