With my challenge of watching all the films in the IMDB top 250 nearly finished, means I’ve been taking my time with the last few to help draw it out a bit longer. Though I shouldn’t bother, as the list is a fluid one that changes each day as more and more people and critics vote on films, and so every time I check out the list new ones have made it in that I now need to watch. Right now I think I’ve still got 3-4 more to go, but that number could easily be the same after even having watched those 3-4, as other films I haven’t seen creep into it.
But, I solider on anyway, and that meant The Celebration was next on my list, which sat in the 240-250 bracket, so could easily be one of those films that flows in and out of the list on a daily basis. I knew nothing about this film other than it was the first ever Dogma 95 film, which is a set of rules a group of European filmmakers brought into play in 95 as they wanted to strip back filmmaking to its purest form, which is the story telling. So, I at least knew it was going to be an ‘interesting’ watch no matter what.
The Celebration didn’t get off to the best of starts though, and that’s mainly due to the fact it ‘is’ a Dogma 95 film. Now the reason why that meant it got off to a bad start is because they use average cameras, only natural lighting, all handheld and other rules that can make the film look and sound like a home movie. For people who aren’t film buffs, it might just be enough to put them off early on and stop watching. But as you stick with it, those elements become less important as the story takes hold.
At Round the 45-50 minute mark, the ‘twist’ happens and boy does the roller coaster begin at that point. The film gets flipped on its head, and the story keeps you glued to your seat as you wait to see how it will all unfold, and by jove does it unfold, or unravel might be the best term for it. The acting was superb, and the writing almost as good, though there are times when the visuals get in the way, especially in low light shots.
This film fully deserves its place in the IMDB top 250, and I honestly feel it would be higher on the list if it wasn’t a Dogma 95 film, as I’m sure there are some people who just can’t look past the filmmaking style. But I say bear with it, as it’s a truly devastating film, but one well worth watching.
8.5 out of 10 from me!!!