In this list, I offer some reasons to be as excited as I am for the release of this year’s adaptation of Little Women.
I don’t know about you, but the year of a good cinephile only begins properly after the annual Oscars ceremony, where we can entirely focus on the lists of the most anticipated movies of the year. It seems logical — we said goodbye to the past year celebrating its best films, then progress into the year ahead while keeping an eye on the new films coming out. 2019 seems particularly promising when we look at the premieres that await us. Just to name a few, directors Jordan Peele and Ari Aster offer their new films, Us and Midsommar respectively, after being acclaimed for their previous projects, Peele’s Get Out in 2017 and Aster’s Hereditary in 2018.
Disney will be especially busy with all of the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe productions, the final episode of Star Wars saga, and not only one but two live action films adapted from a classic animation: Aladdin and Dumbo, one signed by Tim Burton as the director. But of all future releases, one specifically caught my attention.
I’m talking about this year’s version of Little Women, the newest film adaptation based on Louisa May Alcott’s novel, and I have four good reasons for that.
No. 1: THE DIRECTOR
Known for her scripts with coming-of-age characters in contemporary contexts, Greta Gerwig signs on as director of the feature, and I’m really excited to see how she will work from the perspective of a more classic time period.
Greta has already been nominated for an Oscar in Best Direction and that same film she was nominated for, Lady Bird, was up for Best Picture. I honestly don’t expect anything less from her than something similar to what Sofia Coppola did with her version of the story of Queen Marie Antoinette — behind all the costumes of time, it is perfectly possible to see the essence of youth and what it’s like to be a teenager.
No. 2: THE CAST
The cast of the 1994 version had big names like Winona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst and Christian Bale in the leading roles, long before they became world-famous stars. The supporting cast contained Gabriel Byrne, John Neville and Mary Wickes, all of whom can be considered Hollywood veterans due to the extensive list of films made throughout their careers.
The lead cast of Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women will include Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet, all of whom are already well-liked by the public and some of them even past Oscar nominees. Saoirse was twice nominated for Best Actress, the first time for her role in Brooklyn in 2015, a second time for Lady Bird in 2017, and once for Best Supporting Actress for Atonement in 2007. Timothée was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role for Call Me By Your Name in 2017.
The supporting cast of this new version couldn’t be more grand, including Meryl Streep, Laura Dern and Louis Garrel, all with careers which speak for themselves. With such a great cast including all these stars, it will be difficult for this movie to receive low ratings.
No. 3: THE FEMALE POWER
Despite being the eighth film adaptation of Little Women, I believe it never hurts to reinforce the facts on women’s struggles discussed in the novel published during the late 1960s, nor to remind us how far we have progressed as a society and how much progress we still have to make.
Topics such as women’s rights to vote, social obligations determined by gender, and dress code impositions may seem absurd to us nowadays. It’s by watching Marmee assert to a man that women are capable of so much more than wearing a bodice, and Jo struggling to become a writer in an extremely disheartening environment for women, that we take the courage to fight our own battles.
After all, if today we openly deal with issues related to equal pay for men and women, increased participation (and recognition!) of women in areas still largely dominated by men (such as cinema!), and greater engagement in protests such as the #MeToo Movement, its thanks to all the incredible women of the past who did not give up.
No. 4: A COZY CHRISTMAS
The premise of the 1994 version of Little Women was “The story that has lived in our hearts for generations, now comes to the screen for the Holidays”. Following this, the feeling I had as soon as I finished watching this particular version can be compared to what you feel when someone you care about prepares your favorite food for breakfast on Christmas morning. It’s something so special and it’s made with so much love that it not only makes you happy and can improve the rest of your day, but it also warms your heart.
This year’s version has its release date set for December 25th. That’s why, even if the movie ends up being a disappointment and all the reasons mentioned above have been in vain, I hope that at least we can count on a valid option for Christmas movie — just a bit more better than the Christmas productions made by Netflix last year, please!