Little Women Review
Saoirse Ronan as Jo March
Emma Watson as Meg March
Timothée Chalamet as Theodore ‘Laurie’ Laurence
Florence Pugh as Amy March
Eliza Scanlen as Beth March
Laura Dern as Marmee March
Tracy Letts as Mr. Dashwood
Bob Odenkirk as Mr. March
James Norton as John Brooke
Louis Garrel as Friedrich Bhaer
Chris Cooper as Mr. Laurence
Jayne Houdyshell as Hannah
Meryl Streep as Aunt March
“Little Girls” is based upon the 1868 novel by Louisa May Alcott.
While his wife and daughters should make ends meet on their own, the patriarch of the March family is away at war. Their mother, Marmee, who educators them compassion and liberty in the face of adversity leads them. Jo March is an aspiring writer and the sisters’ spirit. Meg loves acting and longs for a family of her own. Amy March focuses on popularity and wants to marry for money. Beth is a musical talent and selfless.
They develop from childhood to womanhood, as the March women face the trials and tribulations of life on their own. And their special personalities will steer the course of their lives as they venture out on their own.
“Little Girls” is rated PG for thematic elements and brief smoking.
OK, I will admit that”Little Girls” isn’t exactly a picture that typically appeals to me. I typically prefer movies with apes and explosions in them. However,”Little Women” is one of my wife’s favorite books and I owed her later dragging her to every Marvel movie and Star Wars film this year. But while it was not something I would watch, this movie pleasantly surprised me.
First up, the cast is phenomenal. Packed with favorites, each celebrity brings a special touch to her character and has a moment to shine. I’m continually amazed by the versatility of this actress. This year she played with a wrestler in”Struggling With My Family”, a horror movie victim in”Midsommar”, and she will play a Russian spy in”Black Widow” next year. To see her in corsets and frilly dresses in”Little Women” is a significant change for her, yet she is equally believable in every function. Here she crazy, she takes advise from her wealthy spinster aunt played by Meryl Streep, and and her sister fight. Her performance is one of the more fun ones to watch.
The spotlight is on Saoirse Ronan as Jo March and she does provide a performance that is fine as well. Ronan stays a little more in her lane as a spirited author character. Jo embodies a number of the features of Louisa May Alcott, so she is the heart of”Little Women” in several respects.
Meg March emma Watson plays. It is not a stretch from her personalities of Hermione Granger or Belle, but what makes her fun to watch is her interaction with the other actresses. There is real chemistry between them and they appear to be having fun as they play with the sisters. Early in the role Meg is funny and theatrical, but as she gets older she is weighed down by life’s burdens and her duty as a wife and mom. Watson handles those transitions between her character’s phases .
The rest of the cast is also impressive. Eliza Scanlen plays with the fourth sister, Beth March. Beth has ability and is compassionate. She interacts well with Laura Dern who plays with her mom, Marmee March and the other sisters. Dern is excellent as well and makes a matriarch for these girls. There’s a bit of her in all the personalities. Then there’s Meryl Streep as Aunt March. Her interaction with Pugh’s Amy is funny because the two are opposites yet both have one push — survival.
While the guys are currently supporting characters in this story, they hold their own against the cast. Right before watching”Little Women” I watched Cooper in”A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”. It was a stunning transformation for Cooper between the two roles and it was nice to see him as a good man in”Little Women”. It was equally unusual to see Bob Odenkirk as Mr. March. I love him in”Better Call Saul” so it was really a change to see him overwhelmed by four brothers here, yet he manages it well. Timothée Chalamet is also fantastic as Theodore’Laurie’ Laurence. While we see the woman’s transition into adulthood, we see him grow into adult from irresponsible young man. His scenes with Pugh will also be memorable.
I asked my wife, a”Little Girls” fan, what she thought of this film. She enjoyed it. She noticed that the storytelling format was intriguing. It’s told in a series of flashbacks. The novel is followed by the flashbacks while the scenes in day reflect more of Alcott elements of the narrative. Together you find the contrast in the characters as they grow and mature. She enjoyed the fact that the story was not overly sappy, a issue with some of the adaptations of the novel.
I honestly don’t have any complaints about”Little Women” other than it is not my cup of tea. It’s well acted, it has amazing production design, and it is a adaptation of a novel.
The Bottom Line:
If you are a fan of any of the cast or writer and director Greta Gerwig, I think you’ll want to check out”Little Girls” in theaters. Fans of the Louisa May Alcott novel should also be happy. And if, like me, your significant other wants to see the movie, I think you’ll find it to be among the literature adaptations that are more accessible.
Opening Wednesday December 25, 2019
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R.L. Stine (Jack Black) and the kids work together to escape from a werewolf stalking the supermarket.
Jack Black stars as acclaimed Goosebumps writer R.L. Stine inside this feature-film adaptation of the popular YA book collection. A teenager called Zach (Dylan Minnette) reluctantly moves from New York City to the quiet city of Madison, DE, where he quickly realizes that his reclusive new neighbor is in fact the horror author of the Goosebumps series. Zach learns Stine’s identity when he is drawn to the writer’s daughter Hannah (Odeya Rush), but soon finds the dangerous secret inside their home — the monsters from Stine’s famous stories are real, and are kept locked away inside their original manuscripts. After an accident frees the monsters, Zach, Hannah, and their nerdy pal Champ (Ryan Lee) must work together with Stine to save their town from destruction. Rob Letterman directed this adventure. Screenplay by Darren Lemke; screen story by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski.
TM & © Sony (2015)
Cast: Ryan Lee, Dylan Minnette, Jack Black, Odeya Rush
Producers: Bruce Berman, Bill Bannerman, Ben Waisbren, Tania Landau, Deborah Forte, Neal H. Moritz, Elizabeth Cantillon
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