Janet (Kristin Scott Thomas) wants to celebrate some encouraging professional news by throwing a party for family and friends in the new film from writer/director Sally Potter The Party. Joining her and her husband Bill (Timothy Spall) are friends like April (Patricia Clarkson), Martha (Cherry Jones), Jinny (Emily Mortimer) and Tom (Cillian Murphy).
With so many people brought together, even if it is for positive news, there’s bound to be drama of some sort and that very much happens here. Over the course of the evening various secrets are revealed and relationships upended. Futures are decided or ruined and oh there’s a gun that makes an appearance as tensions rise and people become more and more upset.
There’s not a whole lot of the story that’s shared on the first poster, which shows all the main characters sitting on or standing around a couch like a strange sort of family photo. The names of the cast are shown at the top while a few pull quotes from an early positive review are placed between the photo and the title, which includes a Y made from a martini glass, showing that this party’s going to get a little crazy.
The first trailer begins by assembling the various guests and we start to get hints that the relationships under one roof aren’t all harmonious. It’s explained that Janet is running for office, which is followed by the revelation that Bill is leaving her for another woman, the wife of Tom. It turns out there are lots of relationships past and present among the guests and arguments are escalated and secrets revealed, with the events all discussed bothy emotionally and philosophically. There might be a murder, too.
It’s funny and sophisticated and plays like a stage production. All the cast look great, like they’re having fun with the dynamics that are driving everyone to act as they do. The black and white look keeps that grounded as well.
Online and Social
There’s not a whole lot on the official website Roadside Attractions setup. It’s primarily centered around selling tickets and outside of that just has the trailer and a synopsis along with cast and crew lists. There’s a Facebook page as well
Advertising and Cross-Promotions
Media and Publicity
No, it’s not a huge campaign by any stretch of the imagination, but it does still look like an attractive option for those looking for smaller, character-driven stories at a time when we never really move out of blockbuster season. All of those involved – from the cast to the director – are all favorites of the indie film crowd and the promise of what amounts to a filmed stage play is pretty convincing.
The trailer, the main element of the campaign, certainly plays up the drama of the story and makes it seem like it moves at a breakneck pace from one revelation to the other. It’s a safe bet that yes, the story keeps going at a nice clip but that there’s more time for it to breath and for smaller moments fit in between what’s shown here. Regardless, this looks like a lot of fun.
Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.