Greta Gerwig‘s “Little Women” is finally getting its moment to shine as early reactions to the Christmas release are pouring in. The film held a SAG-AFTRA screening Wednesday night at the DGA in West Hollywood, which was followed by a Q&A with the director and cast. First reactions to Gerwig’s latest cement a growing potential for how far it can land in the awards talk.
Critics are applauding Gerwig’s revitalized story about four sisters coming of age in a post-Civil War society. In some aspects, Gerwig seems to have found her own footing in adapting Louisa May Alcott’s 1968 and ’69 two-volume novel. The story has been adapted many times, most notably in Gillian Armstrong’s 1994 film adaptation, which starred Winona Ryder, Christian Bale, Claire Danes, Trini Alvarado and Kirsten Dunst.
Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh have received loving reactions for their performances, which many are pushing to get awards buzz. If nominated, it would be Ronan’s fourth Academy Award nomination, following her roles in “Lady Bird,” “Brooklyn” and “Atonement.” If this year has proved nothing else, it has reaffirmed this to be the year of Pugh, with the actrress already starring in “Fighting with My Family” and in A24’s “Midsommar.” Thursday morning, Pugh was nominated for a Gotham Award for her role in Ari Aster’s film, a nod that could also act as a campaign for her “Little Women” run. If her performance in Gerwig’s adaptation goes the long way, she could see her very first Oscar nomination.
Gerwig’s new film stars Emma Watson (“The Perks of Being a Wallflower”) as Meg, Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan (“Lady Bird,” “Brooklyn”)as Jo, Florence Pugh (“Lady Macbeth”) as Amy, Eliza Scanlen as Beth and Oscar nominee Timothee Chalamet (“Call Me By Your Name”) as Laurie. The film also stars Meryl Streep, Laura Dern, Bob Odenkirk, James Norton, Abby Quin and Chris Cooper.
Gerwig starred in the Oscar nominated film “20th Century Women.” She also co-wrote and starred in Noah Baumbach’s “Frances Ha.” In 2017 Gerwig wrote and directed her first feature film, “Lady Bird,” starring two from her latest, Ronan and Chalamet. The film went on to garner two Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.
“Little Women” is produced and distributed by Sony Pictures and Columbia Pictures. It releases in theaters December 25. Check out the first reactions from Twitter below.
Just want to say…with LADY BIRD and LITTLE WOMEN, it now proves that Timothee Chalamet doesn't deserve to date Saoirse Ronan and never will.
Dude is a heartbreaker.
— Clayton Davis (@AwardsCircuit) October 24, 2019
Little Women has a very strong last third, great cinematography and a modern interpretation of the novel that shines brightly. I liked her take on it even when it is hard to follow re: flashbacks. Acting good but Flo Pugh and Streep are standouts.
— Sasha Stone (@AwardsDaily) October 24, 2019
#LittleWomen is a guaranteed Oscar contender. Gerwig confirmed as one of the most exciting filmmakers working. Didn’t love that the women were so big – Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy each at least seven feet tall with (rather strong) VFX. That said, Saoirse Ronan’s best performance yet.
— Ben Mekler (@benmekler) October 24, 2019
LITTLE WOMEN: A delightful gem of a movie exquisitely & lovingly crafted by Screenwriter/Director #GretaGerwig! Terrific performances across the board, especially #SaoirseRonan & #FlorencePugh! Deserving of multiple Oscar noms, including Best Pic! #LittleWomen @LittleWomen pic.twitter.com/q0vL4JLjkL
— Scott Mantz (@MovieMantz) October 24, 2019
Greta Gerwig breathes fresh air into LITTLE WOMEN with a time-jumping story structure that actually works for maximum emotional impact, particularly the rapturous final act. Saoirse Ronan is Queen, with her most layered performance yet. One of the best films of the year! pic.twitter.com/tqKB1oRzBS
— Matt Samet (@MattSametEsq) October 24, 2019
Saoirse Ronan is going to land her fourth Academy Award nomination for #LittleWomen at the age of 25. In related news, I needed a two-hour nap today after stubbing my toe.
— Jenelle Riley (@jenelleriley) October 24, 2019
Jo's lines in #LittleWomen resonate w me completely differently now as a 33 yr old single writer. Wanting to remain independent but wanting to be loved. Greta's take on the story made me connect w Jo in a way I never had. As a girl, I just thought she was crazy to reject Laurie.
— Amy Kaufman (@AmyKinLA) October 24, 2019
For my money, the MVP in LITTLE WOMEN is Florence Pugh. Hot off of MIDSOMMAR, Pugh is having a great year, and she’s hilarious and winning as Amy, the character best served by Gerwig’s structural gambits.
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) October 24, 2019
What do you think of the first reactions to Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women?” Share your thoughts in the comments below!