For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.
4.2
4,601 Ratings

The Celebration

Festen

Directed by Thomas Vinterberg
Denmark, Sweden, 1998
Drama, Comedy, LGBT+

Synopsis

At a countryside manor a celebration is being organised for the revered family patriarch Helge’s 60th birthday. Everyone has been invited, and most importantly his wife and three grown-up children: Christian, Michael and Helene. Christian makes a speech nobody will ever forget.

The Celebration Directed by Thomas Vinterberg

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

1998 | Winner: Jury Prize

1998 | Nominee: Palme d'Or

Independent Spirit Awards

1999 | Winner: Best Foreign Film

International Film Festival Rotterdam

1999 | Winner: Audience Award

Critics reviews

Maybe it makes a terrific play. That’s entirely possible. Whatever the stage version’s merits, however, they can at best be tangentially related to those of the movie, which—Aristotelian unities notwithstanding—is aggressively, relentlessly cinematic… The Celebration serves as a superb example of how editing creates meaning, in ways that can’t be duplicated or even approximated in other media.
September 09, 2013
Read full article
The writing displays a discipline and craft I haven’t found in any of von Trier’s work, creating a sculpted effect I associate most with the plays of Henrik Ibsen… The impact of The Celebration is something closer to what might be termed punk Ibsen — Ibsen shorn of his politics and his impulse toward social reform.
November 13, 1998
Read full article

What are people saying?

Related films