Again this year, Denver Film Festival artistic director Brit Withey is offering his must-see picks for each day of the fest — including many flicks that movie lovers might otherwise miss amid the flood of silver-screen goodies. Today he spotlights a selection for November 2: The Party.
The Party Directed by Sally Potter
9:15 p.m. Thursday, November 2
"The Party is a dark comedy with a great cast," says DFF artistic director Brit Withey. "Kristin Scott Thomas, Patricia Clarkson, Cillian Murphy are in it. But it's also a small film — and by that, I mean it all takes place in this one little townhome, almost entirely in the living room. There's a bit in the kitchen and in the back yard, but it's very spare location-wise."
As a result, the focus is on the players.
"The premise is that the character played by Kristin Scott Thomas has been elected to a seat as a Parliament member, and they're throwing a party. But everything goes wrong almost immediately; it all starts going downhill."
Here's the trailer for The Party:
"The main character's husband has terminal cancer, and then there's a discovery about an affair — and suddenly, there are something like six people at the party who start confessing these horrible things."
Nonetheless, Withey stresses that "it's really funny, although it's a dark comedy, for sure. By the end of the night, everyone has gone down a very dark path. It's not a very fun party for them, but it definitely is for us."
He also concedes that "it's a very talky piece, but it's all about the dialogue and the acting, which is just phenomenal in the movie. And the writing is great."
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.