Little Women ★★★

in 35mm

Before anything else I have to preface my thoughts. I have hearing issues and was unfamiliar with the source material, so for most the first thirty minutes I was pretty lost, unable to make out the overlapping dialogue of the four leads, unsure where in the timeline I was or even that the film was achronological, struggling to determine what personality any of the characters had other than Their One Assigned Special Gift. Maybe down the line a second viewing with subtitles would open this up for me.

So that basket of qualifiers out of the way, this felt very thin. Greta Gerwig is one of my favorite working screenwriters so I want to blame it on the source material but my partner, who is more familiar with the book, assures me Gerwig's structure obscures or omits most everything that makes these characters compelling, so maybe it's the other way around. Either way this has little of what I'd want out of a Gerwig film. Even the 35mm photography underwhelmed.

Best I can say is that it's pretty consistently pleasant and Emma Watson is the only actor in it who isn't good.

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