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Greta Gerwig just makes it look so goddamn easy. Both this and Lady Bird flow like a dream, so bursting with life and emotion but never showy or insistent about it. She’s probably become one of the very best directors of actors around at the moment - Ronan, Pugh, Dern, Cooper etc… are all so wonderful in it. I mean they’re always wonderful, but the way the cast play off each here is so dynamic and committed.
Love how the shift in colours is used to clearly differentiate between the two different timelines in the film - given that the scenes often almost overlap, it’s a clear detail that grounds us while underscoring the different emotional registers of the two different sections.
Actually don’t have much more to say about it. Just an all-round lovely, smart and moving piece of filmmaking that comes across as so effortless you almost forget the sheer volume of care that’s gone into it. Only two films in and Gerwig is comfortably establishing herself as a master. Bring on film three.
Greta Gerwig's done it again. Her adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women is damn full of HUMANITY, it makes the heart ache. There is no role so small that Gerwig does not imbue it with SOMETHING, a richness of detail and soul that makes each and every one relatable, amusing, touching, HUMAN. Now, I don't know, central as Jo is (and Saoirse Ronan is rock solid in the role), if Amy was supposed to be stand-out character, but Florence Pugh is EVERYTHING in this, doing the most growing up (from 13 to 20) and crafting an evolving character that steals every scene she's in. What a great year 2019 has been for her - an extremely versatile actress and a real star. I have to admit some of the back and forth between the Little Women and Little Wives material had me scrambling at first, as the color grading of time periods isn't always obvious, but that's a very small complaint. The main story as extended flashback allows Gerwig to draw parallels between the two halves and produces at least one gut punch from it. Not a dry eye… The other Gerwig addition is the focus on the book's innate feminism, and let's be honest, 19th-Century women's novels often featured a betrayal of their autonomous heroines by having them marry at the end. Certainly a betrayal in modern terms. Gerwig finds a way to have the book cake and eat it too, which is pretty clever. Now, would you believe I've never seen any other adaptation of Alcott's novel? I guess I'm going to have to check them out to compare…
A really lovely, effortlessly charismatic film. My only real misgiving is that, while I get what Gerwig was going for, I'm not convinced the ending works. It's a relatively minor complaint but it's a shame that, in my view, an otherwise nearly faultless film doesn't nail the landing.
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