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The Celebration (1998)

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

On Disc

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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 »

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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
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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:

View content advisory »
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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 »

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

In an early scene, a cameraman can be seen reflected in a bedroom mirror (director Thomas Vinterberg noticed this but kept it in). 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

Referenced in En kort en lang (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Brudevalsen
By Niels W. Gade
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Orchestrated family drama - in which you, the viewer, take part
24 September 2005 | by khatcher-2See all my reviews

Evidently following the Dogme-95 technique, rather like a latter day Imagiste writing his last verses, and equally evidently influenced by Lars von Trier, Thomas Vinterburg gets us intermeshed personally into the unfolding story. The viewer at once feels as if he is one of those present at the family gathering to celebrate father's birthday, not simply a spectator in a comfortable seat in the fourteenth row. For Hollywood-bred people, you might argue that everything seems so "amateurish". But those of us able to reach higher, deeper, and profound story-telling in the best tradition of European film-making, "Festen" must not be missed. The character-playing, camera technique and use of light and shade, is unique, something quite apart from the run-of-the-mill fodder mass-fed to the undiscerning pop-corn squad. "Festen" has to be seen three or four times for you to be able to digest what is simply pure basic hardcore cinematography at its best: wonderfully executed by actors who put Kodak Theatre red-carpet walkers to shame. A must see.


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