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Anyone's who's logged into Netflix lately has no doubt noted the presence of Love Actually in the "Popular on Netflix" category. That's because the British comedy has become something of a modern classic for the holiday season. But not everyone sees it that way.
The ensemble film with nine different plots set around Christmas hit theaters in 2003 to high anticipation. Not only was this filmmaker Richard Curtis' follow-up to the popular Four Weddings and Funeral and Notting Hill, but it also boasted so many popular British stars that there was no way it could fail, right? Well... while some fans are still devoted to the film, they're the first to admit that it's an imperfect movie. But while TVGuide.com editor Joyce Eng embraces the film's range of stories and strong performances, fellow editor Hanh Nguyen is put off by the often depressing plots and creepy, male-centric take on so-called romance. »
- Joyce Eng and Hanh Nguyen
We’ve scanned the UK Christmas TV and radio schedules for the festive fortnight and circled a few programmes you may enjoy…
We’ve taken our glittery pen to the pages of this year’s festive TV Listings guide to circle a selection of shows that might tickle your Christmas fancy.
Supplement your festive box-set viewing with appearances from the Doctor and Clara, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, Dame Judi Dench, Professor Danielle George, the work of Roald Dahl, Charlie Brooker, David Attenborough, the much-missed Rik Mayall, and many more...
The tenth annual Doctor Who Christmas Special since the show’s 2005 return, and Peter Capaldi’s first real festive Tardis adventure. Nick Frost, Michael Troughton, Dan Starkey and Nathan McMullen all co-star in this Father Christmas North Pole caper, alongside Capaldi and Jenna Coleman. Watch the latest trailer, here.
When’s it on? 6.15pm on Christmas Day, »
BBC One has debuted a new trailer for its Christmas film Esio Trot.
Esio Trot follows Mr Hoppy (Hoffman), a retired bachelor who has a secret love for his neighbour Mrs Silver (Dench).
However, she only gives her attention to her pet tortoise Alfie. The shy Mr Hoppy's attempts to talk to Mrs Silver usually end in some form of calamity.
Mr Hoppy then comes up with a possibly ingenious idea to win her affections, after he learns of her wish for Alfie to be bigger.
Esio Trot will air on New Year's Day at 6.30pm on BBC One. »
Chances are, your TV has had an intimate, decades-long affair with Marti Noxon.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Angel. Mad Men. Grey’s Anatomy. Glee. Prison Break. Noxon has written and/or produced episodes of all of them, which she says prepared her well for her latest gig: creator, writer and executive producer of Bravo’s Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce.
“Especially now that we’re both doing such different things, we’re always like, »
Love Actually, Richard Curtis. ode to Christmas, love and just being nice to people, has been ripped apart by Honest Trailers for doing all of the above. And we wouldn.t want it any other way. You can check out the delightful critique below. Despite the fact that it possesses solid laughs, a heart so large that it should probably seek medical attention, and a bare-faced Andrew Lincoln before he went metal and started killing zombies, there is one pretty big reason that we should all really hate Love Actually: all of the bloody rip-offs that it inspired. As Honest Trailers explains, without Love Actually we wouldn.t have been inundated with the likes of New Year.s Eve and Valentine.s Day - both of which basically revolve around a dozen famous people falling in love on a holiday, but without the whimsical charm of Richard Curtis. original. »
As we get closer to the festive period, the Screen Junkies YouTube channel looks at the Richard Curtis movie with its own brand of brutal honesty.
After being bombarded with tweets requesting an edit, this latest trailer is billed as being "from the man responsible for every film your girlfriend tried to drag you to", before ripping apart each and every storyline.
Long before Andrew Lincoln started crushing zombie skulls on The Walking Dead, he was crushing on his best friend’s wife in Love Actually. Screenwriter Richard Curtis’ directorial debut featured a fantastic ensemble cast of established actors and many (then) unknowns who would go on to greater fame, like Lincoln. It also had multiple plot lines that (sorta) intersected and deliciously cheesy clichés. All of those elements were lazily lifted in the rip off film Valentine’s Day and its sequel New Year’s Eve. Of those three holiday set romantic comedies, only Love Actually is worth revisiting, which you can do in a fraction of the time by just watching Screen Junkies’ Honest Trailer for it below.
- Eli Reyes
We've had the John Lewis advert, the supermarkets are filled with Quality Street tins and Bob Geldof has gathered together a load of popstars to sing about Africa. There's no point hiding and denying it, Christmas is very nearly here.
