Little Women is a coming-of-age period drama written and directed by Greta Gerwig. It is the seventh film adaptation of the 1868 novel of the same name by Louisa May Alcott. This is a good version of Little Women but not the best version I’ve seen.
It’s 1868, Little Women introduces Josephine “Jo” March (Saoirse Ronan) who is a teacher and a writer living in New York. She meets with an editor, Mr. Dashwood (Tracy Letts) and gets her story published subject to considerable editing. Jo’s sister Amy (Florence Pugh), is in Paris with their Aunt March (Meryl Streep). While in transit Amy runs into her very good childhood friend, Theodore “Laurie” Laurence (Timothée Chalamet) and invites him to a party. They catch-up right there in the street while Aunt March awaits in their horse-drawn carriage. Later at the party, Amy grows angry at Laurie’s drunken behavior. Meanwhile back in New York, Jo meets with Friedrich Bhaer (Louis Garrel), a professor who despite being infatuated with her, criticizes her work, which infuriates Jo. Shortly after, a letter arrives at the boarding house where Jo stays informing her that her younger sister Elizabeth “Beth”(Eliza Scanlen) has taken a turn for the worst, so Jo heads home to Massachusetts.
Flashing back to 1861 in Massachusetts, Jo and her older sister Meg (Emma Watson) go to a party where Jo first meets Laurie, the grandson of their neighbor Mr. Laurence (Chris Cooper). On Christmas morning, their mother Marmee (Laura Dern) persuades the girls to give their breakfast to their poverty-stricken neighbor, Mrs. Hummel (Sasha Frolova), who has five children, which includes an infant. Upon returning home, the girls see their table full of food, provided by Mr. Laurence. In addition, a letter from their father (Bob Odenkirk) who is fighting in the Civil War has been delivered.
So the above two paragraphs give you a window into the life of Little Women. Remaking Little Woman has proven to be a smart move if you want to be represented for a movie award. Little Woman has been remade more than any other film I can think of. It is an excellent story of family, love adventure, drama and sadness about a near-perfect family. Their ups and downs are pretty exciting yet pretty normal. I didn’t love the flashing back and forward as it interrupted the flow of the story for me. I actually liked the 1994 version of Little Women better, as it really made me feel like part of the family. The acting was brilliant and the costume design was fabulous. Despite some minor issues, I did like Little Women (2019) and highly recommend the film, it’s a nice change of pace. In the meanwhile, Little Women has grossed $75,008,520 domestically and $108,522,277 worldwide. It received critical acclaim and was chosen by both the American Film Institute and Time magazine as one of the top ten films of 2019. At the 77th Golden Globe Awards, it received two nominations, including Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for Ronan, and it was also nominated for five British Academy Film Awards, including Best Actress (Ronan), Best Supporting Actress (Pugh), and Best Adapted Screenplay.
[LITTLE WOMEN is Oscar-nominated for BEST: Picture, Actress, Supporting Actress, Costume Design, Original Score, and Adapted Screenplay — TOTALING 6 OSCAR NOMINATIONS]
Posted in CURRENT MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged Abby Quinn, Amy March, Annie Moffat, Aunt March, Bob Odenkirk, Chris Cooper, Dash Barber, Eliza Scanlen, Elizabeth "Beth" March, emma watson, Father March, Florence Pugh, Fred Vaughn, Friedrich Bhaer, Hadley Robinson, hannah, James Norton, Jayne Houdyshell, John Brooke, Josephine "Jo" March, laura dern, Little Women (2019), Louis Garrel, Margaret "Meg" March, Marmee March, Maryann Plunkett, meryl streep, Mr. Dashwood, Mr. Laurence, Mrs. Kirke, Sallie Gardiner Moffat, saoirse ronan, Theodore "Laurie" Laurence, timothée chalamet, Tracy Letts
Mary Queen of Scots is a historical drama directed by Josie Rourke and written by Beau Willimon, based on John Guy’s biography, Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart. This film is a period piece and takes place in the 1500s chronicling the 1569 conflict between Mary of Scotland and Elizabeth of England. It could be considered a tragedy based on a true story but historically incorrect which caused some adverse reviews from critics. However it’s a worth while film that I have mixed feelings about.
In 1561, nineteen-year-old Mary (Saoirse Ronan), Catholic Queen of Scotland, returns to her home country from France following the death of her husband, Francis II of France, to take up her throne. She is received by her half brother, the Earl of Moray (James McArdle). In neighboring England, her cousin, twenty-eight-year-old Elizabeth (Margot Robbie) is the Protestant Queen of England. She is unmarried, childless, and threatened by Mary’s potential claim to her throne. Mary soon clashes with the cleric John Knox (David Tennant) and dismisses him from her court. Knox is a protestant and leader of the Scottish Reformation and perceives Mary to be a danger to the kingdom’s Protestant supremacy.
Here we have two queens, which are also cousins, that are jealous of each other. One wants to be married with children so there’s an heir to the throne and the other never wants to be married or have children but is in love with her counselor, Robert Dudley (Joe Alwyn). Elizabeth is all about the business of running the country while Mary tries to have both, a family and run a country. The two queens play a game of chicken with each other in hopes one will yield. Mary admits she married the wrong man the first time around and has now repeated history with a new husband, Henry Stuart: Lord Darnley (Jack Lowden) who is atrocious [according to this film) in every way. Upon Darnley marrying Mary, she discovers him in bed with her friend and private secretary, David Rizzio (Ismael Cruz Córdova) the following morning. Faced with insurgency and infidelity, Mary decides to quash the rebel forces but spares both Rizzio and Moray. She demands Darnley give her a child. When a child is conceived, Mary declares that the child is the “heir to Scotland and England” — which deeply offends the English.
