Celebration (1998)

Dir. Thomas Vinterberg

If I had to guess, I wouldn’t recommend this to any of the idiots, although it’s not a bad film. I just don’t feel anyone would really love it. The film made the 1001 list and the primary justification (and not a very good one) is that it is one of the early(?) examples of the Dogme ‘95 approach (direct sound, hand held cameras, natural lighting, no fx, etc.).

The film is about a family getting together for the father’s 60th birthday. The party takes place at a small resort hotel (in Denmark; I believe this is a Danish film) that the family once owned. During the get together family secrets come out in dramatic ways.

While the film held my attention for the most part, I was pretty jaded by the more shocking elements of the story. This is not the first story to cover incest after all. I found the overall story and its resolution pretty stale. Also, some of the reactions of the people in the film, just seemed unnatural and unbelievable. When Christian reveals his father’s sins, the reaction of the crowd of relatives–almost no reaction, little reaction shown anyway–doesn’t seem realistic. Even the parent’s reaction seems strange. The Dogma ‘95 techniques were mildly interesting, but nothing noteworthy–at least that I could tell.

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