Women Remixed (Film Thoughts: Little Women)

Little-Women-Characters-Posters-Movie-Preview-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-1Greta Gerwig’s ‘Little Women’ is the perfect Christmas movie. It bristles, it makes you wonder, it makes you think, it entertains.  But then again, i feel like the ultimate target market for the film, as it seems like I have been seeing its trailer from all the movies I have sen since September. I was a bit skeptical at first – do we need another film adaptation of this? – but the only way I can describe this film is that Gerwig has ‘remixed’ the material. It’s still the same great story by Louis May Alcott, but it somehow feel urgent, current, and modern.

Maybe it’s the performances. Saoirse Ronan is at the core of this, and she gives us a great Jo March – relatable, strong willed, a woman of today set in the 1800s – who values her art in her own tomboyish feminine way. She broke my heart towards the end when she sees the consequence of turning away Laurie. On paper, I could say that I am not too fond of Amy, but Florence Pugh here gives us depth that for maybe the first time I understood the character much more. The rest of the cast is great – Emma Watson, Eliza Scanlen, Lara Dern – and Meryl Streep steals the scene in every that she is on. I also think we should give Timothee Chalamet props – he holds his own here as Laurie against all the girls, and he is swoon worthy with his high cheekbones. As Amy Pascal noted, ‘he has the most beautiful face on screen since Elizabeth Taylor.’  This film made me feel good, and I can’t think of a better Christmas present.

He and Her (Movie Thoughts: J. T. Leroy)

large_JTLEROY_1sht_MR_KA_Ref_Jpeg_ONLYI feel kind of dumb that I know very little about the J T Leroy ‘story,’  And I also have not seen he documentary by Jeff Feuerzeig which I hear is pretty comprehensive. This should be such an interesting story, so why then was I so bored by Justin Kelly’s ‘J. T. Leroy?’  we have Kristin Stewart here playing Samanatha Knoop, who was the ‘figure’ used by Laura Albert, who was the real author behind the book ‘Sarah.’ Stewart is perfectly cast as the bisexual character (I think nowadays they are non gender specific) and since the film is told from her point of view, Samantha is more humanized. Dern’s Laura Albert, though, while somewhat more fun to watch, veers close to a caricature. I did not really get a sense of any of the motivations for her actions. She’s just crazy and/or over the top, and why? I don’t really where the focus of the movie is, and after a certain point, I kind of stopped caring.