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Old 12-25-2019, 07:45 PM   #1
JoeBanks
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Default Little Women

As beloved as the 1994 adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel has been for the past 25 years, Greta Gerwig's latest turn at bringing the book to the screen positions it firmly in the 21st Century. Not only from a directorial perspective -- Gerwig weaves the story's earlier and later timelines together in a non-linear fashion -- but also gives Alcott's ending a meta spin that comments on the current challenges faced by female creators today which seemingly have not changed much since the late 19th century. The cast's highly naturalistic performances also serve to vitalize this period piece and make it feel completely fresh and relevant. A Christmas delight.
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Old 01-07-2020, 03:53 PM   #2
Darthclaw13
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Default Re: Little Women

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Originally Posted by JoeBanks View Post
As beloved as the 1994 adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel has been for the past 25 years, Greta Gerwig's latest turn at bringing the book to the screen positions it firmly in the 21st Century. Not only from a directorial perspective -- Gerwig weaves the story's earlier and later timelines together in a non-linear fashion -- but also gives Alcott's ending a meta spin that comments on the current challenges faced by female creators today which seemingly have not changed much since the late 19th century. The cast's highly naturalistic performances also serve to vitalize this period piece and make it feel completely fresh and relevant. A Christmas delight.

Although I enjoyed this most recent version, I was underwhelmed.

I have seen many feature film versions of this beloved story (my fav was the 1949 version with June Allyson, Elizabeth Taylor, Janet Leigh, and Margaret O'Brien with the 1933 Katherine Hepburn version coming in a close second)

I am not a fan of Greta Gerwig's style of directing. Lady Bird was ok, and this film was slightly better than that one.

The acting was done fairly well here but I could tell the actors were not comfortable with the dialog, were very rigid in their delivery, and rushed the lines.

The nonlinear style did not bother me as I could keep up with it, but I could tell most of the audience had a hard time with it. Gerwig used flashback waaaay too much in my opinion. If she had done the story linear it would have been just fine. All the flashbacks did nothing to add to the story.

I feel that you have to keep your audience in mind when writing and using too many flashbacks. If the flashbacks enhance your story and don't confuse or take your audience out of the story then use them. In this case the flashbacks could have been put at the beginning of the film and then continued on linearly and it would have been the same film essentially. They brought nothing interesting to the film the way they were used. They seemed just dropped in.

Additionally, I did not like the copious overlapping dialog when all the girls were together in the home. Yes, I know when you get a bunch of young girls together they will talk over each other (my daughter has had many sleep over parties), and this was done in previous Little Women films. But in the other films it wasn't so annoying and jarring to the ears.

The music was well composed in this film.

I did like this film, but not enough to warrant a second viewing. If you are a fan of the book/story then I recommend the 1949 or 1933 film versions.
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Old 01-07-2020, 06:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Little Women

This is actually my favourite version of the book, though it is some years since I saw the others. I thought it was beautifully filmed and acted and very moving, but for me it did drag a little at times.
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Old 01-07-2020, 08:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: Little Women

It's doing very well at the box office.
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Little Women

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Originally Posted by JoeBanks View Post
As beloved as the 1994 adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel has been for the past 25 years, Greta Gerwig's latest turn at bringing the book to the screen positions it firmly in the 21st Century. Not only from a directorial perspective -- Gerwig weaves the story's earlier and later timelines together in a non-linear fashion -- but also gives Alcott's ending a meta spin that comments on the current challenges faced by female creators today which seemingly have not changed much since the late 19th century. The cast's highly naturalistic performances also serve to vitalize this period piece and make it feel completely fresh and relevant. A Christmas delight.

JoeBanks, spot on review, IMO. Though my kid and I (and others I spoke to) found the non-linear timeline challenging, I understand Gerwig's decision (and agree with it). If I could change anything, I wish there'd been less subtle clues to the time change as we spent a goodly amount of viewing time unsure of where the characters were on the timeline instead of enjoying the performances.

Having been a huge LW fan as a young reader, I found the film's fresh, new perspective on an old story lovely (and yes, wholeheartedly agree with you @ her not so subtle message that things haven't changed all that much for female creators.)
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:25 PM   #6
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JoeBanks, spot on review, IMO. Though my kid and I (and others I spoke to) found the non-linear timeline challenging, I understand Gerwig's decision (and agree with it). If I could change anything, I wish there'd been less subtle clues to the time change as we spent a goodly amount of viewing time unsure of where the characters were on the timeline instead of enjoying the performances.
It seemed clear to me through the cinematography. The "past" scenes are brightly lit with warm soft colors. "Present" Jo timeline is much more subdued and harsh, all dull greys and browns.

[https://www.moviemaker.com/archives/news/little-women/]

Last edited by JoeBanks : 01-14-2020 at 12:01 AM. Reason: add link
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Old 01-15-2020, 06:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: Little Women

John August speaks to Greta on this week's Scriptnotes about writing Little Women (spoilers, obvs) and it's delightful

https://johnaugust.com/2020/the-one-with-greta-gerwig
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Old 01-15-2020, 07:46 PM   #8
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I really liked the look of the film. Beautifully lit. Looked like they were in a painting. It felt like you were in that time period and not just pretending to be.... like most productions. This was a superb cast. They have a very natural way of interacting. Truth be told I thought Gerwig was more deserving than some of the big name directors who were nominated. I think those directors got deference because of their names. As far as the flashbacks, they did not work. Not much clued you between the transitions. I think the audience was confused by it.
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Old 03-01-2020, 07:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: Little Women

This awful habit to take a classic and raping it with a modern slant is a symptom of vacuous and disrespectful behavior.

I group it with what consumerism has done to yoga: an insult to thousands year religion, selling 100$ mats and exercising over rap songs singing of "ho"s. Nice.

But hey, no skin off my back.

I'm glad you guys got entertained. I wasn't.
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Old 03-01-2020, 11:11 AM   #10
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This awful habit to take a classic and raping it with a modern slant is a symptom of vacuous and disrespectful behavior.
I admit that I thought hard about ignoring your post due to your evident extremist views, but unfortunately my curiosity got the better of me.

So in your estimation, what films are worthwhile? And, why/ how is it vacuous to re-imagine or re-envision anything?
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