Star Rating:

24 Hour Party People

Director: Michael Winterbottom

Actors: John Thomson, Lennie James, Steve Coogan

Release Date: Friday 5th April 2002

Genre(s): Drama

Running time: 117 minutes

Twenty-Four Party People is a look at the life and times of Tony Wilson (Coogan), the founder of Factory Records, and the Manchester music scene from the mid 1970s to the early 1990s.

Recounted primarily from the point of view of Wilson - with Coogan often speaking directly to the camera - '24 Hour Party People' is a darkly comedic affair, revelling in the absurdities of the era, as well as the characters (Ian Curtis, Shaun Ryder) and incidents. The two bands in '24 Hour Party People' examined in most detail are Joy Division and the Happy Mondays, and such was the respective level of incident that a biopic of either would have made for dramatic viewing.

Since their careers are compressed into the one film, the time frame of this film blurs quite a bit - inevitable perhaps when 16 years is being compressed into two hours - and, in terms of performances, Coogan often appears to be doing a riff on some of his better-known comedic characters. But this is hardly a cardinal sin and '24 Hour Party People' is definitely worthy of your attentions if you're interested in that era.