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The Celebration [Import]
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The Celebration [Import]
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Top Customer Reviews
As the film opens, we see various people, in groups of two, three, and more, converge on a large house--walking, driving, and bicycling. They are gathering to celebrate the 60th birthday of the man who fathered four children--they who have now come to pay their respects with their wives, husbands, boyfriends and girlfriends. The man has made a tidy sum thanks to his unnamed business, and he and his wife live quite comfortably. Also invited are the older couple's friends, and by the time everyone has arrived, there is a full house indeed, all seated at the host's large dinner table.
Speeches are made, glasses are chinked together in toasts, food is eaten. The daughter has a black American boyfriend and it's a wicked foreshadowing that has him insulted by one of his girlfriend's brothers--an out and out racist remark.
This sets the stage for a shocking turn of events when one of the man's sons stands and proposes a toast to his father that leaves the guests completely stunned. A dark secret is revealed that is so out of place with the reason for the "celebration", nothing can ever be the same following the younger man's toast.
The drama here is powerful, intense, seething. One of the trademark strengths of Dogme 95 cinema, as many of us know by now, is its focus on story alone, without reliance on any special effects--CGI, lighting, or otherwise--and Vinterberg has here wisely chosen a story so strong that to "enhance" it with anything remotely resembling special effects would be doing it a major disservice--would be, in fact, blatantly stupid.
This is one of the best Danish films of the 20th century and should absolutely not be missed.
Very highly recommended.
I would recommend it to anyone who has been a childhood victim of sexual abuse/incest. It would be helpful as well to all healthcare professionals engaged in working with survivors of this horrific crime against children.
It especailly demonstrates the secrets and the dynamics that exist when a family must conceal not only to the outside world but even to the idividuals the Truth. The abject denial of the childhood events that have resulted in the suicide of one of the members is absolutely astounding.
The film certainly provides a shock to those watching who think that incest and childhood sexual abuse either occurs rarely or that the victims are making it up".
An excellent film.
The brother is hilarious, the sister and main character are considerably raw actors and nuanced in action. The father's actor plays a famous billionare in Norway in another movie. I'll look it up later. A cathedral of great acting and things most unusual in Norwegian.
It's refreshing to see such a well crafted, intelligently acted, and unflinching look at family dysfunction. (And you thought that "Ordinary People" was tough to watch!) The director does a good job of not glorifying the dysfunction - the movie is centered on the reactions and the relationship between father/son, between brothers, brother/sister, wife/husband, etc..., more than focused on the dysfunction itself.
The only negative thing about this movie was the lighting. I don't care what the "Dogma" group says, bad lighting is bad lighting. Because this movie was shot with a handheld and subsequently transferred to 35mm film, a lot of the lighting is so bad that the film appears very grainy - and not the cool, artsy, atmospheric graininess of "Eraserhead" but just grainy. Maybe he was going for the home-movie look, but hard on the eyes nonetheless.
Be warned, this is not the colorful, bad-sweater-wearing Cosby family with stern after-school-special toned messages about "say no to drugs/stay in school" family dysfunction... This is an intense, squirm-inducing, double-barrelled look at difficult family relationships.
Most recent customer reviews
Thomas Vinterberg's "The Celebration" examines what happens when the unease typically in the air at a family gathering transforms into horror upon the revelation of a dark family... Read morePublished on July 4 2004 by Steven Y.
Thomas Vinterberg's "The Celebration" examines what happens when the unease typically in the air at a family gathering transforms into horror upon the revelation of a dark family... Read morePublished on Jan. 4 2004 by Steven Y.
Vinterberg succeeds in bringing this psycho drama to the screen and conveying a certain justice to all abused children of this world. Read morePublished on Aug. 27 2001 by nathalie belanger
This is an excellent film addressing insest issues in a disyfunctional family. I would recommend it to anyone interested in the subject.Published on July 11 2001
I'll conclude early on: This movie is GOOD. VERY VERY GOOD.
Now that I've come to THAT conclusion, let me begin with the fact that I was rather hesitant on seeing a... Read more
If there is one negative thing to say about this film it is that it truly makes the Hollywood drama pale in every way. Here we get actors that never seem to be acting. Read morePublished on Dec 18 2000