Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is one of the most beloved novels of all time (and a personal favorite of mine). Like so many others, I’ve been anxiously awaiting Greta Gerwig‘s adaptation that features some of the best talent working today: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Laura Dern, Meryl Streep, and Timothée Chalamet among them. The last movie version, in 1994, featured Winona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes, Susan Sarandon, and Christian Bale and also holds a special place in many hearts. So naturally, expectations are high for Gerwig’s take.
And it looks like fans won’t be disappointed. While the film doesn’t open until Christmas Day, the reviews are already rolling in, and they are almost universally glowing. Little Women already has a 97% rating on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with outlets dubbing it “brilliant” and “triumphant.” “Oscar nominations all round,” writes The Daily Mail’s critic in his 5/5 review.
And, indeed, the Oscar buzz for the movie, Gerwig’s direction, and the actors’ performances is strong. It’s especially exciting when you consider the abysmal stats surrounding female creatives in Hollywood. Only 4% of directors and 15% of writers are women. Hopefully critical darlings like Little Women (as well as Hustlers from earlier this year) will help change that. Of course, it’s frustrating that female creatives have to prove themselves with critical and box office successes to begin with. Women make up 51% of the moviegoing audience and deserve to be represented—no questions asked.
Thankfully, women are represented in their full, nuanced complexity with Gerwig’s Little Women. Here’s what the critics are saying about the film:
The Hollywood Reporter: “[Gerwig’s] gratifying take on Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women brings freshness, vitality and emotional nuance to source material which has been etched for generations into the popular imagination, shaking up the chronology to reinvigorate the plot’s familiar beats.”
Entertainment Weekly: “Pugh, so good in this year’s Midsommar and Fighting With My Family, brings welcome layers to her willful pigtailed Amy; Cooper, Odenkirk, and Meryl Streep, as the girls’ ornery Aunt March, duly make the most of their small turns…But it’s Ronan’s fierce, tender Jo who carries nearly every scene she’s in; a fourth Oscar nod for the Irish actress, still somehow only 25, seems both inevitable and earned.”
Los Angeles Times: “This is a film in love with its characters’ passions, a rich and effortlessly vibrant examination of the four March ‘little women’ and the ways… they’re practically bursting with the innocent it’s-happening-right-now joy of being young and alive.”
TheWrap: “In an era in which sentimentality is a seasoning that filmmakers either shun entirely or employ with too heavy a hand, Gerwig crafts a work that is moving without being manipulative. This is a Little Women for the ages.”
Vulture: “It doesn’t just brim with life, it brims with ideas about happiness, economic realities, and what it means to push against or to hew to the expectations laid out for one’s gender.”
USA Today: “A tremendously resonant, sometimes heartbreaking and always entertaining hoot.”
Daily Mail: “What it is, is a joy from start to finish, a ravishingly-shot, exquisitely acted emotional rollercoaster that at times, I don’t mind admitting, didn’t just activate my tear ducts but had me gurning wildly to stop myself from blubbing audibly.”
Thrillist: “One of the most brilliantly staged adaptations of any literary work. [Gerwig’s] film takes your assumptions and undermines them without ever straying from the text. It somehow acts as both a reappraisal and slight reinvention of Alcott’s work while remaining a gorgeous tribute to it.”
Little Women hits theaters everywhere on December 25, 2019.
The post ‘Little Women’ Movie Reviews: Critics Are Calling It ‘Brilliant’ appeared first on Glamour.