8.1/10
69,875
263 user 102 critic

The Celebration (1998)

Festen (original title)
R | | Drama | 19 June 1998 (Denmark)
At Helge's 60th birthday party, some unpleasant family truths are revealed.

Director:

(uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
4,951 ( 420)

Watch Now

From $9.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 28 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Pia
Helle Dolleris ...
Mette
Therese Glahn ...
Michelle
Klaus Bondam ...
Toastmasteren - Master of Ceremonies
...
Kokken - Kim
Gbatokai Dakinah ...
Lasse Lunderskov ...
...
Receptionisten - Receptionist
Lene Laub Oksen ...
Søsteren - Sister
Linda Laursen ...
Birthe
Edit

Storyline

The Father turns 60. His family, which is a big one of the kind, gathers to celebrate him on a castle. Everybody likes and respects the father deeply...or do they? The youngest son is trying to live up to the father's expectations. He is running a grill-bar in a dirty part of Copenhagen. The oldest son runs a restaurant in France, while the sister is a anthropologist. The older sister has recently committed suicide and the father asks the oldest son to say a few words about her, because he is afraid he will break into tears if he does it himself. The oldest son agrees without argument. Actually he has already written two speeches. A yellow and a green one. By the table, he asks the father to pick a speech. The father chooses green. The oldest son announces that this is the Speech of Truth. Everybody laughs, except for the father who gets a nervous look on his face. For he knows that the oldest son is about to reveal the secret of why the oldest sister killed herself. Written by Jonas L.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Alle familier har en hemmelighed See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content and language, including references to sexual abuse | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

19 June 1998 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

The Celebration  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$27,621, 11 October 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,647,780, 21 February 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the film has been labelled by many critics as a "black comedy", according to Thomas Vinterberg, it was never meant to be a comedy at all, but people laugh at the cruelty of this film. He also dislikes the label himself, saying "it's a drama and there are some laughs." See more »

Goofs

As the guests dance through the house, a boom mic can clearly be seen in the bottom left corner of the screen as they enter one of the rooms. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[subtitled version]
Christian Klingenfeldt: [on his cellphone] Christian speaking... Hi, I'm here now. I landed this morning. What? Er... Washed? I shaved at the airport if you must know. I shaved at the airport if you must know! I'm fine... right now I'm looking across the fields. At the land of my father. It's beautiful. It makes me want to move back for good, but that'd be problematical. I'll make it. Yes, I suppose it will be... shocking. What?... You're dropping out. O.K. Bye.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Stjernerne på slottet: Tæt på Thomas Bo Larsen (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

I Skovens dybe stille ro
By Fritz Andersen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A knockout!
12 May 2006 | by See all my reviews

So many critics seem to have missed the point of "The Celebration," which is almost unbelievable because it actually does have a point, and I feel like I got it between the eyes with a sledgehammer. This is a movie about, among other things, the power of social conventions, how we depend on them to deal with unpleasantness, and just how stubborn and difficult they can be to circumvent, even when your life depends on it.

What knocks me out is how much I'm convinced by the whole thing. Every sad detail makes perfect sense. There is so much wisdom here that it never overreaches, no matter how deep in the storytellers get.

In particular, the medium of digital video is used in an outstanding way that adds authenticity to the experience. Think about it- most of the hand-held video work we've seen is of our own family events. When we watch the only scene in which Christian weeps, with Gbatokai leaning over and giving moral support, it could almost pass for a candid moment in a homemade documentary.

I've seen a lot of good family dramas, but rarely have I had such an urge to hug the main character and unleash profanity at several of the others.


56 of 65 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 263 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Paul Scheer on Why There Are No Bad Movies

Paul Scheer discusses The Disaster Artist and his love of awesomely bad movies. Plus, we dive into the origins of midnight movies and explore how The Room became a cult classic.

Watch now