Richard Curtis

love-actually-sangster

I’m one of the insane who watches Love Actually every year around Christmastime. Richard Curtis’ 10-year-old flick has lost none of its charm on repeat viewings, the laughs all still land and it makes a hell of a double feature with Die Hard. So naturally I think Christopher Orr is dead wrong about it. Up until four days ago, I had no idea there were people that hated the ensemble romantic comedy. In the grand sense that not everything is for everyone, sure, of course there were going to be people that didn’t care for it, but my eyes were opened to just how deep the irritation goes when Orr lambasted it as the least romantic movie of all time. I’m assuming Saw and Ichi the Killer weren’t up for consideration, but even strictly within the genre (and ignoring the trolling headline of the piece), it’s a pretty outrageous claim. It’s backed up by Orr’s typical flourish and intellect, but it’s a rare case where he seems to be wandering around a large amount of trees wondering where the power plant is. As it turns out, Love Actually needs a defense.

read more...

About Time

Romantic comedy fans have long been starving for satisfying genre fare to hit the box office, all the Valentine’s Days and New Year’s Eves and Arbor Days (surely, the next one, right?) notwithstanding, and it’s long seemed as if the When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail glory days (we loved Nora Ephron, what can we say?) were far gone. Yet, with Love Actually writer and director Richard Curtis finally returning to the sort of films he excels at crafting, it’s perhaps a bit early to consider the entire genre dead. Maybe it’s just sleeping. Curtis’ About Time certainly comes with an enviable pedigree (any film that features Curtis directing Bill Nighy is cause to celebrate), but it’s the film’s charming cast and cleverly tangled plot conceit that keeps it ticking right along. About Time centers on hapless young Tim (Domhnall Gleeson, who is utterly adorable in every frame of the film), a sweet guy who has never been very lucky in love. Tim’s been lucky elsewhere, however, as he had an exceedingly idyllic childhood in the arms of his “sturdy” mother Mary (Lindsay Duncan), deeply bookish dad (Nighy), heartbreakingly sweet Uncle Desmond (Richard Cordery), and whimsical sister Kit Kat (Lydia Wilson) and he’s soon to embark on an exciting (well, somewhat) legal career in London. Before all that, however, he’s got some time to kill at his family home, and it’s only after one of his family’s rip-roaring New Year’s Eve parties that dear old dad shares an […]

read more...

Dead On Time

This is another edition of Short Starts, where we present a weekly short film(s) from the start of a filmmaker or actor’s career. He’s only directed three films, including the new sci-fi rom-com About Time, but Richard Curtis has been a well-known screenwriter for a few decades. When we think of a Curtis movie, we don’t just consider his popular directorial debut, Love Actually (and nobody here thinks of Pirate Radio, aka The Boat That Rocked). We think of Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral, which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. He also wrote The Girl in the Cafe and one of the best episodes of Doctor Who (“Vincent and the Doctor”), and he co-scripted Bridget Jones’s Diary and its sequel, as well as War Horse. Plus he co-created Blackadder and Mr. Bean, both with regular collaborator Rowan Atkinson. Curtis and Atkinson met at Oxford through the famed Experimental Theatre Club before breaking out as members of the legendary Oxford Revue. Quickly they got into radio and TV comedy, and while they were beginning work on the first series of Blackadder (then The Black Adder) they also made their first film together, Dead On Time. Directed by Lyndall Hobbs (who went on to direct Back to the Beach and no films since), it’s a very smart and very funny take on an easy, familiar premise with an easy, familiar endpoint. Atkinson plays a man who is told he has only half an hour to […]

read more...

nighy

Bill Nighy is a chameleon. He’s an actor who can go large and then, as we see in his new film, About Time, craft an effortlessly grounded performance when needed. When Nighy discusses the idea of a performance without thinking about “acting,” it makes for an interesting contrast to his work as Davy Jones. The Pirates of the Caribbean villain is a job that consistently reminds you you’re acting with the tech involved. Wearing those dots on your face and that mo-cap suit probably can’t make your job any easier, and yet Nighy still managed to bring gravitas to Jones and that series as a whole. There is no transformation in About Time, which, to some actors, is an even loftier challenge. But it’s a task Nighy seems up for any day of the week, especially if it’s Richard Curtis behind the camera. Speaking with Nighy, his fondness for Curtis rang loud and clear. Not only that, Nighy stressed an important little detail for all the young actors out there. Read on to find out about Nighy’s discovery:

read more...

curtis

Love Actually is one of the most beloved romantic comedies of all the time. That film is only ten years old, but it’s already fair to claim the film is a classic. Initially the web of down-to-earth love stories didn’t receive uniformly stellar reviews or massive box office numbers, but what kind of madman doesn’t watch it when it’s on cable or come Christmas time? That wasn’t a shabby way to kickoff the directorial chapter to an already successful career. By 2003, Curtis had written Four Weddings and a Funeral, Bridget Jones’s Diary, and Notting Hill, so he was no romantic comedy rookie when he hit it big behind the camera. Since then, he’s directed two films with The Boat That Rocked and his latest, About Time. The time travel dramedy is about life, love, sorrow, children, and (unsurprising if you follow Curtis’ work) most everyday facets of life. The movie feels like a swan song for Richard Curtis, who is retiring from filmmaking. Speaking with Curtis at the press day for About Time, the writer/director discussed his reasons for retirement. Here’s what he had to say:

read more...

