Love Actually

Craig Armstrong

" Love(ly Armstrong) is all around "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the limited release

Richard Curtis' utterly feel good classic Love Actually is an absolute favorite of mine. Cast, chemistry, the humor, the laughs, the tears, the music. It all boils down to one utter brilliant feel good drama that remains until this day a joy to watch. Score wise Craig Armstrong pulls out all the stops too. It's all intimate if you look at it trough his piano tinkering, motifs are swirling around like crazy, sending signals that feel devious (Harry), heavy when people are having difficulties to share their emotions to the people they're in love with (Sarah). Happy yet emotional when they know how they feel but can't act upon it (David), strange and unknowing when they don't understand why they aren't feeling anything else instead (Sam). Armstrong lays it all out there, either through piano, strings or a careful feisty clarinet. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around here.

But the heart want what the heart wants, and the heart besides love needs utter signs of romance. Signs that show they aren't afraid to show them they love them, signs that gives Craig the opportunity to shine upon them with his biggest romantic blush of all. David's ass kicking maneuver versus the president ("Discovery of Kiss / Press Conference"), David's unveiling of his one and only Natalie ("Natalie at the School") and Sam's run towards the childhood crush, intermixed with some nudity of one Billy Mack ("Joanna Drives Off"). These are pure utter crowd pleasers and Armstrong puts the B in blush, because that orchestra must have been blushing when pushing all those romantic notes towards us. Either way, everything is happy when Portuguese and English vocabulary meet one another as well, a final sign of the big romantic love theme that Armstrong is sending us like Cupid with his arrows straight to our hearts.

Love Actually is a score that's finally available, but perhaps not in the format I wanted. I mean too many short tracks, a lot of repeated ideas and several "Christmas is All Around" song versions. BUT it does feel good doesn't it? Armstrong pushes some really big notes out there, pure romantic hearts and roses that must appeal to anyone who loves what is actually a good score, and a great film. It's a piece of film that keeps giving me those happy feelings. Enough to get the shit kicked out of us by love. And the President should better be prepared for that.

Your secret admirer Craig Armstrong

Track Listing

1. Opening Titles (From The Motion Picture "Love Actually") (1.33)
2. Christmas is All Around (Montage) (5.25)
3. First Day (0.50)
4. Natalie With Tea Trolley (0.20)
5. In Love With Karl (0.54)
6. Sam's Bedroom (0.48)
7. On The Bench (0.58)
8. I'm In Love (0.42)
9. Total Agony (1.57)
10. Saucy Minx / Aurelia Arrives (1.52)
11. Bad Policies (0.57)
12. Discovery of Kiss / Press Conference (2.22) Excellent track
13. Croissants in France (1.07)
14. The Lake Scene (1.35)
15. Saddest Part of Day (1.13)
16. Glasgow Love Theme (2.05)
17. PM Redistributes Natalie (0.34)
18. Jamie Leaves Aurelia (2.44)
19. Sarah & Karl Go Wrong (1.34)
20. Karen In Bed (0.37)
21. Harry & Mia (1.08)
22. Wrapping the Necklace (2.55)
23. Natalie on the Stairs (2.08)
24. Natalie at the School (1.27) Excellent track
25. Natalie Revealed / Karen Confronts Harry (1.49)
26. Joanna Drives Off (6.02) Excellent track
27. Sam & Joanna (1.14)
28. Portuguese Love Theme (3.10) Excellent track
29. Christmas is All Around (Film Version): Billy Mack (4.52)
30. Greenshoots (0.18)
31. Restaurant Band (0.32)
32. PM's Love Theme (2.13)
33. Christmas is All Around (Soundtrack Version): Billy Mack (3.48)

Total Length: 61.43
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 2 votes - average 4.5/5)

Released by

La-La Land Records LLLCD 1581 (limited release 2021)

Conducted by

Cecilia Weston

Orchestrations by

Matt Dunkley & Craig Armstrong