Of course there is so much more to this intriguing story but I must stop here, as not to give it away. What becomes of Mary, her husbands and her ploy to reign over England, Scotland and Ireland. I found Mary Queen of Scots extremely interesting and well acted. There is so much to take in — everything from adultery to beheadings. History dictates a slightly different version and the critics have picked up on the changes thus giving the film a scolding and deflated ratings. If you like period pieces, Check It Out!
[Queen of Scots is Oscar Nominated for Best Costume Design and Best makeup and Hairstyling]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged adrian lester, alex beckett, andrew rothney, brendan coyle, david rizzio, david tennant, earl of bothwell, earl of lennox, earl of moray, eileen o'lhiggins, elizabeth hardwick, gemma chan, guy pearce, ian hart, ismael cruz Córdova, izuka hoyle, jack lowden, james mcardle, joe alwyn, john knox, king james I, liah o'prey, lord darnley, lord maitland, lord thomas randolph, maria-victoria dragus, martin compston, mary, mary beaton, mary fleming, mary livingston, mary queen of scots, mary seton, matthew stewart, queen elizabeth I margot robbie, robert beale, robert dudley, saoirse ronan, simon russell beale, walter mildmay, william cecil
Lady Bird is a comedy drama written and directed by Greta Gerwig. Just by the title alone, I thought this was a movie about the wife of LBJ, whose name was Claudia Alta Johnson but was affectionately nicknamed Lady Bird by her nursemaid because she thought Claudia was as “purty as a ladybird”. To my surprise, Lady Bird is as far from a story about a president or his wife as a story can get. Instead it is a story about a typical high-school senior and her turbulent relationship with her mother.
Lady Bird is set in Sacramento, California in 2002-03 and tells the story of Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) who is a senior student at a Catholic high school and is hoping attend an ivy league college in a city with lots of culture. The problem is, her family is financially strapped and her mother, Marion McPherson (Laurie Metcalf) constantly reminds the family of their financial woes.
— SLIGHT SPOILERS BELOW —
Trying to make the best of her situation, Lady Bird joins the school theater program along with her best friend Julie Steffano (Beanie Feldstein) and starts intimately dating Danny O’Neill (Lucas Hedges). However, her relationship with Danny is short lived when she catches him making out with another boy in the bathroom stall. Lady Bird moves on at her mother’s request, taking a job at the coffee shop where she meets her next boyfriend, a musician named Kyle (Kyle Scheible). Lady Bird gives Danny’s grandmother’s home as her address to appear wealthy and drops out of the theater program. At the coffee shop, she consoles Danny after he expresses his struggle to come out. Lady Bird discovers that her father, Larry McPherson (Tracy Letts) has lost his job and has been battling depression for most of his life. Despite all, she begins applying to east-coast colleges and is placed on NY colleges wait lists. At this point, Lady Bird picks up with some good points and some interesting resolutions that made the movie worth while to those who relate to this type of saga.
Personally, I found Lady Bird slow and somewhat boring. The answers to their problems were obvious to me so I didn’t really get much from the movie and I definitely didn’t think it was Oscar worthy. The acting was brilliant and the story was not alien. I’m sure many would be able to relate to the dysfunction that surrounded this family. There’s much more to be heard and seen but I didn’t want to spoil it — Check it out, there may be something in it for you!
[Lady Bird is nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay and Best Director.]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged beanie feldstein, christine "lady bird" mcpherson, danny o'neill, julie steffano, kyle, kyle scheible, lady bird, larry mcpherson, laurie metcal, lucas hedges, marion mcPherson, saoirse ronan, Tracy Letts
Brooklyn is the touching story of an Irish family, in 1952 that lives in Enniscorthy, Ireland. Eilis (pronounced AY-lish) Lacey, (Saoirse Ronan) is one of two young girls who lives with, their now single mother, Mrs. Lacey (Jane Brennan) because their father has passed away. Eilis works weekends at a shop run by an extremely spiteful woman named Miss Kelly, (Bríd Brennan) while Eilis’ sister, Rose Lacey (Fiona Glascott) works as a bookkeeper. Rose has always taken care of Eilis as well as looked after their mother. Wanting the best for her sister, Rose arranges for Eilis to go to America as part of an exchange program through their church in Ireland and Father Flood, (Jim Broadbent) an American priest in Brooklyn.
Upon her arrival in America, Eilis would live in a Brooklyn boarding house with other female Irish immigrants and work at a prestigious department store as she learned the ways of the world and perhaps meet someone to eventually share her life with. The boarding house was strictly run by Madge Kehoe (Julia Walters) who made sure all the girls walked the straight and narrow. The two sisters would write each other frequently and share all the information about their lives they could. Life was somewhat boring in their small town of Enniscorthy and only slightly escalated in America until Eilis met an Italian suitor named Tony Fiorello (Emory Cohen). Everything about her changed for the better and this is where I stop. There’s not that much more to tell except that this story was told in such a way that it took the ordinary and made it tender, sweet, exciting and a sort of learning experience for all. Brooklyn is a little slow but still interesting. Added, was a little drama and a little mystery since we didn’t know how things would end up. A few surprises kept you just interested enough to stick with it.
[BROOKLYN is nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress and Adapted Screenplay]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged america, brid brennan, brooklyn, eilis lacey, emory cohen, father flood, fiona glascott, ireland, jane brennan, jim broadbent, julia walters, madge kehoe, miss kelly, priest, rose lacey, saoirse ronan, sisters, tony fiorello