8.1/10
72,034
263 user 105 critic

The Celebration (1998)

Festen (original title)
Trailer
1:00 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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

Director:

Thomas Vinterberg (uncredited)

Writers:

Thomas Vinterberg (screenplay), Mogens Rukov (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 28 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

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
Kollektivet (2016)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A story about the clash between personal desires, solidarity and tolerance in a Danish commune in the 1970s.

Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Stars: Fares Fares, Ulrich Thomsen, Trine Dyrholm
Jagten (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
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The bank robbers Karsten and Peter are on the run in Sweden. With them is one of their teenage daughter.

Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Stars: Thomas Bo Larsen, Ulrich Thomsen, Mia Maria Back
Idioterne (1998)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 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
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
Drama
    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
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ulrich Thomsen ... Christian
Henning Moritzen ... Faderen - Helge
Thomas Bo Larsen ... Michael
Paprika Steen ... Helene
Birthe Neumann Birthe Neumann ... Moderen - Else
Trine Dyrholm ... Pia
Helle Dolleris Helle Dolleris ... Mette
Therese Glahn Therese Glahn ... Michelle
Klaus Bondam Klaus Bondam ... Toastmasteren - Master of Ceremonies
Bjarne Henriksen ... Kokken - Kim
Gbatokai Dakinah Gbatokai Dakinah ... Gbatokai
Lasse Lunderskov Lasse Lunderskov ... Onklen - Uncle
Lars Brygmann ... Receptionisten - Receptionist
Lene Laub Oksen Lene Laub Oksen ... Søsteren - Sister
Linda Laursen 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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Denmark | Sweden

Language:

Danish | German | English

Release Date:

19 June 1998 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

The Celebration See more »

Filming Locations:

Sjælland, Denmark See more »

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 IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Since this is a Dogme-film, there cannot be any non diegetic (artificial) sounds added, no post-production. The camera also needs to be hand-held. So when Christian falls to the floor in the reception and sees his sister, Christian himself had to hold the camera when falling. To achieve the "dizzy" sound, the original cameraman swung the microphone around in the air. 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 »

Alternate Versions

The DVD also contains an alternative ending. See more »

Connections

Featured in Brows Held High: Melancholia (2012) 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

There's Something Rotten in the State of Denmark...

"Festen" aka "The Celebration" was the impressive directorial debut of the young Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg ("It's All About Love", "Dear Wendy"), and the first film made according to the rules of the daring Dogme 95 movement. It shows that you don't need big budgets to make a great film. However, Dogme wouldn't work if its films weren't as daring as its ideals of film-making - and "Festen" proved that those guys really have much to say.

"Festen" is an extremely cruel film, and it's somewhat uneasy to watch in some moments. The celebration of the title refers to the 60th birthday of Helge Klingenfeldt-Hansen (Henning Moritzen), who entertains his big family in his castle. But Helge's son, Christian (Ulrich Thomsen, excellent), whose twin sister recently committed suicide, has an important revelation that will surprise - and displease - many people; in the meantime, other secrets are revealed and nobody will get away clean. "Festen" deserved all praise/awards it got in international festivals (it won the Jury Prize at Cannes 98) and is a great introduction to Danish cinema. My vote is 10/10.


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

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed