18 August 2017.
THE PARTY ***1/2
Sally Potter has saved the day for those craving a new Woody Allen film, which has sadly not appeared yet this year.
The credits are similar – simple black & white letters, and the film, also in black & white, written and directed by Potter, is a stark story about various characters in one evening, a microcosm of fallible humanity at one crucial party.
Sharp, to the point, amusing dialogue, with precise acting and editing, this is a mirror of our hypocrisies. And blissfully short, at 70 minutes.
Kristin Scott Thomas’s character is celebrating her appointment as Minister of Health in the British government. Her husband seems to be a dazed drunk. Her guests arrive as she’s preparing food in the kitchen. Good friends of all stripes – intellectuals, gays, city financiers – coming to congratulate her and celebrate her political victory. But of course there are glitches in this veneer of success and camaraderie. And a few mysteries are hidden among all this friendship and complicity.
The only hiccup in this intriguing film is the miscasting of Timothy Spall as the drunken husband, though Bruno Ganz and Patricia Clarkson are excellent, as is the rest of the cast.
Potter has given us many delights through the years, including the historically sweeping “Orlando” from 1992, based on Virginia Wolff’s novel and starring a young Tilda Swinton; “The Tango Lesson” and “Yes”, all sensual, innovative and provocative, as is this one.
Go and see it, you will be disturbed, amused and surprised.
Clint Eastwood started off on TV in the 60s with the popular “Rawhide” Western series, then gained wide fame with the ultra-male and violent Dirty Harry films.
He then spread out to directing, garnering both a critical and popular following. His son Scott Eastwood, for his first starring role, has decided to jump into heists, ultra-violence and fast, glitzy cars. I guess he figures those things sell, but perhaps he should concentrate on talent and quality rather than just his name and looks.
Oh, well…he may have time to improve. Just miss this vehicle. Unless you’re a “Fast and Furious” aficionado.
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.