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Festen ( The Celebration )

A hugely dysfunctional family arrives at a secluded hotel for a 60th birthday party for the family patriarch. Suffice it to say, things don't go as cheerily as hoped. A searing, uncompromising drama, The Celebration is also incredibly involving and highly entertaining, and despite the subject matter (alcoholism, incest, rape, racism, to name a few), it sidesteps heavy artiness and Jerry Springer-like wallowing. Amazing performances, incisive writing and spot-on direction combine to make this quite memorable. Under the tenets of the "Dogma '95" idea, which sets strict rules about realism in cinema and is espoused by a number of European directors, The Celebration achieves an almost unbearable, in-your-face tension -- it cuts right to the bone.

Year: 1998
Genre: Scandinavian Cinema, Film Festivals 2000, Best of the 1990s, Alice Members' Top 100, Black Humour, Movies (1001 You Must See Before You Die), Dysfunctional Families
Country: Denmark
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Starring: Thomas Bo Larsen, Henning Moritzen, Paprika Steen, Ulrich Thomsen
Duration: 102 Minutes
Rating: R16 - Contains sex scenes, offensive language and content that may disturb.
Subtitles: Yes
7.5/10
Location in store: Foreign (Scandinavia)

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