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12-06-2012, 02:19 PM
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Country: Denmark
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Festen (The Celebration) (1998)
How it took me this long to watch Festen I don't know, but I'm glad I finally did it. Directed by Thomas Vinterberg this movie shows that you don't need a big budget or extravagant special effects to make a good movie, what you need is a great script, great acting and a director that knows how to use those two tools. And in this movie Thomas Vinterberg has those to things at his disposal and uses them magnificently.

Ulrich Thomsen in the lead role is a great actor, one of the best in Denmark, and on his best days he is just as good as Mads Mikkelsen. This movie is one of his best days in a very tough role. The movie stands and falls by his performance, if he doesn't nail it the movie falls flat, luckily he nails it every time. Thomas Bo Larsen and Paprika Steen as the two siblings, play themselves, as they always do, but in this movie they play a very good version of themselves.

The script tackles a very touch subject matter, which I won't mention because of spoilers. And it handles it perfectly. Others might have been compelled to throw in a joke or two about it in order to not make the movie too dark, but luckily Vinterberg stays away from that, as it would have undermined the whole movie. Instead he uses the dementia plagued granddad and the depressed uncle as a, still dark, comical relief without interfering with the main subject of the movie.

If you haven't seen Festen, don't be like me and put it off any longer, just watch it, and do it sooner rather than later, you won't be disappointed.

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