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Love Actually is the movie that will always wind up somehow in a Christmas list I put together. Directed by Richard Curtis (the director of the equally fabulous The Boat that Rocked) this movie features a huge ensemble of many of the best British actors alive. Each story is set during the time before Christmas and those short stories interconnect from time to time – but mostly they stand as short movies about a certain type of love, some rewarding, some unrewarding, some unexpected.
The piece with Emma Thompson and Alan “Snape” Rickman is about an long married couple and a husband who gets seduced by the young attractive Heike Makatsch. The pivotal moment of the story is when Thompson’s character finds a necklace her husband has bought in his jacket. When she sees a present of similar shape as the necklace she is enthralled about it.
The excitement sadly turns into bitter sadness when she finds out that in the present is a CD and therefore her husband has bought the necklace for someone else. In just a few seconds Emma Thompsons shows why she is one of the best actresses as the excitement turns into shocked realization, then fake gratitude until she excuses herself and goes into her bedroom – listening to the CD and we cut to Heike Makatsch who has received the necklace.
The scene is heart-wrenchingly disappointing seeing as one is rooting for Rickman to not cheat on her – and because Love Actually is not the standard “everything is completely great at the end”-type of movie this storyturn is just one of many fantastic moments that compile one of my favorite Christmas movies.