Your Company

The Celebration(Festen)

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Denmark, Sweden · 1998
Rated R · 1h 45m
Director Thomas Vinterberg
Starring Ulrich Thomsen, Henning Moritzen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Paprika Steen
Genre Drama

A grandiose party to celebrate a patriarch's sixtieth birthday unearths deep-rooted conflict. When Christian, the eldest son, is asked to give a speech, he reveals he has written two: one is the supposed "speech of truth" which contains a horrendous secret known to his father, while the other speech may be harmless.

Stream The Celebration

What are people saying?

Yasmeen Gaber Profile picture for Yasmeen Gaber

This film is artistically daring, even if its home video-style filming is not for everyone. Once you get used to the unusual filming style, however, a family's inner secrets unravel through hidden moments caught on candid camera in this classic of Danish dogma cinema. I recommend this film for those interested in and already acquainted with the Danish dogma movement.

What are critics saying?


Variety by

A propulsively inventive but uneven family comedy-cum-melodrama.


San Francisco Chronicle by Edward Guthmann

Despite the awkward, stomach- churning camera movements and the grainy, flat images that come with insufficient lighting, the actors' work is often riveting and compelling.


ReelViews by James Berardinelli

he Celebration rips apart the placid facade of a familiar subject, leaving its audience stunned. As difficult as the film can at times be, the patient viewer will be rewarded.


The New York Times by Janet Maslin

Though it dedicates itself to avoiding directorial egotism, in accordance with strict rules of the Danish filmmakers' collective known as Dogma 95, Thomas Vinterberg's Celebration is still a virtuoso feat.


Entertainment Weekly by Lisa Schwarzbaum

Out of the zany strictures of Dogma 95...Danish newcomer Thomas Vinterberg has made a funny, volatile, visually dynamic story about the unraveling of one extended family during the course of a patriarchal 60th-birthday dinner.


Austin Chronicle by Marjorie Baumgarten

This Danish film is an alternately funny and harrowing look at a family crisis, a meltdown that blends the needs of the truthsayers with the instincts of the let's-bury-our-heads-in-the-sand-and-pretend-none-of-this-is-happening types.


Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

It's a tribute to The Celebration that the style and the story don't stumble over each other. The script is well planned, the actors are skilled at deploying their emotions, and the long day's journey into night is fraught with wounds that the farcical elements only help to keep open.

Users who liked this film also liked