24-Hour Party People | Chicago Reader

24-Hour Party People

Michael Winterbottom (Wonderland) chronicles the late 70s/early 80s heyday of Manchester pop through the eyes of Tony Wilson (Steve Coogan), a Cambridge-educated TV personality whose indie label (Factory Records) and dance club (the Hacienda) were integral to the scene. Coogan delivers a winning performance as the pompous impresario but functions mostly as a pedantic narrator, imposing some cultural significance on the endless party and pointing out such personalities as producer Martin Hannett (Andy Serkis), Happy Mondays singer Shaun Ryder (Danny Cunningham), and Joy Division's doomed front man, Ian Curtis (Sean Harris). "I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be," Wilson declares, quoting Eliot to explain his subservient role; unfortunately no one else in this 2002 feature steps up to the plate, and despite my affinity for Manchester music, I was checking my watch after about an hour.


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