24 Hour Party People
Runtime: 1 hr 55 min
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Starring: Steve Coogan, John Thomson, Nigel Pivaro, Lennie James, Shirley Henderson, Martin Hancock
Director Michael Winterbottom, who has one good film to his credit.
Review by: SteveRhodes
Added: 7 years ago
Director Michael Winterbottom, who has one good film to his credit, JUDE, and who last gave us the cold and inert THE CLAIM, turns for his latest story to the Manchester rock bands of the 1970s and 1980s. The resulting picture, 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE, is an incomprehensible mess. Preaching the old gospel of sex, drugs and rock n' roll, the movie looks like it was edited in a washing machine. Shot on ugly digital tape, the movie's look turns out to less of a problem that its script, which, except for the narration, sounds rather like mumbling ad lib.
Steve Coogan plays the story's lead, Tony Wilson, and provides frequent voice-over. Tony is the host of a television news show called, "So it Goes." Like a speed reader, he chronicles the history of dozens and dozens of local bands, of which some, and maybe all, are real. His blitzkrieg style, however, gives you no reason to care about any of them. Periodically, bizarre little episodes (poisoned pigeons and flying saucers) are thrown into the mix. I could argue that these incidents have little to do with the story, except it's never clear exactly what the movie is about.
Talking to the camera while driving his car, Tony, who appears in just about every scene, tells us that the movie isn't about him and that he's just a minor character. "This film," he claims, "is about the music and those who make the music." Well, if that's really the case, then why doesn't Michael Winterbottom lay off the fast forward button and let us hear the songs in more than very brief clips?
24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE runs a very long 1:55. It is rated R for "strong language, drug use and sexuality" and would be acceptable for older teenagers.