Hour Party People MGM / UA
Scenes of nudity, sex, drugs and violence
Starring Steve Coogan, Keith Allen, Rob Brydon, Enzo
Cilenti, Ron Cook, Chris Coghill, Paddy Considine, and
Directed by: Michael
recommended - 4 1/2 Beans out of 5
"The legendary story of Tony Wilson, Factory Records,
Joy Division, New Order, Happy Mondays, the music, the
madness and the mayhem that was Manchester."
24 Hour Party People is an inspired pseudo-documentary
that gives a riveting, buoyant insider look at the Manchester
music scene, from the first Sex Pistols concert (with
a sparse crowd that included future members of The Clash,
The Buzzcocks and Joy Division) up to the events that
led to a 1997 bankruptcy.
British comic Steve Coogan plays Tony Wilson, an idealist
in the post-punk movement who promotes his favorite
bands on his "So It Goes" TV show. Tony and
his friends start up Factory Records, one of the most
important and least financially successful recording
companies in British history. Wilson soon signed music
illuminaires Joy Division (who reformed as New Order
after the suicide of their lead singer) and Manchester
icons the Happy Mondays, opening the legendary Hacienda
rave club along the way.
Wilson isn't in it for the money but instead endeavors
to make great art and turn people on to exciting new
bands. When Factory Records' burgeoning success gets
investor interest and large buyout offers, we learn
that capitalism wasn't on his mind. Wilson split profits
50-50, gave complete creative freedom and signed no
contracts with his artists. "We are not really a company,"
he explains to the startled investors, "We are an experiment
in human nature. I protected myself from the dilemma
of selling out by having nothing to sell."
Intense performances by Sean Harris as Ian Curtis and
early footage of the Sex Pistols adds edgy gritty reality
to the events that shaped this influential scene. The
movie records a time when the inmates ran the asylum.
24 Hour Party People is an impressive film that is outspoken,
roaringly funny and relentlessly in your face.
4 1/2 Beans out of 5