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Little Women (2019)

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After an amazing directorial debut with Lady Bird two years ago, Greta Gerwig gives viewers the gift of an exceptional sophomore effort in her take on Little Women. Though Louisa May Alcott’s literary classic has already been adapted plenty of times before, Gerwig succeeds not only in finding a way to make this very old text and its beloved characters relatable and accessible to today’s viewers, but also in replicating much of the warmth and wit that makes Alcott’s novel such a timeless treasure. Much like her work on Lady Bird, Gerwig establishes a clear emotional purpose for each scene and brings out full and compelling emotions from the entire cast. The final product is by turns funny, joyous, heart-wrenching, and uplifting. It also has a well-executed surprise up its sleeve that adds a unique and extremely satisfying new layer to the story. Much of the novel’s enduring appeal springs from its characters, and the four lead actresses are all mightily impressive. Saoirse Ronan is almost as great as Jo March as the she was as the titular character in her previous collaboration with Gerwig; her witty line delivery is on-point, her indomitable spirit comes across in every scene, and she also succeeds in establishing a surprising degree of interiority that enhances the power of her external reactions and interactions with others. It’s definitely further evidence of Ronan’s place as one of the most talented actresses of her generation. Florence Pugh caps off a highly impressive year with moving work as Amy March. As the youngest sister, who often seemed misunderstood in the source material, Pugh traces Amy’s evolution from an immature and spoiled girl to a composed and sensitive woman beautifully, capturing numerous nuances that humanize her and allow audiences to understand her on her own terms. Emma Watson gives her best performance in years as Meg March, utilizing small, nonverbal acting to better effect than she ever has. And though Sharp Objects actress Eliza Scanlen doesn’t get as much to do as the other members of the main quartet, she wrings big emotional power from a number of scenes as Beth March. As in Lady Bird, Gerwig also gets terrific small contributions from a supporting cast in which Timothee Chalamet, Laura Dern, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, Bob Odenkirk, and Tracy Letts each get moments to shine. The film is also handsomely mounted with excellent production values, particularly in costuming and hairstyling decisions that cleverly establish clear delineation between multiple storylines, and also in Alexandre Desplat’s lovely musical score. In all facets, Gerwig has taken a timeless classic in Little Women and shown us exactly why its characters and its messages remain timeless. Between this film and Lady Bird, I can’t wait to see what she does next.

 

A

 

Stray Thoughts:

- There's a scene in this film in which Florence Pugh wears flowers in her hair. Having seen Midsommar, my first thought was "OH NO..."

 

- I loved the framing device alluded to in the review. It feels truer to Jo's personality and trajectory as a character (and is a nice nod to Alcott's own personal life) and it adds an extremely interesting layer of metacommentary on fact and fiction.

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The world may or may not have needed yet another adaptation of Little Women, but it certainly needed this one if we were to have any. Greta Gerwig has created a follow-up to Lady Bird that not only surpasses her previous effort, but also might be the best adaptation of this story yet (surpassing even the terrific 1994 version with its own equally talented cast of big names). This isn't some boring period piece: Gerwig has updated the material with the right amount of flair and contemporary relevance, while also remaining very much true to the time period of the story and retaining its essence. Acting was one of the biggest strengths about her previous film, and it's just as much so here. Saoirse Ronan has given us the definitive Jo March in a spirited performance that is among her very best. The other March sisters have never been as compelling but Florence Pugh (can't wait to see her become an A-lister in the next year or two), Emma Watson (not a great performance since Meg has always been the least interesting of the four but better than I thought she would be based on the early buzz), and Eliza Scanlen all contribute fine work in her orbit. There really isn't a single bad performance to be found here, as Gerwig has filled the supporting cast with talented names who add to the movie (Timothee Chalamet continues to prove he can do no wrong in what is also the best portrayal of Laurie yet). This proves that remakes/new adaptations deserve to be welcomed rather than met with disapproval when they turn out to be as rewarding as this. A

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Absolutely phenomenal, it’s a home run adaption at just about every level.  Wonderful on a technical level with weaving the past and present scenes together seamlessly.  My favorite shot of the year was the end of the beach scene, absolutely ripped my heart out and had me in tears.

 

It’s warm and effective at every level and does justice to its classic source material, showing that it can be just as resonant today without needing any modern updates or flairs.

