When filming according to the Dogme 95 rules, it quickly becomes apparent that story and storytelling is everything.
The Celebration tells a terrible story, but one that is captivating in its brutal honesty. Once the setup is finished and the catalyst in the story is revealed, most films of this type fall flat. This, however, doesn't.
It is intent to wrench every ounce of grief, pain, anger and fear out of its characters and make us a participant of it. It is hard to love this film because of its subject matter, but it is easy to admire it because of the skill on display.
Because of the level of sobriety in terms of filmmaking there is hardly any static to keep us from being sucked into the horrible hornet's nest that is this family. And if you allow all this to happen it makes for a harrowing experience that cuts deep.