There are many novels and short stories that can be considered classics of American literature, but for an example of storytelling in a “slice-of-life” urban setting one can probably not go wrong with “Little Women,” a delightful 1868 novel by author Louisa May Alcott. Detailing the lives and loves of four sisters in a Concord neighborhood during and after the Civil War, the book introduced some of the most beloved fictional siblings: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. It is no wonder that “Little Women” has seen no less than seven film adaptations from the silent era to 2018 (150 years after the first publication). Now a new version is coming.
Forbes tells us that the first trailer for what would be the eighth cinematic adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” dropped online this Tuesday, August 13. Directed by Greta Gerwig for Sony Pictures and Columbia Pictures, the new version takes somewhat after the 1994 movie by employing a powerhouse cast for the March sisters and other principal characters of the narrative. The first trailer finally arriving has been a big relief for interested fans of the book and past films, seeing as this one was first announced back in 2013, with script development lasting all through 2015 to 2016.
A first look at the trailer seems to hint that the film will not have a linear narrative but will instead focus on a time when the March sisters are older, about the midpoint of the book. However there might be some utilization of flashbacks to the original beginnings. The indication appears to be Jo March (Irish actress Saoirse Ronan) first appearing in discussing her life story novel with a publisher. True to her character, she bristles when her editor says he wants the book’s main character, if female, to be married at the ending.
Some of the dialogue in the trailer was simply hard-hitting, perhaps due to Greta Gerwig deciding not to keep to 1860s linguistics. Exchanges range from funny (“You’re not married!” then “Because I’m rich!”) to serious, such as Jo’s assertion of being sick that her society believes “love is just all a woman is fit for.” Her prickly interaction with their family neighbor Laurie (Timothée Chalamet) seals the deal on this.
Joining Ronan and Chalamet on the cast are Emma Watson as Meg, Eliza Scanlen as Beth, Florence Pugh as Amy, Laura Dern as Marmee March, Bob Odendirk as Mr. March, James Norton as John Brooke, Abby Quinn as Annie, and Meryl Streep as Aunt March. “Little Women” from Sony and Columbia Pictures is scheduled for a Holiday release, December 25.
Image courtesy of Vanity Fair