Christmas Should Be Spent With Loved Ones
I have watched all my Christmas movies! Every one of them, have I watched. There have been Christmases when I didn't make it through the pile of videos and dvds but this year I did it! Good for me! So now, as I work around the house, I have been watching movies that are not Christmas movies but that are INCIDENTALLY involving Christmas. There is a portion of STEEL MAGNOLIAS that takes place at Christmastime. It's the holiday season during EDWARD SCISSORHANDS. A MIDWINTER'S TALE takes place during the Yuletide. And my favourite.. LOVE, ACTUALLY is not really a Christmas movie but without the Christmas holiday there would be no movie. And I don't want to get into a review of the film because almost everyone has seen it and appreciates it. To state the obvious: Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy. Does it get better than that? I will state the opinion: Hugh Grant is so charming--I don't think he gets the respect he deserves. What timing he has! I will state my pride: I was behind Laura Linney when she was working on the New York stage and wasn't the darling of the movie going world. Ditto Colin Firth, whom I have loved since ANOTHER COUNTRY. I will state the base: Rodrigo Santoro... grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! I will state the musical: what a phenomenal soundtrack (note to self: buy the cd). I will state the obscure: cameos? By Elisha Cuthbert, Claudia Schiffer, Denise Richards, Ivana Milicevic, Shannon Elizabeth AND writer/director Richard Curtis? Then there are non cameos but small roles filled (beautifully) by Rowan Atkinson and Billy Bob Thornton.. What freakin fun!
I love Richard Curtis. I truly do. He and Audrey Wells are my new beloved film makers, joining Stanley Donnen on the short list of my favs. Richard is responsible (in one war or another) for THE TALL GUY, FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL, NOTTING HILL, the BRIDGET JONES movies, BLACKADDER's, MR BEAN's and THE GIRL IN THE CAFE. He is quite brilliant.
The storyline, the film making, the fluidity, the deleted scenes (!).. so much about LOVE, ACTUALLY delights my soul, not the least of which is the message. It is all about love, in all its different forms.
And then there are love affairs started (for me) with this movie. My deep abiding love for Kiera Knightly (with whom I am obsessed, thanks to PRIDE AND PREJUDICE), Martine McCutchen (we actually do not call the movie LOVE, ACTUALLY--we call it "Natalie"), Andrew Lincoln (marry me, please, right now) and Thomas Sangster (the coolest child actor around these days). Oh, and did I mention Olivia Anderson, who plays Joanna, the coolest girl in school and the singer of my favourite Christmas song, ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU? And yes, that is her doing the singing... Have mercy.
Yes. LOVE ACTUALLY is one of my favourite movies and favourite Christmas movies. I'm lucky my mom sat me down and said "watch this with me, you will love it" and I am lucky that I have watched all my traditional Christmas films and got to squeeze this one in. You know, I cry every time Aurelia and Jamie meet face to face and he says "You learned English" and they kiss for the first time and that three note chord is struck. It is magic. The kind of magic we need in our every day lives. We don't get that kind of magic every day.
Good thing we each have our LOVE, ACTUALLYs.
Merry Christmas youse all. I wish on everyone, those I know and those I do not, a little more magic; for the holiday and for every day, for as long as it can happen.
please note that I did not take the above photos of the LOVE, ACTUALLY cast, Kiera Knightly, Thomas Sangster, Andrew Lincoln and Martine McCutcheon. I lifted them off the internet; no photo credit was available. I WISH I had taken them, though....