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The 1A Movie Club Sees 'Little Women'

Florence Pugh, Saiorse Ronan and Emma Watson (L-R) all star in Greta Gerwig's "LIttle Women."
Wilson Webb Copyright © 2019 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Florence Pugh, Saiorse Ronan and Emma Watson (L-R) all star in Greta Gerwig's "LIttle Women."

Are you a Meg, Jo, Beth or Amy?

Greta Gerwig’s film adaptation of “Little Women” is making us wonder. This weekend, the Golden Globes mostly ignored the film — a move some critics considered a snub. But audiences are clearly paying attention to the 168-year-old story. The film raked in $80.4 million at the box office over the holidays.

“Little Women” has had a huge impact on our audience — both the 2019 film adaptation, and the original novel.

Jo was a particularly captivating character, as shown by a tweet from @pithy_pants

I’m always curious if anyone had a favorite OTHER than Jo? She was hands-down the best: strong, independent, smart, a writer, a heartbreaker. I remember feeling disappointed when she got married. (And yes, I’ve never wanted to get married, so maybe it stuck with me?!)

Podcaster and writer Kate Sánchez told us she changed her mind about two key characters once she saw the new adaptation:

I love the book and for the longest time, I thought I was Jo, refusing to be constrained by what people think women should do. And because of this, I hated Amy. Then, I got the chance to see Gerwig’s take and for the first time, I realized that Amy has depth.

Amy saying “I want to be great or nothing” and breaking down and showing how she sees marriage as duty and I fell in love with her. I talked about Amy extensively in my review and it matters so much that finally all the sisters have depth.

And when our producer Kathryn asked, one member of the audience weighed in on the idea that men are not seeing “Little Women.”

— Matt Dodge (@minorthreat1978) January 3, 2020

Josie said she went even further with Alcott’s work and the March girls’ story.

I read it when I was a girl, several times – and its following books, too. It opened my mind to new possibilities. I was raised in a Catholic household where I was expected to end up married, with many children. Louisa May Alcott is among the authors I read that let me know that I had other options. I am now married and a writer, with 2 teen sons, and have a happy life with an atheist husband who doesn’t limit me at all. I waited for my ‘Friedrich Bhaer’ and we married when I was 28. MY choice and I’ve never regretted it.

How did Gerwig remake the classic story? What does a 19th-century novel, updated and transformed into a movie, tell us today?

Get the popcorn out for this edition of Movie Club.

Produced by Kathryn Fink.


John Horn, Host, KPCC’s “The Frame”; @jghorn

Anne Boyd Rioux, English professor, University of New Orleans; author, “Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters”; @AnneBoydRioux

Rachel Handler, Staff writer, Vulture; @rachel_handler

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Copyright 2020 WAMU 88.5