Arts & Entertainment

Montclair Film Festival Narrative Feature: Love Actually with Richard Curtis and Emma Freud

Credits: Cindy C. A. Pereira

MONTCLAIR, NJ - The 2016 Montclair Film Festival (MFF) presented a narrative feature on Saturday with writer and director Richard Curtis and Emma Freud at the Wellmont Theatre. Love Actually is a 2003 movie that takes place mainly in England and deals with the role love plays in the lives of eight couples.

The charismatic Luke Parker Bowles addressed the audience as a sophisticated, smart and attractive group of people, just for attending. After thanking the many sponsors he told the audience that a portion of the proceeds would benefit Red Nose, which supports poverty-focused charities in the United States and around the world.

Love Actually was centered on challenging the notion that the world has more hatred and greed than love. Hugh Grant opens the movie saying, “If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling it’s [love] all around.”

Sign Up for E-News

Curtis and Freud discussed the making of the film over the course of two hours to multiple rounds of applause and hearty laughter. Whether they pointed out errors in the set, such as Hugh Grant’s tie changing during a scene, or they answered questions like whether the actors are really doing it, their banter entirely humanized the filmmaking process.

“Martin has a sack over his little willy,” Freud said, referring to a naked scene with Martin Freeman (famous for his role in The Hobbit film trilogy). She then repeated the word little.

The audience learned interesting details, from Hugh Grant dreading his dancing scene and therefore waiting to the last possible moment to shoot it, to the fact that the choir in the wedding scene, was the result of an idea that came to Curtis from attending Jim Hensen’s (creator of The Muppets) funeral.

Curtis claimed that they initially wanted to write the film in long segments but it turned out to be unwatchable. Curtis said, “All the intercutting was not meant to be how the movie began. It worked as a script but not as a film. It took six months of three dimensional chess to come up with what you’re watching now.”

They made light of a funeral scene. The actress chosen was a friend of the director.  Curtis said it must have been the strangest job in her life. He called and asked her to be Liam Neeson’s dead wife.  Curtis said, “Her job was to turn up, pretend someone was their child, have pictures taken, say goodbye, never see each other again and be linked together forever in this slightly bizarre scene.”

He told us that Billy Bob Thornton had strange phobias. He was terrified of 19th century Benjamin Disraeli British Prime Minister’s facial hair. Curtis joked, “This is what Trump is going to be like guys.”

The line to get into the event stretched all the way down Bloomfield Avenue. Not everyone fully understood the event was going to be a real time discussion with the movie on in the background.

Audience member Laura said, “It was a strange but fun event.” Aleksandra Mijalovic said she was surprised at how much footage never makes it into the movie. She said, "It was an informative experience finding out what goes into making movies."

The editing of film is a bit of an unknown that these discussions somewhat demystify. Upon leaving the theater that aspect of the program seemed to be on the lips of many audience members.

Joanne Eckstut, exiting the theater smiling, said she particularly loved Bill Nighty, though she felt all the actors were well cast. Eckstut said, referring to the editing process, “It was not a linear story. I think it’s brilliant how they put all the narratives together. It takes a genius to figure that out. They made light of it, but there is nothing light about creating something like that. Genius!”

For Additional Information, visit

MFF Runs until May 8. For tickets, visit

Text MFF to 41444 to support capital for a new MFF building.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Philip Roth's Childhood Home Still Standing in Newark

May 24, 2018

Newark, NJ—The house at 81 Summit Avenue in Newark's Weequahic neighborhood is otherwise unremarkable expect for a sign attached to its faux flagstone facade noting that the home has been designated a historic site -- the childhood home of celebrated author Philip Roth, who died Tuesday at the age of 85.

There were no crowds outside the home to pay homage to the ...

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

May 25, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that was ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, May 29, 7:00 PM

Montclair Public Library Auditorium, Montclair

Open Book/ Open Mind: CODE GIRLS with Liza Mundy ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Tue, May 29, 7:00 PM

Studio Playhouse, Upper Montclair

Into the Woods Auditions

Arts & Entertainment

Letter to the Editor: Gum Litter and what YOU can do about it

May 16, 2018

Gum is non-biodegradable, meaning it doesn't’t break down ever….

Today, the unlikely problem surfaces. The average person chews 275 sticks of gum per year. With the amount of people in daily society, it’s no mystery why chewing gum is the second most littered item after cigarette butts.  Did you know that gum is banned in Singapore?

In addition to littering human ...

Montclair Police Blotter: Vandalism to Parked Cars, Mysterious Parking Meter Crash, and More

May 23, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - The following blotter was compiled and released by the Montclair Police Department on May 22, 2018:

05-15-2018 (Orange Road) Mr. Danny Josama, 42yoa from West Orange, was arrested and charged with
05-21-2018 (Wellmont Theater) Mr. Marcelo Dasilva, 40yoa from Montclair, was arrested and charged
with Burglary and Criminal Mischief for entering the Wellmont ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...


May 26, 2018


We’ve Walked the South End. We’ve Walked the North End.  Now We Have Two Opportunities to Walk the Central Trail of the Morris Canal Greenway.


Sunday, May 27, 2018 at 9:00 AM 

Saturday, June 2, 2018 at 9:00 AM

The walk will begin at the Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center, 240 Belleville Ave, Bloomfield, ...