Little is a fantasy comedy, co-written and directed by Tina Gordon. It follows an overbearing boss who is transformed into the child version of herself. Martin, who serves as an executive producer on the project, at 14 years old, becoming the youngest person to ever hold the title on a Hollywood production. I was really anxious to see Little but I was slightly disappointed. The story could have covered more of her adult life and the overall movie could have been a little funnier.
Little opens with 13 year old Jordan Sanders (Marsai Martin) being bullied at her middle school talent show by Caren Green (Eva Carlton) and her friends who turned Jordan’s daring demo into a wrecking ball experience. As a result, Jordan landed in the hospital with broken limbs. Being bullied throughout her childhood, caused Jordan become a ruthless tech mogul as a grown-up. Scene after scene shows a grown Jordan (Regina Hall) as an evil, demanding, rich tycoon, entrepreneur who takes advantage of all her employees and anyone else who gets in her way. She is especially mean to her assistant, April Williams (Issa Rae), who has talent and wants to be more than an assistant.
Jordan owns JSL, a tech company that develops and sells software applications to other firms. When her biggest client, Connor (Mikey Day) shows up unannounced, Jordan suddenly calms herself long enough to meet and greet him, then finds out she has 48 hours to pitch an application that will knock Connor’s socks off or he’s dropping her company. Once Connor leaves, she demands a staff meeting of her developers and demands they come up with something to save the company or walk the unemployment line. During the meeting Jordan continues to bully her staff, calling them names and humiliating every employee individually. April who is encouraged by her colleague, Preston (Tone Bell) tries to make her talent known. She speaks up at the meeting stating she has her own pitch, only to get shot down by Jordan who essentially told April to stay in her place, as an assistant. While in the lobby of her office building, Jordan continues to insult people while physically pushing them around until a little girl, Stevie (Marley Taylor) called her out on being so mean. Stevie gets so angry, she pulls out her toy ward, waves it directly at Jordan and says “I wish you were little”. At that moment, Jordan becomes frail, stumbling to and fro then ask “what just happened?” She recovers and orders everyone to get back to work.
Jordan wakes up the next day in her lavage apartment as her old 13 year old self. She is fully dressed, leaving for work when she discovers her clothes are too big and people are asking “who are you”? She looks in the mirror and sees her former childhood self. Of course, she calls her assistant to help her figure out what’s going on and how to fix it. From this point on, Jordan gets the chance to relive the life of her younger self at a time when the pressures of adulthood become too much for her to bear.
In my opinion, Little is a comedy that could have had many more laughs than it did. The critics praised the performances but called it “a bit safer and lighter on laughs than many would like”. Lack of belly aching laughs aside, the acting is brilliant, just not enough Regina Hall. Marcia Martin and Issa Rae stole the show. Jordan goes back to school and encounters the same bullies but finds a few friends who she actually helps. Little covers a lot of territory and there are some heartfelt moments. So, does Jordan learn a lesson or does she remain a horrible bully? Does April get that big promotion she’s been looking for? Does Jordan meet the 48 hour deadline and get to keep her company? Do either April or Jordan find love? You’ll have to see the movie to get the answers. I think Little is definitely worth seeing. Not only does Marsai Martin star in Little, she is also an executive producer, having come up with the idea for Little when she was 10. Martin is the youngest person to ever have an executive producer credit on a Hollywood wide release. Check It Out!
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Tagged agent Bea, April Williams, Caren Greene, connor, Devon, Eva Carlton, gary, isaac, issa rae, Jasmin, jd McCrery, Jordan sanders, Justin Hartley, Little, Luke James, Marc Hawes, Marley Taylor, marsai Martin, Mikey day, Mr. Marshall, Preston, Rachel dratch, Raina, regina hall, Scott, stevie, Thalia Tran, tone bell, trevor, Tucker meek
Welcome to Marwen is a drama directed by Robert Zemeckis, who co-wrote the script with Caroline Thompson. It is inspired by Jeff Malmberg’s 2010 documentary, Marwencol. This movie follows the true story of Mark Hogancamp, a man struggling with PTSD who, after having his memory erased from being physically assaulted by Nazis, creates a fictional village to ease his trauma. The film was a box office bomb, with projected losses running as much as $60 million. Still, I was excited about seeing this movie — while it didn’t thoroughly satisfy my overall enthusiasm, I loved the brilliant special effects and thought the acting was superb.
