10 Best British Movies Of 2017

9. The Party

Dunkirk Movie
Picturehouse Entertainment

The dinner party is a uniquely middle class experience and, as a result, it's ripe for satire. That's the central conceit of Sally Potter's chamber piece, which uses the idea of a wine-swilling celebration to probe and prod at the secrets and personal issues that threaten to tear apart the character's friendships and relationships.

Kristin Scott Thomas leads the film as a newly minted Shadow Cabinet minister hosting a dinner party with her taciturn husband, played by Timothy Spall. As the guests arrive, including a coke-snorting Cillian Murphy and Patricia Clarkson as Thomas's acid-tongued best friend, darkness and resentment simmers along with the food.

The Party is a nicely written film that plays as a showcase for its central performers, who really get their tongues around the flowery dialogue. As the secrets flow, Potter's camera roves around the house with controlled precision. It doesn't outstay its welcome at just 70 minutes long and it all builds to a killer final twist.

In this post: 
Posted On: 

Freelance film journalist and fan of professional wrestling. Usually found in a darkened screening room looking for an aisle seat and telling people to put away their mobile phones. Also known to do a bit of stand-up comedy, so I'm used to the occasional heckle.