Movie Thoughts: Little Women

Changing these from Movie Reviews to Movie Thoughts since they’re more scribbled diary entries than actual reviews.

This is a cute movie. The cuteness occasionally grates (I wish I would’ve counted how many times Florence Pugh does the surprised ‘O’ face) but it doesn’t come close to derailing the movie.

Emma Watson is the definition of mediocre when it comes to raw ability. Florence Pugh is gifted but overrated. Eliza Scanlen is gifted and underrated. Saoirse Ronan was bred for this career and will be an A-lister for the rest of her life unless she chooses otherwise. Laura Dern smiles too much in this role — we get it, she’s kind. Bob Odenkirk comes out of nowhere. Meryl Streep is turning into a parody of herself. Timothee Chamelet is a great actor who makes it look easy and he and Ronan have chemistry that rivals Stone/Gosling. He’s also got a really punchable face and demeanor, that pretty boy in your theater class who the universe loves. (I’m sure he’ll be a top notch Paul Atreides.) Louis Garrel is the consummate charming gentleman but I had to Google his name.

It‘s weird — I was kind of bored even though I can’t deny the movie is well made. It was like watching a play. My mom and sister loved it, which is good as they’re the target audience.

I was ready to hate the gender politics but they weren’t that bad. I even found myself enjoying the liberties Gerwig took with the narrative— the parts at the beginning and end with Tracy Letts’ dickhole publisher, in particular. I thought they were a really great way to frame the story and give Jo’s character some modern depth without beating us over the head with OLD WHITE MEN BAD. Gerwig is good at capturing the humanity of characters that the audience isn’t supposed to like (usually old white men who cling to antiquated gender mindsets) which is why Little Women is a better movie than, say, that RBG biopic with Felicity Jones.

I saw a review saying that this will probably be considered the definitive version of Louisa May Alcott’s story and that’s about as big a compliment as this film could’ve hoped for.

3/5

Everything is a work in progress.

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