Even if you're a festive grinch, one of the best parts of Christmas is that it means a bumper selection box of great telly. The BBC has released first look pictures today of its seasonal highlights, and here are 14 picks of what you can look forward to over the holidays.
3. Esio Trot
Another of Roald Dahl's classics gets adapted »
The duo that brought Shor In The City and Go Goa Gone have shifted gear with their latest offering of Happy Ending, starring Saif Ali Khan, Ileana D’Cruz, Kalki Koechlin and Ranvir Shorey. But don’t worry, Raj and Dk have their message clear. You can’t make a difficult film for the aam janta (common people). How that would amount to an amalgamation Richard Curtis filmography is a different question altogether. Yet its not all bad.
Yes we see Saif Ali Khan for the umpteenth time as a playboy charmer man-child Yudi Jaitley, profession this time a writer. And yes, we have some very beautiful women including leading ladies Ileana D’Cruz and Kalki Koechlin falling for him. There’s also the easy drunk-married-yet-regretting-it friend Monty played by Ranvir Shorey. Lets add Priety Zinta in a special appearance and Not a song, and our beloved Govinda to add some more flavour. »
- Githa Vanan
Thompson, who is the only person to have received an Academy Award for both acting and screenwriting, commented: “It is a very special award, in name of an incredible actor who inspired so many people during his career. I am honored to follow in the footsteps of my peers who have received this award before me.”
Thompson’s portrayal of Margaret Schlegel in the Merchant Ivory adaptation of E.M. Forster’s “Howards End” in 1992 netted her a BAFTA Award, Los Angeles Film Critics Award, New York Film Critics Award, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award. She earned »
- Leo Barraclough
We’ve just received word that Britain’s own national treasure Emma Thompson is to receive the prestigious Richard Harris Award at this year’s Moet British Independent Film Awards. The top gong recognises outstanding contribution to British film by an actor, and has previously been won by the likes of John Hurt, David Thewlis, Bob Hoskins, Jim Broadbent, Daniel Day-Lewis, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon and Julie Walters just last year.
The awards are dished out on Sunday 7th December at a ceremony in central London. You can see the full list of nominees for this year’s awards here.
Here’s the full release.
- Paul Heath
Johanna von Fischer and Tessa Collinson, joint directors of the Moet British Independent Film Awards, have today announced that British star Benedict Cumberbatch is to be honoured with The Variety Award at December’s ceremony.
The Variety Award recognises a director, actor, writer or producer who has helped to focus the international spotlight on the UK. The Variety Award was bestowed upon Paul Greengrass last year, while previous recipients include Jude Law, Kenneth Branagh, Liam Neeson, Sir Michael Caine, Daniel Craig, Dame Helen Mirren and Richard Curtis.
Cumberbatch is also nominated for Best Actor for The Imitation Game, while the film is up for a further three awards in Best British Independent Film, Best Screenplay (Graham Moore) and Best Actress (Keira Knightley).
See Also: Nominations for the 2014 Moet British Independent Film Awards
- Gary Collinson
New study reveals links between film and television productions and tourism through social media.
New insight into the links between film and television productions and tourism has been revealed at an international screen tourism conference today by Film London, the lead partner for major European project EuroScreen.
The study demonstrates how social media commentary generated by films and TV shows can help generate millions of pounds worth of free online advertising for the locations and destinations they feature on screen.
The research claimed that Richard Curtis romantic comedy Notting Hill generated the equivalent of £19.5m ($30.7m) in online ad spend for London, while the Harry Potter series netted £10.4m ($16.3m) and TV series Wallander yielded £17.9m ($28.2m) for Ystad in Sweden.
Screen tourism also resulted in other boosts. Game of Thrones, for example, generated £1m ($1.5m) for Malta despite the series being more closely affiliated with its ‘home’ in Northern Ireland, while productions »
Benedict Cumberbatch will be honoured at the British Independent Film Awards.
The actor will receive The Variety Award at this year's ceremony, which takes place at Old Billingsgate, London on December 7.
The Variety Award is given to a British director, actor, writer or producer who has enjoyed international success.
On receiving the award, Cumberbatch said: "I am delighted to receive this prestigious award and would like to thank Variety and The Moët British Independent Film Awards for this incredible honour.
"It is made even more special by the recognition of The Imitation Game in this year's nominations, a film I am very proud to be a part of."
