Little Women Is Already Getting Rave Reviews! Here's Everything We Know About the Film

We seriously can’t wait for Christmas

Katherine Singh
by
Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan and Emma Watson are pictured wearing colonial dresses and walking in a still from Little Women
Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan and Emma Watson in Little Women (Photo: Sony Pictures)

The movie may not come out until December but the Greta Gerwig-directed remake of Little Women is already receiving rave reviews. In late October, critics and media insiders were given the opportunity to watch the film ahead of its release, and the reviews are seriously glowing, with many calling it one of the best films of the year. But really, should we be surprised? The film’s first trailer, which was released on August 13 and featured an all-star cast, *plenty* of internet boyfriend Timothée Chalamet and a very welcome dose of feminism, was *chef’s kiss.*

These initial reviews of the film only confirm what we all know: This adaptation, based on the classic Louisa May Alcott novel of the same name, is going to be a must-see.

For those who didn’t major in English, or maybe just aren’t fans of 600-page 19th century lit, here’s the SparkNotes version: The novel, first published in 1868, follows four teenage sisters and their mother, who live in Massachusetts during and after the Civil War, as they deal with growing up and exploring their distinct (and often conflicting) identities. While it was written eons ago, Little Women has become a seminal novel for women and girls up until today. Because, basically, it’s perfect.

For those of us who are more invested in this sisterhood than that of the travelling pants variety (sorry, Blake!) WE. ARE. SCREAMING. This is seriously our Marvel universe. Below, everything we know about the film so far.

The cast is INCREDIBLE

Forget Taylor Swift and her gaggle of model friends, this is the only girl gang we want to be a part of. The Little Women revamp brings together all of our favourite leading ladies. Irish goddess and three-time Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan has been cast as protagonist Jo March, with Emma Watson and Florence Pugh playing  Jo’s sisters Meg and Amy, respectively. Newcomer Eliza Scanlen has been cast as the beloved (but tragic) Beth. And the talent doesn’t stop at the March sisters—Meryl Streep is slated to play Aunt March. While she doesn’t have a super lasting impact in the novel and has been given limited screen time in past adaptations, something tells us that with Lady Meryl in the role, Aunt March is set to become iconic. (Plus, we already know Streep can rock a petticoat like no other.) And rounding out this bevy of beauties? Laura Dern in the role of Marmee, the matriarch of the family, officially making this both a Big Little Lies reunion, and the ensemble we’ve always wanted! We’re already putting money down on Streep for yet another Oscar.

Timothée Chalamet as Lauri is making us thirsty AF

He’s inspired countless art memes and is literally a Renaissance masterpiece, so it makes sense that everyone’s favourite NYC cool boy Timothée Chalamet would be cast as the March sisters’ male confidant and paramour Theodore “Laurie” Laurence. To say that Chalamet is the perfect fit is an understatement. The Hollywood newcomer has already proven his heartthrob status with a bad boy turn in Gerwig’s Lady Bird (seriously, that floppy ‘do…). And his role in Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Name as lovelorn Elio means he’ll have Laurie’s pining for Jo down pat.

And, you guys, he is so hot.

Like, out on the moors, windswept hair and ruddy cheeks kind of hot.

Thank God this is coming out during winter, because something tells me a whole lot of people are going to be burning up after seeing this film.

Timothée Chalamet and Saoirse Ronan’s chemistry is still off the charts

I’m going to say it. Timmy and Ronan are the Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet of our generation. If you felt the crackle of chemistry between the two during the trailer, you’re not alone. Because EVERYONE feels it.

So does director Gerwig. “There is some true pairing between them that feels like what’s in the tradition of great cinematic pairings,” Gerwig told People. “They have an energy between them that is like they become a bonfire when they’re together. They’re both so alive and they’re both so talented and so smart and so young. When you put them together it’s like combustion.”

