24 Hour Party People

Rated 3.0

Writer Frank Cottrell Boyce and director Michael Winterbottom chronicle the meteoric career of Tony Wilson (Steve Coogan), the TV reporter who rode the wave of the Punk Rock scene in Manchester in the 1970s and 1980s. Boyce and Winterbottom take a witty, gonzo approach to the material, with Wilson frequently addressing the camera directly to comment on the meaning—even, occasionally, the fictitiousness—of what we’re seeing. “This film isn’t about me. It’s about the music,” he insists, but he’s too modest: The movie is much more interesting than the bands he manages, and its clamorous, angry music serves not as the focus of the movie, but as an apt commentary to Wilson’s 15 minutes of grungy fame. Coogan is wryly amusing. Wilson and many of his former cohorts all play cameo roles.