The Imitation Game is released in the UK tomorrow (November 14). Watch a clip below: »
British director Stephen Daldry’s “Trash,” about a trio of charismatic kids living next to a Rio garbage dump who stumble upon evidence certain to bring down a corrupt politico, took the top nod at the recently reconfigured Rome Film Festival where, instead of a jury, prizes are decided by paying ticket holders, to serve as a testing ground for distributors.
“Trash,” a South American answer of sorts to “Slumdog Millionaire,” world-preemed in Rio. Scripted by Richard Curtis, it features turns by Martin Sheen and Rooney Mara, alongside a mostly Brazilian cast. Universal will be releasing worldwide.
The Mondo Genre section prize went to “Haider, »
- Nick Vivarelli
Academy usual suspect Stephen Daldry's much-anticipated thriller "Trash," starring Rooney Mara, is skipping the Oscars this year. But the Working Title film, which was shot with hand-held cameras on garbage dumps in Brazil and has yet to book stateside festival slots, did pick up the Audience Award at the Rome Film Festival (full winners list below). Cinephiles are eager to see the film after a well-received early teaser (below). Focus Features plans a 2015 release. Per Rt, the heart-tugger has been well-received across the board. Variety wrote: "Cleanly scripted in pure Hollywood fashion by Richard Curtis... 'Trash' won’t be confused for a real Brazilian production: Its storyline, staging and inevitably positive spin unmistakably mark it as offshore, notwithstanding the participation of Fernando Meirelles’ 02 Filmes. A South American answer of sorts to 'Slumdog Millionaire,' the pic features a trio of charismatic kids living next to a Rio garbage dump who. »
- Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio
Director: Christian Ditter; Screenwriter: Juliette Towhdi; Starring: Sam Claflin, Lily Collins, Christian Cooke, Tamsin Egerton, Suki Waterhouse, Jaime Winstone; Running time: 102 mins; Certificate: 15
Will they? Won't they? Can men and women ever just be friends? Are they going to make it to the airport on time? Just about every romantic comedy cliché gets ticked off in Love, Rosie, a new British film based on Cecelia Ahern's novel Where Rainbows End. The destination may never be in doubt, but thanks to likeable performances from stars Lily Collins and Sam Claflin this predictable film has a heart and soul that keeps it watchable for the duration.
The two up-and-coming leads play Alex and Rosie, school pals whose tight bond is more brother/sister than boyfriend/girlfriend. A kiss between them on Rosie's birthday is forgotten thanks to the effects of alcohol, and the duo carry on as normal, making plans to »
Even before the credits had rolled on his second Doctor Who episode, Flatline, people were asking if writer Jamie Mathieson would be back for series 9 of the show. But Mathieson's path to Doctor Who goes right the way back to his original pitch in 2004, via a feature film screenplay (Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel, his writing on Being Human and a further, unsuccessful Who pitch.
A Doctor Who pitch meeting is fairly banal really. »
A full quarter-century has passed since Nora Ephron deftly articulated the pitfalls of platonic friendship between men and women in “When Harry Met Sally…”. Yet if “Love, Rosie” is to be believed, a whole new generation of adults has arrived at much the same conclusion Ephron did: In the movies, at least, the sex part always gets in the way. A thoroughly likeable English-language debut for German comedy helmer Christian Ditter, this marzipan-sweet adaptation of Cecelia Ahern’s 2004 bestseller “Where Rainbows End” is elevated by vibrant visuals and the winsome chemistry of Lily Collins and Sam Claflin. Cast as childhood BFFs who dance around their true feelings for each other through multiple decades, countries and partners, this inordinately pretty star pairing lends youthful appeal to a rom-com that could also woo the adult chick-lit crowd.
With its twelve-year narrative timeframe, comfy middle-class Britishisms and sparky pairing of striving, pure-hearted girl and raffish, »
- Guy Lodge
There's a moment in The Rewrite when a nostalgic Keith Michaels (Hugh Grant) heads to YouTube to relive his Academy Awards winners' speech for screenwriting. It's an archive clip of Grant himself picking up a prize, he's floppy-haired, charming and reminds you of just how good he was back in the Notting Hill height-of-fame era.
There have, of course, been great roles for Grant since then. 2002's About a Boy represents a career high, while the criminally-underseen Cloud Atlas saw him in chameleon mode, switching effortlessly between six different characters.
The Rewrite is Grant's fourth starring role for Marc Lawrence (putting the filmmaker in Richard Curtis territory in terms of collaborations), but when their last outing was Did You Hear About the Morgans?, you can guess where this one is going. »
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