The film will focus on the March sisters later in life

To add a little spice to the film (and, TBH, probably to give Streep more screen time), Gerwig’s adaptation will focus on the sisters’ lives as young adults, after Meg, Jo and Amy leave home (and Amy breaks girl code by getting with her sister’s ex—still not over it). According to producer Robin Swicord, who also wrote the 1994 film starring Kirsten Dunst and Winona Ryder, the 2019 version will jump back and forth in time, showing scenes from the sisters’ childhood while also looking at the women as young adults, and exploring how they develop their identities and deepen their bonds. “It’s really taking a look at what it is for a young woman to enter the adult world,” Swicord said of the film. “It’s a clear-eyed approach to the challenges women face as they try to bravely move into new situations.”

It borrows from Louisa May Alcott’s other novels

Because the film is directed by a feminist icon, it makes sense that Gerwig would tweak the original novel to reflect a more empowering standpoint. As Slate pointed out, one of Jo March’s most iconic lines in the remake’s trailer isn’t from the OG novel at all. Midway through the trailer, Ronan’s Jo makes an impassioned plea for female equality, saying:  “Women, they have minds, and they have souls, as well as just hearts. And they’ve got ambition, and they’ve got talent, as well as beauty, and I’m so sick of people saying that love is just all a woman is fit for. I’m so sick of it!”

We’re 100% on board with the sentiment, a line that is actually from one of Alcott’s later novels, Rose in Bloom. We love a literary mashup!

Gerwig wasn’t always meant to be the director

While everyone now knows Gerwig for her work as the writer and director of the highly acclaimed coming-of-age film Lady Bird, she joined the Little Women project two years ago, when she just about to finish writing the script for her directorial debut. Gerwig was originally brought onboard to rewrite a draft for the film, but that changed when she arrived on set full of ideas. “Greta has a wonderfully associative, well-furnished mind,” Swicord said. “Her take on the novel more than convinced us that we could bring something new to the screen.” Gerwig was quickly upgraded from writer to director. Talk about being a #boss.

It’s set for a Christmas 2019 release

December is starting to look like *the* month for female-led films. December 2018 brought us the much-anticipated Mary, Queen of Scots, and just a mere 12 months later—December 25, 2019, to be exact—we’ll be able to see our true queen Saoirse Ronan once again grace our screens in Little Women.

Critics are saying it’s an Oscar contender

It seems that anything Ronan touches turns to Academy Awards coloured gold, and Little Women is no different. After the film’s Los Angeles screening in October, Indie Wire reports that the film has received almost “universal acclaim,” with special buzz around Ronan, Chalamet and Pugh’s performances. In several tweets after the screening, The New York Times writer Kyle Buchanan called Pugh the “MVP” of the movie, writing, “She’s hilarious and winning as Amy, the character best served by Gerwig’s structural gambits.”

Others on social media predicted that the film will garner Ronan her fourth Oscar nom (FYI, she’s only 25 years old!!).

Twitter is bonkers with excitement

If you were *screaming* at the trailer, you’re not alone. The release of the seriously amazing trailer sent the Twittersphere into a frenzy, with fans of the novel and previous films voicing their approval.

“All I want to talk about is little women and i can’t apologize for it, i am a girl who grew up going to the library instead of having friends. this is my superbowl ok,” one Twitter user said.

“Me on Christmas morning running to watch Little Women,” another user tweeted, alongside a photo of Rachel McAdams running through the snow.

Adaptation aside, we’re expecting this to be a Lady Bird 2.0—with gloomier weather (those Boston winters), more petticoats and (hopefully) plenty of Saoirse and Timmy shared screen-time. Bring it on!

Related:

Our First Pic of Mulan! + Everything Else We Know About the Live-action Remake
Ocean’s 8 Doesn’t Have to Be a Great Film for Its Existence to be Great for Women
Margot Robbie’s Makeup Is *Wild* in the Mary, Queen Of Scots Trailer

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