The writing displays a discipline and craft I haven’t found in any of von Trier’s work, creating a sculpted effect I associate most with the plays of Henrik Ibsen... The impact of The Celebration is something closer to what might be termed punk Ibsen — Ibsen shorn of his politics and his impulse toward social reform.
Maybe it makes a terrific play. That’s entirely possible. Whatever the stage version’s merits, however, they can at best be tangentially related to those of the movie, which—Aristotelian unities notwithstanding—is aggressively, relentlessly cinematic... The Celebration serves as a superb example of how editing creates meaning, in ways that can’t be duplicated or even approximated in other media.