Saturday, January 18, 2020

Little Women the movies

My friend Bev and I took a break from our busy lives and took in a movie yesterday, Little Women (2019). We both enjoyed it, but wondered about the actor cast as Laurie, Timothée Hal Chalamet. He's 24 and looks 12. Saoirse Una Ronan who plays Jo is 25 and looks a little older. Both are not household names, I suppose because no one can pronounce them.  I had a problem seeing what's-his-name as a dissolute, worldly man and global traveler. Using Jo's messy hair to show her wokeness as a contrast to her more authentically correct sisters also struck me as tiresome, but overall it was a good movie.

Bev is a bit more techy than I and had managed to reserve seats for us on her smart phone.  We got to the theater right at 11, and by the time we got our tickets there were probably 50+ people in line—mostly retirees.  $5.00.

I found the 1949 version to compare. Elizabeth Taylor was Amy and Peter Lawford was Laurie, and June Allyson's hair was closer to the 1868 fashion (as Jo) than the 2019 version.  I wonder if the public library has it.  I saw it with my mother in Ocean Grove, NJ in 1949 when my brother and I travelled with her and my grandparents to the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference. I thought Elizabeth Taylor and Janet Leigh were the most beautiful women I’d ever seen.

Then there’s also an interesting critique of the four movie versions, showing the development of the major characters and also changing their ages, nationalities, career challenges. I do wonder why today's (and the 90s) feminist critics think it's so wonderful for Jo to pursue money and career, but criticize men's empowerment to do the same thing. Always chasing men, I suppose.

Also some interesting trivia.  During the 1949 making of Little Women, June Allyson was pregnant with her son, and then also her adoptive daughter Pamela arrived and she had to leave the set.

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