8.1/10
64,506
257 user 97 critic

The Celebration (1998)

Festen (original title)
R | | Drama | 19 June 1998 (Denmark)
Trailer
1:00 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC
At Helge's 60th birthday party, some unpleasant family truths are revealed.

Director:

(uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
4,816 ( 335)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 28 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Submarino (2010)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two brothers meet at their mother's funeral, each in his way on a path of self-destruction, both haunted by a tragedy in their youth.

Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Stars: Gustav Fischer Kjærulff, Sebastian Bull Sarning, Mads Broe Andersen
The Hunt (2012)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.

Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp
The Idiots (1998)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The group of people gather at the house in Copenhagen suburb to break all the limitations and to bring out the "inner idiot" in themselves.

Director: Lars von Trier
Stars: Bodil Jørgensen, Jens Albinus, Anne Louise Hassing
Adam's Apples (2005)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A neo-nazi sentenced to community service at a church clashes with the blindly devotional priest.

Director: Anders Thomas Jensen
Stars: Ulrich Thomsen, Mads Mikkelsen, Nicolas Bro
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A manager of an orphanage in India is sent to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he discovers a life-altering family secret.

Director: Susanne Bier
Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Rolf Lassgård
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Four small gangsters from Copenhagen trick a gangster boss: they take over 4,000,000 kroner which they were supposed to bring him. Trying to escape to Barcelona they are forced to stop in ... See full summary »

Director: Anders Thomas Jensen
Stars: Søren Pilmark, Ulrich Thomsen, Mads Mikkelsen
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Oilman Jan is paralyzed in an accident. His wife, who prayed for his return, feels guilty; even more, when Jan urges her to have sex with another.

Director: Lars von Trier
Stars: Emily Watson, Stellan Skarsgård, Katrin Cartlidge
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The lives of two Danish families cross each other, and an extraordinary but risky friendship comes into bud. But loneliness, frailty and sorrow lie in wait.

Director: Susanne Bier
Stars: Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm, Markus Rygaard
Open Hearts (2002)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A Dogme film about an engaged couple that is torn apart after the man is paralyzed in an accident, and the woman falls in love with the husband of the woman who caused the accident.

Director: Susanne Bier
Stars: Sonja Richter, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Mads Mikkelsen
Crime | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An east European girl goes to America with her young son, expecting it to be like a Hollywood film.

Director: Lars von Trier
Stars: Björk, Catherine Deneuve, David Morse
Dogville (2003)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A woman on the run from the mob is reluctantly accepted in a small Colorado town. In exchange, she agrees to work for them. As a search visits town, she finds out that their support has a price. Yet her dangerous secret is never far away...

Director: Lars von Trier
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Paul Bettany, Lauren Bacall
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Svend and Bjarne work for a butcher in a small Danish town. Fed up with their boss' arrogance, they decide to start their own butcher shop. After dismal beginnings, an unfortunate accident ... See full summary »

Director: Anders Thomas Jensen
Stars: Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Mads Mikkelsen, Line Kruse
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

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:

$647,523 (Norway) (26 March 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was declared to be the worst-dubbed movie released in 1999, in Germany. 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

Referenced in Bertelsen - DR2s talkshow: Episode #1.2 (1999) 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

 
Provocative dialogue ensures rapt attention
20 March 2003 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Vinterberg's "Festen" which follows the strict guidelines of Dogma 95 could perhaps be hampered in its artistic approach, but not so here. Indeed with the hand-held camera the reality of the scene is intensified to such an extent one feels an integral part of the drama.

It's a family celebration of father Helge's 60th birthday. It's strange though that all the guests seem to arrive at the same time, speeding up the driveway in great excitement. There is lots of noise. hugs and kisses and the camera intruding in a mischievous way.

This family has some terrible dark secrets known to some, not to all. They are divulged by the eldest son Christian (Ulrich Thomson) in his dinner speech toasting his father. This is a wonderful scene, tense, sharp, riveting. The guests are shaken to the core. Is he telling the truth or is he having a wicked game with the assembled company? It's great stuff - really compelling drama.

The history of the family can be pieced together from information revealed in a series of toasts, but Christian's contribution renders the party speechless. It's a fairly noisy film with lots of people talking together, having arguments (Christian's brother Michael {Thomas Bo} has an uncontrollable temper) or screaming in frustration. These out bursts contrast so well with the scenes of stunned silence. They are quite electrifying moments - no words are necessary.

Films like this one make movie-watching well worthwhile. No wonder it won a Jury Prize.


40 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Is the farcical tone intentional? grandscholar
Sorry for the Father? wlf5876
Top 250 chunkylefunga
reaction of the guests damdin
What was the other speech about palatin_m
Can anyone else recommend....... glockjaw
Discuss The Celebration (1998) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?