After her Lady Bird emerged as a runaway success in the fall of 2017, writer-director Greta Gerwig attained one of those world-at-your-feet moments that all directors dream of. Enjoying a spike in industry cachet, she cashed in her goodwill with the suits to get an adaptation of Little Women – the oft-adpated Louisa May Alcott novel from 1868 – off the ground.
Movie lovers have kept a close eye on this gestating project, but today brings a trailer sure to have those with weaker temperaments clutching at their breast. The March family has returned to cinemas, and they’ve brought their domestic dramas with them.
The novel joins the Marches during the Civil War, with the father of the house gone off to contribute to the military effort. That leaves daughters Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth (Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, and Eliza Scanlen, respectively) to fend for themselves, with their aunt (Meryl Streep) as their primary caretaker.
The film focuses on the characterization of the young ladies as free-thinking adults, penned in by society’s small-minded standards for women. Jo dreams of attaining literary greatness, Amy yearns for the life of an actress, but their Aunt wants nothing more than for them to act polite so that they might find a husband of considerable means and respectable breeding. (Fat chance – Jo’s got her eye on the dashing Laurie, played by Timothée Chalamet.)
Though it seems that Gerwig will exempt herself from the fall festival circuit, we can be sure that conversations about this film will ramp up once everyone begins thinking in terms of awards gold. A colleague pointed out to me that skipping Toronto and New York’s festivals for a Christmas release is the same strategy that made Phantom Thread a hot-button movie back in 2017. At the very least, the costume-drama fetishists among us will have something to fan themselves over.
Little Women will come to theaters in the US on 25 December, and then the UK one day later on 26 December.
Published 13 Aug 2019
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