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The Celebration (1998)

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

Director:

(uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,899 ( 22)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 28 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Helene
Birthe Neumann ...
Moderen - Else
...
Pia
Helle Dolleris ...
Mette
Therese Glahn ...
Michelle
Klaus Bondam ...
Toastmasteren - Master of Ceremonies
Bjarne Henriksen ...
Kokken - Kim
Gbatokai Dakinah ...
Gbatokai
Lasse Lunderskov ...
Onklen - Uncle
...
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:

Every family has a secret. 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:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

19 June 1998 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

The Celebration  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$27,621 (USA) (9 October 1998)

Gross:

$1,647,780 (USA) (19 February 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Thomas Vinterberg "confessed" to having covered a window during the shooting of one scene, which is a breaking of two Dogme rules - no bringing props onto the set, and no use of special lighting. 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

References Boys (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Jeg har set en rigtig negermand
By Niels C. Andersen
Dacapo
c/o Warner/Chappell Music Denmark A/S
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A highly creative piece of film-making
10 July 2005 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

I have seen this film more than I've bothered to keep track of. That's not to say that I've seen it an unusual amount of times(it's probably not more than three), just that I've never bothered to keep track. Anyway, my point is, every time, it's like seeing it for the first time. I keep discovering things that I must have noticed before, but don't remember seeing earlier. Tonight, I finally realized why; I'm blocking them out. I'm blocking out almost every single second of this film, and here's why; it reminds me of everything I hate about Denmark and being Danish. Everything strangers automatically associate me with, because I'm Danish. Not only does it remind me of it, the film flaunts it, without ever even considering holding back. The way we drink, how superficial we are, how dependent the typical grown male is of women, how racist and ignorant we are... everything. The film effectively airs our dirty laundry to the audience. On this latest viewing, I actually couldn't stand sitting through(a self-contradiction, I know) more than the first half hour... after which I casually followed the rest whilst sitting at my computer, from where I can see the TV screen... when I bother to stretch, so the computer monitor isn't blocking the view. Needless to say, I didn't catch an awful lot of it this way... but what I got was more than enough to disgust me. I can't think of any other movie I have this kind of relationship with... and I know why. I also know why this film has such an impact on me. It's because it's real. True. This is the kind of stuff you don't find in fiction... but in the newspaper, in your own family, in your own people, wherever you're from... the ugly side of us all. The shadow side. What we keep hidden from the outside world, but what we ultimately succumb to if we don't indulge it every once in a while. I chose to center my review for this film around this, because I think it's what really stands out about it. Also, I think we all, by now, know how great the acting, writing and direction is. And, being a Dogme film, it's very creatively filmed, too. So there you have it. A very creative film that puts so much focus on the shadow side of us all, of Danes in particular that is so effective that it actually makes me sick, me, a person who's been watching violent movies since I was twelve and was hardly ever affected by it. I recommend this to anyone who believe they can take it. Definitely not for the faint of heart or very sensitive people. Most people will probably have as strong a negative reaction to this as I did(unless they're far more grounded and at peace with who they are than I am), but don't let that deter you from seeing it. Chances are, you'll love it. If nothing else, you can't claim that it was fake or untrue. 10/10


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