|Beth, Jo, Meg and Amy|
|Writing is Jo's life and source of independence|
Laura Dern as Marmee March has a modernized touch of a 19th century homemaker whose husband, played by Bob Odenkirk, is at war fighting for the Union. So Marmee is both mom and dad, as well as a community leader in that she looks out for the poor and war torn families, even at the risk of the limited comforts and food for her own family. The most pronounced enhancement of Gerwig's Little Women is that all the girls, save for poor Beth, have moments of where they clearly state their future goals in life. Jo doesn't want to get marry, she just wants to write and earn money; Meg yearns to get married, and have kids and be a housewife; and Amy wants to travel to Europe, become a famous painter and marry rich, in that order! Beth dies young due to complications from Scarlet fever, but even she seems content with accepting that she's going to die, but not before she asks Jo to write for her. And this dying wish energizes Jo to write with conviction, For Beth.
|Laurie and Amy|
I enjoyed Little Women much more than I did with Gerwig's Lady Bird. Her writing and direction on Little Women is much stronger and gives us a glimpse into her future as her becoming an Oscar winning director one day. Along with the beautiful costume designs by Jacqueline Durran; the set decoration by Claire Kaufman; cinematography of Yorick Le Saux; and the timely, lovely music by Alexandre Desplat, this is an Oscar caliber film that is stand out with prestige quality in all these categories. So that's why it is all the more shocking that in this past week as the Golden Globes only gave Little Women two nominations, and the Screen Actors Guild totally shut it out. I won't dwell on the reasons why, but moving forward, Sony will need to have multiple screenings in the coming days, and have screeners sent to each Oscar voter so that Little Women has a chance to be nominated in the previously mentioned artisan groups, but also Best Picture, Best Actress (Ronan), Supporting Actress (Pugh), Supporting Actor (Chalamet), Adapted Screenplay (Gerwig), and Best Director (Gerwig).
In this unusually strong year of so many excellent films, I fear that no female director will make the cut for Best Director, and that just kicks me in the gut. Therefore, I strongly feel that if there is a huge FYC campaign for Adapted Screenplay, this is where Gerwig could become an Oscar winner. It'll be a spectacular consolation prize from the industry in shutting out Greta, and other women directors, from the Best Director line up.
Little Women opens on December 25th, Christmas Day, appropriately. But in this shortened Oscar season, it opened too late (and without the promotional benefit of a film festival screening), I'm hopeful that Little Women can garner several high profile Oscar nominations, and take home all or at least one Oscar, so that Gerwig & Co. won't go home empty handed like they did in 2018 after six nominations for Lady Bird. The time has come, especially this year, to celebrate a woman filmmaker and writer for the brilliant work women have done this year!
|Garrel, Ronan, Gerwig, Pugh and Chalamet at Paris Premiere 12 December|