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The Celebration (1998)
"Festen" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  19 June 1998 (Denmark)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 55,402 users  
Reviews: 251 user | 98 critic

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

Director:

(uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Top 250 #236 | Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 28 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Michael
...
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 arguments. 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 | Add 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

On 23 November 2002 Danish Radio found 'Allan' again. Allan met with director Thomas Vinterberg. During the interview it was revealed that Allan's entire story was pure fantasy. However, Allan had adopted the story from a true life experience of a Danish nurse. She held her speech on Christmas eve. See more »

Goofs

The song ("I have seen a real negro man") Michael starts after a confrontation with Gbatokai, is in fact not, as Helene claims, racist. The song, originating in the early 1970s, are using words that, at the time, was not politically incorrect, which is part of the reason many people falsely believe it to be racist. Another reason for this miscomprehension comes when the final verse is left out. This verse explains how all people should be painted blue, both because people would be more funny to look at, but also because "Then black and red and yellow and white could live together in a world without strife". 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 »

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User Reviews

 
If you haven't seen this... go right now!
22 August 2002 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

A film so involving that a score, proper editing, and lighting are hardly missed. You are experiencing this world first hand... and what a screwed up, wonderful journey it is. I can't even begin to go into the story because it would be a crime. You have to see this for yourself. Don't be disuaded by the subtitles or strange look of the movie. Let it run for fifteen minutes and you'll be hooked. This is a powerful, powerful little movie. Guranteed to stay with you days after you've seen it. Do yourself a huge favor and rent this movie asap. If you're fed up with the cookie cutter Hollywood garbage this will be most refreshing.


86 of 108 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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