The Celebration (Festen)

1998

The Celebration (Festen)

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

92%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 39

95%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 20,542
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Movie Info

It's summertime in Denmark, and at the Great House a celebration is about to begin: Helge Klingenfeldt, patriarch and lord of the manor, is turning sixty. Invitations have been issued, the seating plan drawn up, and now the guests' cars are pulling into the drive up to the entrance: friends, relatives, and of course, the patriarch's next of kin: Elsa, his wonderful wife, and their three grown-up children, Christian, Michael, and Helene. The head of the family is to be fêted in a way nobody will ever forget.

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Critic Reviews for The Celebration (Festen)

All Critics (39) | Top Critics (6)

Audience Reviews for The Celebration (Festen)

  • Jan 10, 2014
    The first film of the Dogme 95 movement is this riveting - and remarkably well put together - amalgam of hilarious farce and devastating family drama, where the dirty laundry is washed in an extremely revealing criticism of a bourgeoisie trying to maintain its status quo.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 22, 2013
    A gut wrenching film directed under the Dogme 95 Manifesto by Thomas Vinterberg. Under the rules of this manifesto the film has be free of special effects and use of technology that would take attention away from the story or the acting, hence making use of natural light, sound, and camera movements only made by hand. As a result the gamble pays off only when the acting is top notch and the story is gripping enough, and Festen absolutely does.
    Nicolas K Super Reviewer
  • Oct 22, 2012
    Hard-hitting family drama with shocking revelations during a landmark birthday party. Potent cinema verite direction makes this an uncomfortable affair. The actor who plays the loutish brother is one of the most believably despicable film characters ever.
    Doctor S Super Reviewer
  • Apr 03, 2011
    Simple, stripped-down film by Danish auteur Thomas Vinterberg, made under the Dogme 95 manifesto which, among other things, promotes shooting with a handheld camera while restricting the use of artificial lighting. The realistic, almost home-video style and look of the film makes it feel natural, organic, unrehearsed. Having seen a stage adaptation a few years ago, the film's main revelation did not come as a shock to me, but it wasn't any less devastating, thanks in great part to Ulrich Thomsen's work, a restrained performance that stands out even more when compared to some of his costars' overacting.
    Fernando Rafael Q Super Reviewer

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