Welcome to The Morning After, where I share with you what movies I’ve seen over the past week. Below, you will find short reviews of those movies along with a star rating. Full length reviews may come at a later date.
So, here is what I watched this past week:
When Louisa May Alcott wrote her novel Little Women in 1868, cinema wasn’t even an inkling of an idea. Yet, her celebrated novel has been adapted to film seven times. The first was a silent film in 1917. The most celebrated was the third adaptation released in 1933 starring Katharine Hepburn as Jo. The 1949 version was also well received with June Allyson as Jo and Elizabeth Taylor as Amy.
The 1994 version starring Winona Ryder as Jo also received solid reviews, but it’s this seventh adaptation starring Saoirse Ronan as Jo, Florence Pugh as Amy, Emma Watson as Meg, and Eliza Scanlen as Beth that might just be the best one yet.
The classic story of the headstrong Jo, bratty Amy, practical Meg, and shy Beth is told out of sequence with the bulk of the story set near the end of the story as Jo pursues he career as a writer in New York City. Told in flashback, the film unfolds with intelligence and wit as Ronan and Pugh outshine the others with Timothée Chalamet, Chris Cooper, Laura Dern, and Meryl Streep providing superb support.
What works best in the film is that it never digs for the maudlin. Each tear and laugh are earned organically. Director Greta Gerwig has now made two films that could one day be considered masterpieces, each tackling a new genre and bringing a fresh voice to cinema. Little Women is a film that feels both instantly classic and revolutionary.