Monday, January 20, 2020

Little Women


I wondered how I would like the most recent version of Little Women.  The cast was good, and the previews and what I heard from people I know sounded good, so Tim and I saw it while we were away for our anniversary.

I really liked it, and overall I think its my favorite version of this classic story.  I really enjoyed the way the movie started with the girls grown up (Jo is in New York City and Amy in France), and goes back to tell the whole story.  Its very well done, and I thought a very effective storytelling.

Saoirse Ronan is marvelous as Jo March.  She really communicates Jo's struggle with wanting to be independent and write, and the scene with Marme in the attic talking about all of this, and sharing her loneliness is powerful.  I liked that Professor Baer was not played as an old man, just older than Jo, too.  I like how her whole family sends her after him to the train station, and in fact the sisters go with her in Amy and Laurie's carriage.

I was unfamiliar with Florence Pugh who plays Amy, but I thought she was excellent.  She has a husky voice, which some people have said they didn't like for young Amy, but it didn't bother me.  She plays Amy as a determined young woman.  Amy realizes that the burden is on her to marry well to help the family, and she intends to do it.  

When she sees Laurie in France, she is set to marry Fred Vaughn if he asks her.  There is a scene where she is painting in a studio and talking with Laurie.  She is explaining that she realizes she's no great artist, and that she must marry well.  Laurie of course, falling in love with her doesn't want her to marry Fred Vaughn, but he hasn't made himself worthy of Amy yet.  So he goes to grandfather to begin to work hard as a man, and not a spoiled boy.  Amy is the making of Laurie into a man.

I didn't like Laura Dern as Marme.  I thought she didn't play Marme as a dignified person.  In one scene when Mr. Laurence comes to the house, she says "Don't mind our mess blah blah blah."  Marme would never have had a mess.  The girls were trained to keep a proper house, even if they didn't have money.  

I will say too, that a later scene showing Marme working with the poor upset me.  There is a free black woman working with her, and Marme says, "I've never been proud of my country."  Hmmm, where have we heard that before?

(Which lead me to have a conversation with Tim later about why people can't be proud of their country while being critical of certain aspects of their country.  I think a thinking person can recognize areas that their country has not done well, or has done very badly, but not assume those make up the whole country.)

I really loved the relationship between the sisters, and made me miss what I didn't have growing up.  I did have four little women of my own though, and its been sweet to see them grow up and to see  their relationships mature, as they become women.

The Little Women movie from 1994 will always have a place in my heart, but I do believe that overall this new one is my favorite.

What are your thoughts about the movie?  Have you seen it yet?




8 comments:

  1. I haven't seen the new, Little Women, but after your re-cap I really need to! I think it's because I just love one version so much, that I don't want another to take it's place ;0) Jo has always been my favorite...strong willed, determined, fun loving, wild imagination...my kind of gal!!

    Have a great week!!

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  2. Yes. I wouldn’t share all that I don’t like about the new movie in your blog when I was unwilling to do so in my own. Let’s just say, I liked some of it. One thing I especially disliked (that you liked) was the bouncing around with the story. I didn’t find it a skilled way of telling the story; I found it confusing. I am old. I guess that, in the end, I am glad that new generations are being introduced to this wonderful story.

    Interesting side point. Louisa Alcott specifically made Professor Baer to be an old and very unattractive man as a way to poke at her editor’s saying that there needed to be a marriage. “In that case” she thought, “I’ll make him old and homely.” Ha! She didn’t realize that her editor was absolutely correct.

    Louisa led a fascinating life, not necessarily a Christian one. Have you watched the documentary on her life available on Amazon Prime from American Masters? Louis May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women. I really found it interesting if one enjoys learning the nuts and bolts behind a story.

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  3. I'm going to see it next week. The book is still one of my favorite books, and I can't tell you the number of times I've read it. One great memory from my childhood is visiting Louisa May Alcott's home in Massachusetts with my parents.

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  4. I can't wait to see Little Women when I get back home to Pennsylvania. I have watched an older version almost every year at Christmas and have reread the book a few times. I have also read books about Louisa and her mother. It's all very interesting!

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  5. I've not yet seen the new movie, but am interested in reading reviews such as yours and Vee's before I do. I don't have plans yet. Love the book and have read it so many times over the years.

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  6. I haven't seen this movie yet but it brought back the memory that my first ever movie in a theater was with you when we went to see Little Women in 1994.

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  7. I saw it. I liked it. I was intrigued by the wardrobes! ❤️

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