MOVIE: In Defence of “Love Actually”

Movie

One of my absolute favourite movies of all time is Love Actually. It had all these different love stories in it, some actors from the Harry Potter films, plus a musical number. What else could a person want? Over recent years though, there has been quite a discussion surrounding this movie that I believe is a goddamn treasure. The grip people seem to have with this film surrounds the storyline of Mark (Andrew Lincoln) and his infatuation with his best-friend’s girlfriend/wife Juliet (Keira Knightley). People are especially torn about the scene where Mark professes his love for Juliet through a series of cue-cards outside her doorstep while his best-friend is just meters away (the scene is so well known that SNL recently did a spoof of the grand gesture). I will defend this scene and what I believe Mark’s actions meant in the film below as well as provide other parts of the film I feel people should redirect their hatred towards.

When Mark comes to Juliet’s door to explain his seemingly disdained attitude towards her, I do believe it is a great moment. Because I don’t think it was done purely for Juliet, but for also his best-friend Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Peter and Juliet are husband and wife now, and Mark realizes that she will be in Peter’s life, and his, forever. So his declaration of love towards Juliet is not just for her, but so he can still have his friendship with Peter. He tells her this so he can move on with his life (hence his ‘enough’ comment) and so Juliet and Peter can have their happily ever after.

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I do believe that the relationship that the movie is trying to demonstrate with Mark is not with Juliet, but with Peter. At the beginning of the film you see him try to be the ‘best’ best man for Peter and create a beautiful moment for him and Juliet at their wedding. He maintained his distance between him and Juliet because he respected Peter’s relationship with her. AND when she came running out after him, she kissed him (I’m not one to look that much into semantics, but for the sake of argument I will make this distinction). Love Actually portrays many kinds of relationships that love is present in; through marriages, girlfriends and boyfriends, family relationships, and even the love you can have for your friends.

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What is Actually the Worst About “Love Actually”

  1. The President of the United States

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The President (Billy Bob Thornton) is a freaking snake in this film. First he makes a move on Natalie (Martine McCutcheon), who we all know belongs with the Prime Minister (Hugh Grant). Then he refuses to cooperate with the British cabinet during their meeting. He’s presence in the film just delays the moment that the Prime Minister can declare is love for his assistant, and he deserves peoples’ hate.

  1. Mia

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Now I know it takes two to cheat but because I do not have it in me to crucify the late Alan Rickman my frustration will be directed towards the character of Mia, the receptionist who doesn’t deserve that necklace he bought her! Her character lures Harry out of his committed relationship with his wife, and upon her finding out, we see the most devastating scene of heartbreak in cinematic history. Emma Thompson is an idol and did not deserve to be treated like this. Leave this movie!

  1. Sarah’s ringtone

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Now, this might make people think I have something against Sarah’s (Laura Linney) brother, because her cell-phone is the connection between her and her brother who is mentally handicapped. That’s not where my issue lie. It’s in the freaking ringtone itself. Not only is one of the most annoying ringtones in movie history ever, second only to Andy’s in The Devil Wears Prada, but it is the biggest mood killer in the world. Nothing ruins a hook-up more then this tune, not to mention the volume of it causes movie watchers to go into shock.

 

So the next time you watch what is one of the best Christmas movies (or actual movies) ever, and you think, “Man, that Mark is a crummy person.” Just stop, and redirect your distain towards something else that deserves it (he’s off fighting off zombies anyways). Or better yet, just fast-forward to the “All I Want for Christmas Is You” musical number put on by the school children. That’s the best part anyways 🙂

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OSCAR NOMINATED: The Imitation Game

Awards, Movie, movie review, Oscars, Review

RATING: ★★★★★

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Allen Leech

Director: Morten Tyldum

Length and Rating: 114 min. PG-13

Nominated for 8 Academy Awards this year is The Imitation Game. It tells the story of mathematician Alan Turing, played by Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC Sherlock, Star Trek: Into Darkness), and his work trying to break the enigma code during WWII.

The film jumps back and forth in time between his life after the war and the period spent at Bletchley Park working on enigma. To obviously spare the audience, the movie does not do an in-depth analysis of the mathematical principles of cracking the code, but instead focuses on the man that did so and the relationships he made. One of the more important relationships he makes in the film is with former mathematician Joan Clarke, played by Kiera Knightly (Atonement, Pirates of the Caribbean), the only woman at Bletchley working on enigma. It is through this relationship that the audience learns of Turing’s homosexually, which during this time of intolerance, did not hide nor make public.

With any movie that is based on actual events and people in history the air of surprise is gone. We obviously know that the team is successful in cracking the code but the movie excels in making the result moving and thought provoking. The film demonstrates the issue of what happens after the code is crack. They cannot save everybody, which brings up moral and ethical issues of how can you decide how one life more important than another.

Cumberbatch engages the audience with his performance as Turing. Between representing the man’s social awkwardness towards his co-workers at the beginning of the film to the end where the man is being persecuted by the country he saved due to his sexuality. Knightly is a great partner in the film playing a smart woman in a male dominated field, who is more interested in the work that she is doing at Bletchley than the societal pressure of getting married.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: “Now, if you wish you could have been normal… I can promise you I do not. The world is an infinitely better place precisely because you weren’t.” – Joan Clarke (Kiera Knightly)

Nominated for:

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Best Achievement in Directing

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Best Achievement in Editing

Best Achievement in Production Design

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score