 

A+

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really liked this but not as much as the '94 version which feels like a more definitive take on the material for me. felt like this was rushing through elements at the start maybe under the assumption that the audience knows the story idk? the armstrong version felt like it had more breathing room even tho it's shorter. this does become pretty incredible in the second half though and transcends any other version of the story with certain aspects (like anything with Amy and the ending). 

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A-

 

Gosh this unearthed some painful memories. I probably first read Little Women when I was 8 or 9 and I loved it except that fucking Laurie and Amy situation. I shipped Laurie and Jo before I knew what shipping was and him ending up with AMY of all people destroyed me. Up until that point it would have been the biggest disappointment of my life (and quite frankly it may still be top 10). I had forgotten the feels but boy did they come back. Damn you Amy, damn you to hell 👿!

 

Anyway, the movie was good, not great. Hopefully when it's redone in the 2030s we'll finally get a great version. There's a reason why this is one of those books that Hollywood will always keep going back to. The story is great and the characters are even better. By the end of the book they aren't characters, they're your friends (not Amy of course, that lime loving heifer is not even an acquaintance).

 

Jo actress and Amy actress were quite good. Beth actress did what could be done with what she was given. The less said about Emma Watson's acting the better. Her accent kept slipping which was at least funny but she did not suit Meg at all. Laura Dern and Meryl Streep were lovely and Laurie actor was excellent as well except the fight scene with Jo which was soap opera tier.

 

I hated the back and forth timelines. It worked half the time and was very awkward otherwise. I think the Beth death scene really suffered from the back and forth. I almost started to hum Toss a Coin to Your Witcher with that time jumping shit. If the movie was just told in a linear fashion this would me a movie of the year contender for me but it's too choppy as is. Still Little Women is Little Women so there is no way it can be messed up at the end of the day.

Edited by glassfairy

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9 hours ago, Eric Laurence said:

 

lol they're not wrong. Liked Pugh's performance in this a lot but some of the scenes (mainly that one in particular) in which we're obviously supposed to be watching "Young Amy" was sorta giving me Billy Madison vibes.

 

In the meantime, I've been listening to Alexandre Desplat's score for this a bit since seeing it. :wub: Favorite of the year.

Edited by filmlover

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Just saw it. This was a fantastic adaptation (besides some strange editing choices), made with a ton of heart and love. The cast is absolutely stellar.

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A, borderline A+

 

Riveting, playful, and incredibly acted movie. Loads of style and an incredibly tactile palette, the colours and atmospheres pop remarkably.

 

Top 3 of the year in a crowded pack. 

Edited by Ipickthiswhiterose

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8 hours ago, aabattery said:

Jo traded up @Eric Dolittle

Fun Fact: the guy who plays Bhaer in this version is siblings in real life with the actress who played the girlfriend in Call Me by Your Name. Small world!

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Watched this a few hours ago and has taken over Parasite as my 2nd favourite of the year. Gerwig has made it clear again that her greatest talent is her ability to make us empathise with the characters, not just through her writing, but through the visuals and editing. A lot of people seemed to dislike the non-linear editing but I think its part of the reason why this movie works, espescially when it comes to the latter half of the movie. The way the movie cuts between the beach in the past and the present and the scene where we see Jo go down to the kitchen, both in the past in the present, to check if Beth has died are powerful because of they way they were put together. People say it might be confusing for people who have never read the book but I've never read the book (and only seen a few minutes of the 94 movie) and I understood what was going on. 

 

10/10

Edited by lorddemaxus
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12 hours ago, aabattery said:

Jo traded up @Eric Dolittle

poor amy. good thing the sequel about her relationship is Midsommar.

Edited by CoolioD1
  • Haha 3

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Just as magical a second time.

 

Timmy’s hair is so pretty in this. Like black cotton candy

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34 minutes ago, Eric Dolittle said:

Just as magical a second time.

 

Timmy’s hair is so pretty in this. Like black cotton candy


Don’t make me regret liking this!

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6 minutes ago, Plain Old Tele said:


Don’t make me regret liking this!

You this time next year after watching The French Dispatch and Dune:

 

Image result for beautiful boy gif

  • Haha 1

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11 minutes ago, Plain Old Tele said:


Don’t make me regret liking this!

THAT'S WHAT HIS HAIR LOOKS LIKE TELE

  • Astonished 1

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