The Celebration (Festen)
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It's summertime in Denmark, and at the Great House a celebration is about to begin: Helge Klingenfeldt, patriarch and lord of the manor, is turning sixty. Invitations have been issued, the seating plan drawn up, and now the guests' cars are pulling into the drive up to the entrance: friends, relatives, and of course, the patriarch's next of kin: Elsa, his wonderful wife, and their three grown-up children, Christian, Michael, and Helene. The head of the family is to be fęted in a way nobody will ever forget.

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The Celebration is founded on a cheeky display of cinephilic self-promotion."
‑ Rob Nelson, City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul
"Extraordinary...It is a celebration, not of a sham birthday party, but of the transformative power of truth."
‑ Thomas Delapa, Boulder Weekly
"It's a fine line to walk, that between comedy and misery, but Vinterberg handles the balancing act magnificently."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"Draws the viewer in with its immediacy, emotional rawness, and elements of surprise, shock and suspense."
‑ Kevin Lally, Film Journal International
"This is a Dogma-95 styled film, where the Danish filmmaker's group manifesto determines the rules for how the film is to be made."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"gripping and devastatingly powerful"
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
"A major triumph for the Dogme group, and a success from any point of view."
‑ Jake Euker, F5 (Wichita, KS)
"Watching the picture, it felt more like a cerebral experience, than a normal film."
‑ Dustin Putman,
"showcases excellent acting, a great screenplay, and new innovative cinematography that is exciting and exhausting at the same time"
‑ Ross Anthony, Hollywood Report Card
"Best of the 'Dogme' fims, which isn't saying much, but there you go."
‑ Gregory Weinkauf, New Times
"Pungent family drama, but thuddingly self-serious and wildly overpraised."
‑ Nick Davis, Nick's Flick Picks
"The Celebration is among one of the finest films ever made."
‑ David N. Butterworth,
"Vinterberg, while successfully holding his viewer's attention and moving his tale along with dispatch, doesn't here justify the unpleasantness with fresh insight."
‑ Arthur Lazere,
More reviews for The Celebration (Festen) on Rotten Tomatoes