MICHAEL MEDVED

Greta Gerwig enriches the story of ‘Little Women’, one of the year’s best

Dec 27, 2019, 2:28 PM | Updated: 3:32 pm

Four Stars (out of four)

They released “Little Women” on Christmas Day — obviously, they want Oscar attention and they’ll get it — but all year long we end up starved for anything that is not a superhero movie. Anything that’s really worth seeing and and all of a sudden, at the end of the year, you have these great movies that are being released, and this is one of them.

There was a 1994 version of “Little Women”, which was directed by Gillian Armstrong and was a great movie. It was with Susan Sarandon who played Marmee, the mother of the four little girls growing up in New England in the 1850s. Those little girls included Claire Danes and Kristen Dunce and Winona Ryder, who actually got an Oscar nomination for the role. And this was one of the first big roles for Christian Bale, and it’s great fun to look back at that old film. The new film is even better.

The film is directed by Greta Gerwig, who created one of the most highly acclaimed films of recent years, “Lady Bird”. You may remember Saoirse Ronan as the star of “Lady Bird”, star of “Brooklyn”, who is a wonderful young Irish actress. She will get the Best Actress nomination for her role as Jo March.

‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ lacks depth, but will please fans of the franchise

What the film does that’s different from previous adaptations of “Little Women” is that it flashes back and forth in time, and it actually conflates the real life story of Louisa May Alcott — who wrote the book — and the character who is her stand-in, the fictionalized version of herself. She really did have three sisters and it’s all extraordinarily well executed.

The film is gorgeous and has wonderful visual splendor, with a wonderful musical score by Alexandre Desplat which I think has to be a front runner for Best Musical Score.

For those people who don’t know the books and don’t know the plots and haven’t seen the previous films, this will be a complete, thorough delight. And other people will have a very special delight of seeing how cleverly they have enriched the story.

The only questionable change is the character of Professor Bhaer. He’s very much in the novels and in previous versions, and was played by Gabriel Byrne in the 1994 film. Here he becomes — for reasons known only to Greta Gerwig — a Frenchman, and it’s even sort of an indeterminate Frenchman. But he’s also much younger than he is in the book.

Does Obama prefer a surprise candidate to take on Trump?

So with that complaint in mind, this movie still deserves four stars, and it’s one of the best of the year. It sets up something that I don’t think we’ve ever had: an Oscar competition for Best Picture and Best Director between romantic partners. Greta Gerwig has been for almost a decade the romantic partner of Noah Baumbach, and Baumbach is the director writer of “A Marriage Story”, which is a guaranteed nominee for Best Picture. I think that because of the great desire to honor and encourage female directors, Greta Gerwig may have the edge for that Oscar category.

This film is rated PG and actually for little girls who love the books — and that’s basically every little girl who has been exposed to them — the film should be perfectly accessible. There is, of course, significant plot points involving illness and death, which would make it too scary for very little children.

Other than that, this is a PG rating which is appropriate. “Cats”, for instance, is also rated PG but there’s a world of difference. One is actually for children who have been very, very good and deserve a treat, and the other should be reserved only for children who need some punishment. But I’m not suggesting that you punish them with “Cats”. There’s an Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, which we don’t want to violate.

Michael Medved on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to michael medvedTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 12pm for The Michael Medved Show.

Michael Medved

plymouth, Thanksgiving...
Michael Medved

Medved: Reshaping Thanksgiving into a festival of guilt

Instead of honoring forefathers, family, and the blessings of freedom, wokesters across the country want to make Thanksgiving into an orgy of guilt.
17 days ago
Adam Smith...
KTTH staff

WA Rep. Smith wants ’emphasis on completing the mission’ in Afghanistan, not deadline

Washington Representative Adam Smith, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, joins the Michael Medved Show to discuss Afghanistan.
3 months ago
Ellzey...
Michael Medved

Good news, and better news, for the GOP

Last month's special election in the 6th Congressional District of Texas brought good news, and even better news, for the GOP.
4 months ago
slavery...
Michael Medved

Medved: Our children deserve perspective, not propaganda

Conditioned by the sophistries of Critical Race Theory and the ubiquitous propaganda of The 1619 Project, millions of Americans would feel tempted to identify the United States as slavery’s most shameless beneficiary.
6 months ago
Loren Culp, lawsuits...
MyNorthwest Staff

Medved: Loren Culp ‘not a serious candidate’ in bid to unseat Republican in Congress

What are Loren Culp's chances of unseating Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse? KTTH's Michael Medved weighs in with his thoughts.
7 months ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Medved: Vaccine resistance will destroy Republican revival

Congressmember Jim Jordan asked Dr. Anthony Fauci when masks can come off and Americans can get their freedom back. Fauci answered as soon as the level of infection in the U.S. is low enough.
8 months ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Greta Gerwig enriches the story of ‘Little Women’, one of the year’s best