Greta Gerwig’s Little Women Is Going To Have A Very Different Timeline

Photo: courtesy of Columbia Pictures.
Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women screened at the Director’s Guild in Los Angeles last night, and though I am personally seething with jealousy, I am ecstatic at the reactions from critics so far. 
With a star-studded cast that includes Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Timothée Chalamet, Laura Dern, and Queen Meryl Streep herself, the expectations were sky-high, but Gerwig appears to have delivered with an original take on Louisa May Alcott’s 1868 novel about the March sisters. 
The main takeaway? Don’t expect a remake of Gillian Armstrong’s 1994 film, which memorably starred Winona Ryder and Christian Bale as Jo March and her best friend and would-be love interest Laurie. (But do go back and watch it before it leaves Netflix on November 1.) Kyle Buchanan at the New York Times tweeted that Gerwig has played with the timeline of events, starting later in the story, when the four March sisters are grown up. Through flashbacks and memory fragments, she tells the story of their younger years alongside their adventures as adults. “Call it Louisa May Alcott meets 21 Grams,” he joked. 
As for who you should have your eye on come awards season, two names come to mind: Ronan, who plays Jo March, and Pugh as her spoiled, rambunctious younger sister Amy. (Unlike in Armstrong’s version, which split the role of Amy between two actresses — including, memorably, a young Kirsten Dunst —  as she grew up, Gerwig chose to stick with Pugh throughout.) 
At just 25, Ronan has already been nominated for three Academy Awards, and if the buzz around her performance here is accurate, she might well be a front-runner in this year’s Best Actress race. Meanwhile, 24-year-old Pugh has been having an exceptionally good year, earning rave reviews for her performances in Fighting With My Family, Midsommar, and now, Little Women. A Best Supporting Actress nod might land her up against co-star Laura Dern, whose performance in Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story is also getting noticed. (Both movies will likely get nominated for Best Picture and Best Director, which would pit Baumbach and Gerwig, who are partners in real-life, against each other in the Oscars race.)
Oh, and don’t worry — Ronan and Chalamet’s chemistry is reportedly just as perfect as you hope it is. 
Sony is releasing Little Women on Christmas Day. Ceck out some of the first reactions below:

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