First Reactions for ‘Little Women’ Praise Greta Gerwig’s New, Distinct Adaptation

     October 24, 2019

The first reactions to writer/director Greta Gerwig’s highly anticipated second feature have arrived, and folks are fawning over the Lady Bird filmmaker’s new take on the classic Louisa May Alcott novel Little Women. The Sony Pictures film screened for Directors Guild of America members and members of the press last night, and overall the reaction appears to be quite positive.

Gerwig’s film maintains the 1860s New England setting of Alcott’s novel and features an incredible cast that includes Saoirse Ronan as Jo March, Emma Watson as Meg, Florence Pugh as Amy, and the irresistible Timothée Chalamet as Laurie. While it doesn’t sound like Gerwig broke the mold in terms of her adaptation, those who caught the film have pointed out that the filmmaker did adjust the structure of Alcott’s story a bit—the movie begins about 2/3 of the way through the story and then doubles back using flashbacks and intercutting.

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Image via Sony Pictures

Pugh, who made a huge impression on audiences earlier this summer in Ari Aster’s unforgettable (and darkly funny) horror film Midsommar, appears to be the standout, which is no surprise given that Pugh’s been on a track towards “breakthrough” status for a while. Indeed, she’s currently shooting a major role in the standalone Black Widow Marvel movie.

Many of those in attendance for the Little Women screening are Oscar bloggers, but there doesn’t seem to be a super clear indication of the film’s chances. It could be a Best Picture and/or Director contender, and Pugh may get in for Best Actress—depending on whose opinion you trust. But of course this all depends on what Academy voters think, and with a source material as beloved as Little Women, opinions are bound to be strong when the movie opens in theaters on December 25th.

For now, I’m encouraged by these initial reactions and mostly just can’t wait to see another movie from Gerwig as a director. Lady Bird was a revelation, and instantly announced Gerwig as a naturally gifted and impeccably talented writer and director in her own right.

Check out the Little Women reactions below:

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