About Time

Do you feel it in your fingers? Do you feel it in your toes? Love, Actually writer/director Richard Curtis has a new science-fiction romantic comedy on the horizon. And so the feeling grows. In About Time, a young man (Domhnall Gleeson) is told by his father (Bill Nighy) that the men of their family have the ability to travel in time. Naturally, he sets upon using the incredible talent to get lucky Daft Punk-style and sets out to woo a young lady played by Rachel McAdams. There’s a touch of Groundhog Day here, what with the opportunity to call Mulligan and redo specific moments in time, and knowing Curtis’ strengths as a storyteller, it may turn out just as rich and lively. He’s never been one for the surface-level gimmick, and the trailer tilts in that direction (while adhering to the strange rule that McAdams has to run around in her underwear for at least one trailer-bound scene):

read more...

In what sounds like a very cool (schmoopy romance can be cool right?) project, Richard Curtis is writing and directing About Time – a story focusing on a young man named Tim who finds out that he’s one in a long line of time travelers. That comes with some impressive powers, no doubt. Groundhog Day-like powers. Or the ability to go back and make sure Hitler wasn’t born or something important like knowing all the right questions in class or on dates. According to Variety, the production is looking at Zooey Deschanel as the leading love interest which means the costume department will be searching on ModCloth and she’ll get to sing a song. While we all fall in love with her manic big-eyed dreamgirlness. Right now, Tim the Time Traveler is being played by Domhnall Gleeson (Bill Weasley in Harry Potter, Shadow Dancer and Anna Karenina). All in all, it sounds like a potentially large-hearted project with a sci-fi conceit hiding somewhere in the atria. Plus, Gleeson is a presence with range who is beginning to come into his own after the massive wand-wielding franchise, and even though New Girl is solid comedy work, it’s about time Deschanel returned to film.

read more...

Countdown to the End: Love Actually

The Mayans, the wise race of ancients who created hot cocoa, set December 21st, 2012 as the end date of their Calendar, which the intelligent and logical amongst us know signifies the day the world will end, presumably at 12:21:12am, Mountain Time. From now until zero date, we will explore the 50 films you need to watch before the entire world perishes. We don’t have much time, so be content, be prepared, be entertained. The Film: Love Actually (2003) The Plot: Love Actually marked one of the first multi-plot story line films (that actually worked) which explored the different stages, phases and versions of love set against the magical background of Christmas time in London. From the young love of Sam (Thomas Sangster) and Joanna (Olivia Olson) to the forbidden love of David (Hugh Grant) and Natalie (Martine McCutcheon) to Daniel (Liam Neeson) dealing with heartbreak, Mark’s (Andrew Lincoln) unrequited love for Juliet (Keira Knightley) and the blossoming relationship between John (Martin Freeman) and Judy (Joanna Page), each relationship depicted a different side and aspect of that crazy emotion that seems to drive and link us all. Love Actually showed audiences that in the end, all you need is love (despite the pain, anguish and complications that can come with it) and did so in a way that was sweet, humorous and touching.

read more...

War Horse is a sprawling war epic that’s so old-fashioned it belongs in a museum. Not only has director Steven Spielberg painstakingly recreated the look and feel of a classical picture of this scope, imbued with a heavy dose of mid-century British formalism, he’s essentially made a carbon copy of a David Lean movie. Such a nostalgic enterprise would be welcome if it told a story worth telling, with the strong, determined characters and bold cinematic brushstrokes of a Lean picture. Spielberg’s film does nothing of the sort — it’s a stodgy, ridiculous movie with a horse that simultaneously serves as an allegory for the bond that unites all mankind and a symbol of profound, idealized purity.

read more...

PirateRadio

Pirate Radio is a perfectly balanced comedy with a brilliant cast. Hard to believe it’s only Richard Curtis’s second film as director.

read more...

pirateradio-giveaway-header

We’re back on the gravy train, headed for a freesville, baby. That’s right, FSR’s elite team of covert operatives have returned with more sweet swag to give away to our most prized readers.

read more...

09anticipated-boatthatrocked

Focus Features has taken over domestic distribution of Richard Curtis’ pirate radio yarn The Boat That Rocked. Universal was planning a release for August 28th, but Focus has pushed it back until sometime in November. They also appear to want to make some cuts.

read more...

The last time Richard Curtis was directing, he was delivering Love, Actually, one of my favorite films of the past 5 years. And now he’s back with a film that, quite simply, appears to rock.

read more...
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3