"24 Hour Party People" is the story of Factory Records and The Hacienda, as experienced by Tony Wilson (played by Steve Coogan). And it's ace. It's a great story, mostly true, has a natural soundtrack, which is put to good use, it has funny bits, it has nudity, it has the lot.
After a brief "talking to camera" intro from (Coogan as) Tony Wilson, the film proper opens at a Sex Pistols gig, Manchester, and follows the lives of the real characters through the creation and destruction of Factory Records, Joy Division, The Happy Mondays, clubs, rave culture, and everything that was Madchester.
One of the most entertaining things is the sheer quantity of characters you already know, played by recognisable faces... an extra twist is that there are cameos in the film played by the real people who are portrayed by other people in the film... Eh, what? For example Paul Ryder plays a gang member, Mani is a sound engineer, Howard Devoto is cleaning a toilet... there's so much material here you'll have to go back for a second viewing. Was that really Morrissey at Ian Curtis' funeral?
The only complaint you could have with the film is that it doesn't cover everything in more detail, but that would need a film that lasted ten years... A more realistic downer is the lack of sympathy you feel for most of the characters, even at the tragic end of Ian Curtis. These mancunians come across as a pretty harsh lot, particularly Hooky (Ralf Little), the Ryder brothers (Danny Cunningham and Paul Popplewell) and Wilson himself.
It's not perfect, but it's very close. Go see it. Nice one. 11 / 10