This digital-video biopic uses the life of journalist, record mogul and club owner Tony Wilson to frame the story of the Manchester, England, music scene from the heyday of punk through the late-'80s "Madchester" era. As the founder of staunchly independent Factory Records, Wilson (Steve Coogan) shepherded the careers of doomed post-punk combo Joy Division, synth-pop superstars New Order and hedonistic louts the Happy Mondays. Along the way, he helped bring rave culture to Britain under the aegis of the legendary Hacienda nightclub. 24 Hour Party People follows Wilson from his conversion to punk at a seminal Sex Pistols concert through the suicide of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis, the overwhelming success of New Order and the eventual dissolution of the Factory empire thanks to bad business decisions, underworld ties and the hedonistic excess of the Happy Mondays. Directed by Michael Winterbottom and written by frequent collaborator Frank Cottrell Boyce, 24 Hour Party People features cameos from a large number of Manchester music luminaries. The supporting cast includes Shirley Henderson and John Simm, both of whom appeared in Winterbottom's Wonderland, while the film's title comes from a Happy Mondays song.~Brian J. Dillard
The story of Tony Wilson and Factory Records is a fascinating one for music fans of all ages. A great story for fans of Joy Division, New Order, Happy Mondays, the Hacienda, and 80s/90s punk/dance/rave culture - all told in a quirky British style through the eyes of Tony. Recommended!