I’d never even heard of Thomas Vinterberg’s The Celebration—a Danish film from 1998—until it was handed to me for review. Having watched it, I’m still not sure what to make of it. Roger Ebert called it a mix of farce and tragedy, saying, “Imagine Eugene O’Neill and Woody Allen collaborating on a screenplay about a family reunion. Now let Luis Buñuel direct it.” That’s probably as good a way to describe the film as you’re likely to find. This is one of those films in which a family gets together at one of those country estates that rich people in movies always seem to have, and where everyone’s dark secrets are revealed. It is perhaps not in the least surprising that Vinterberg is the co-founder (with Lars von Trier) of the “Dogma 95” school of filmmaking—and one’s taste for that approach will be a factor here.
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