With stories revolving around several different characters, it's Christmas-time in London, and something is in the air. It's the same affliction for widower Daniel (Neeson), the Prime Minister (Grant), and his sister Karen (Thompson), who all seem to have caught whatever it is. What could it possibly be? Why, it's Love Actually, and it's here to stay. (Tricia Spears)
Special features include commentary with Director Richard Curtis and Actors Hugh Grant, Bill Nighy, and Thomas Sangster; 10 deleted scenes (SD 37:16) with commentary by Director Curtis; the music with introductions by Curtis (HD 12:42); The Storytellers featurette (SD 09:58); the Kelly Clarkson "The Trouble With Love Is" music video (SD 03:48); the Billy Mack "Christmas Is All Around" music video (SD 04:13); and BD-Live functionality.
As with the previously reviewed DVD in Issue 85, the 1080p 2.36:1 VC-1 picture is very pleasing and fresh, with a rich and warm color palette. Fleshtones are perfectly natural throughout and reveal differing tones. Contrast is generally excellent, though, at times white levels are pushed to extreme brightness. Blacks are deep and solid, and shadow delineation is nicely resolved. Resolution is inconsistent and varies from incredibly sharp and detailed imagery to softly focused. Still facial features and object textures can be quite satisfying. The overall picture is pristine, with minor grain but no apparent noise. This is a bright and vibrant picture with saturated colors that work well with the light storytelling and on-screen romance and humor. Viewers will be delighted with the naturalness. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is dialogue focused, with a frontal soundstage presence throughout. But as with the previous DVD's Dolby® Digital soundtrack, if love could ever be quantified and presented as something that could take some sort of physical form, then this is one soundtrack that could very well be a qualifier for that honor. There is a really lovely, sweet, and utterly charming quality to this soundtrack—especially in the original score by Craig Armstrong and Matt Dunkley—that really pleases and quite honestly represents what love could actually sound like. Besides the musical score, the precise sonic reproduction of the actor's very unique vocal patterns and inflections are dead-on accurate. Although a majority of audio information is spread across the front three screen channels, the LFE and surround channels work wonderful together with these three channels, to provide a very immersive and quite effective surround sound envelope that wraps itself tenderly around the listener. There is also a wonderful balance between music and dialogue, where one never steals the spotlight from the other, but shares screen-time in perfect harmony. Overall, this is a really fantastic and thoroughly enjoyable soundtrack. (Jeffrey Kern/Gary Reber)