Welcome to Marwen begins with a World War II warplane, piloted by a doll-like figure, hit by enemy fire and forced to crash land into a ditch. The pilot’s shoes have burned up because of the forced landing. While canvasing the area, the pilot finds a pair of women’s high heel shoes, which he decides to wear. The pilot is confronted by doll-like German soldiers, who taunt him after discovering he is wearing women’s shoes. The Germans threaten to emasculate him, but are killed by a group of doll-like women who come to the pilot’s rescue.
Shown in flashback, it is revealed that the doll-like figures are actually modified Barbie dolls photographed by Mark Hogancamp/Cap’n Hogie (Steve Carell), who has created a model village named Marwen (later renamed Marwencol) to help him deal with his diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder and memory loss from an attack some time earlier by five men after he unwisely told them about his fetish for wearing women’s shoes. Mark fantasizes that the dolls are alive and act out in scenes, which he photographs. The dolls correspond to people that he knows in real life: himself as the pilot; female friends as his protectors; and his attackers as Nazi soldiers. A green-haired doll named Deja Thoris (Diane Kruger) is a witch who prevents Cap’n Hogie from becoming too close to any woman, sending the women far into the future. Deja Thoris herself represents the pills which Mark takes to relieve his pain, to which he has become addicted.
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Mark has a court date to make a victim impact statement at the sentencing of the men who attacked him. After being initially reluctant to appear in court to confront his attackers, Mark is finally convinced to make an appearance at the hearing by his lawyer Demaryius Johnson (Conrad Coates) and Roberta (Merritt Wever), who is a sales clerk at the hobby store where he buys dolls for his village, but flees the court when he imagines the defendants becoming Nazi soldiers and shooting at him. Judge Martha J. Harter (Veena Sood) reschedules the sentencing hearing for the same day that Mark’s photographs will be shown to the public at an art gallery.
Mark falls in love with a woman named Nicol (Leslie Mann) who moves into the house across the road. He then buys a doll named Nicol to represent her. The doll Nicol, is in love with Cap’n Hogie and they get married. In real life, Mark proposes marriage to Nicol, who tells him that she just wants to be his friend. Mark takes Nicol’s rejection very hard and contemplates suicide. Mark imagines Nicol being shot by a Nazi, who in turn is killed by Cap’n Hogie and brought back to life.
Welcome to Marwen is a very interesting movie. After a tragedy, art reared it’s head in the creation of a Nazi village, represented by Barbie dolls. The fact that Welcome to Marwen is based on a true story makes it one of the most imaginative films I’ve seen. The special effects were absolutely brilliant and Steve Carell’s performance was convincing and showed a side of him you would otherwise rarely see. Welcome to Marwen is a fascinating movie that wheels you into a world of fantasy yet truth for Mark Hogancamp. While I don’t think this movie is for everyone, I highly recommend it for its art form and enlightenment. Check “Welcome to Marwen” out!
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Tagged alexander lowe, anna, cap'n hogie, caralala, carl nikolai witschl, conrad coates, deja thoris, demaryius johnson, diane kruger, Eiza González, elsa, eric keenleyside, falk hentschel, friar, gwendoline christie, hauptsturmfüher ludwig topf, janelle monae, judge martha j harter, julie, kurt, larry, leslie mann, leslie zemeckis, louis matt o'leary, lt benz, mark hogancamp, marwencol, merritt wever, neil jackson, nicol, roberta, rudolph, rudy patrick roccas, siobhan williams, stefan, stefanie von pfetten, steve carell, stevie, suzette, the belgian witch, veena sood, vern, welcome to marwen, wendy, werner