December 26, 2019
Greta Gerwig kept pausing, sometimes mid-sentence. It was a Monday night in early November, and her newest movie, Little Women, echoed through the halls of the Manhattan cinema where awards voters were among the first to see it. She shot it on film, and a projectionist needed to switch reels at the exact right moment so the action didn’t skip a beat. Gerwig was nervous. “It’s very easy to fuck up,” she said. She stopped periodically to listen, the sounds of the famous March sisters flooding our greenroom. 
The Greta Gerwig Trick For A Modern Little Women: Make It Sad
Nothing went awry, at least not during the 45 minutes I spent with Gerwig, who was beginning the months-long promotional blitz required of a Christmas release that’s based on a beloved book and headed for Oscar contention. But you’d forgive those interruptions, too. Little Women isn’t Gerwig’s first solo directorial achievement — that’s the 2017 coming-of-age hit Lady Bird — yet it is the film she was destined to make, as corny as that sounds. Of course she was nervous.Like A Star Is Born last year, Little Women is a testament to once-a-generation adaptations. The previous big-screen rendition, featuring Winona Ryder and Kirsten Dunst, opened 25 years ago, allowing enough distance to justify another interpretation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic text. (Before that, Hollywood had adapted Women five times, including versions starring Katharine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor.) In the same way that Lady Gaga’s Star Is Born performance implicated those of Barbra Streisand and Judy Garland, Gerwig’s Little Women offers a meta approach to Alcott’s words and the reactions they’ve elicited over the past 150 years. 
During their second week of production last October, Gerwig and her cast went to see A Star Is Born near Concord, Massachusetts, which is where they shot the film and where much of it takes place. “We sobbed our faces off,” she said. “If you’re starting with great source material and the heart of something eternal — I mean, how many productions of Hamlet have there been? We revisit these because they say something to us. I think what was astonishing to me when I read Little Women as an adult was how ... ” 
She trailed off. A reel change had occurred. “Fuck, I missed it,” Gerwig said, leaping into a “hyper-nerdy” monologue about projection mechanics while Alexandre Desplat’s score crescendoed around us.
“Anyway, I’ll stop talking about the reel changes,” she finished, returning to the book. “There were so many things that were jumping out at me as being so incredibly modern. I couldn’t believe it.”
Whereas Godzilla and the Skywalker cooperative clang into multiplexes every 16 months, this is more than a corporate nostalgia push. Gerwig’s Little Women is a dissertation on the passage of time, the evolution of femininity and the weight of shared stories.For Gerwig, this endeavor predates Lady Bird. She started drafting Little Women in 2014, by which point she’d co-written the idiosyncratic Frances Ha and Mistress America with her now-partner, director Noah Baumbach. Gerwig then set Women aside to write and direct Lady Bird. When that movie broke into the mainstream, grossing $79 million worldwide and making Gerwig only the fifth woman to receive an Oscar nomination for directing, producer Amy Pascal asked whether she’d like to step behind the camera on this one, too.
That’s a familiar trajectory for a relatively young filmmaker. (Gerwig is 36.) You make a fruitful indie, then a big studio snatches you up. With additional resources come heightened stakes and a higher profile, especially for a known actor who’d appeared in films as disparate as No Strings Attached, Arthur, Jackie and 20th Century Women. But Gerwig’s goal wasn’t to go commercial. If it were, she could have picked one of the flashy scripts producers sent her in the wake of Lady Bird — and not just more teen dramedies, surprisingly. She had action movies and suspense movies and all sorts of genres to choose from, but none enticed her to abandon Little Women.
“It wasn’t that I was looking for the bigger thing and then this was the bigger thing,” she said. “It’s that this is what I wanted to do, and it needed more bells and whistles. It needed the whole confetti factory. One thing that I loved about Little Women was that there were so many different things about it that were new to tackle for me, [like] the world-building of the time period and creating something consistent but interesting but modern but genuine but period-correct but not slavishly devoted.”
Saying her Little Women isn’t slavishly devoted might be an understatement. Gerwig knew immediately that she would restructure Alcott’s linear tale, beginning when the four March sisters are adults and using flashbacks to navigate the defining recollections of their youth. Her approach is both reverent and fresh, wistful and progressive. Events unspool as the protagonists look back at a bygone time when they resided under one roof, poor but spirited. Alcott’s book, published in two parts in 1868 and 1869, is targeted at young readers, something adaptations tend to accentuate. As a girl, Gerwig skipped the novel’s second half, finding the depiction of marriage and maturation unrelatable. Now, it’s what most interests her. For that reason, she wanted to make a Little Women for adults. Memories — “the way you’re always looking back to go forward,” as she described it — are a fulcrum that guides the characters’ sense of themselves. No single moment better distills that essence than a line delivered by a grown-up March: “I can’t believe childhood is over.” 
Such finality — the idea that they will never again capture what existed in the humble home they shared, when they put on plays and flirted with neighbours and helped their mother finish those endless chores — is what makes the film so wonderfully Gerwigian. “Frances Ha” and “Lady Bird” were also about saying goodbye to one chapter and hello to another. 
“If I told it linear, I would lose the ability to do what I’m interested in, which is to make it sad,” Gerwig said.
In independent-minded writer Jo, the second-eldest March sibling, she found a kindred soul. The movie begins with adult Jo (Saoirse Ronan, who also headlined “Lady Bird”) preparing to enter a New York publisher’s office to sell a story she’s composed. At first, we see only Jo’s back — “like a boxer,” head lowered, shoulders wide. Moments later, she’s running through town in a mad dash that resembles a popular Frances Ha scene wherein Gerwig’s title character sprints down a Chinatown street. (“I’m interested in women in motion,” Gerwig said. “Of course I am.”) Another two hours pass, and after gracefully hopscotching across timelines, the film concludes with a shot of Jo’s face in that same office. No matter the financial and emotional trials that intervened, she has won the match.
“I wanted it to be a palindrome,” Gerwig explained. “I wanted it to read backwards and forwards, so the movie starts on her back and ends on her face so that you could start the movie again from the beginning. It’s a circle.” 
That quote alone defines the Gerwig who has blossomed over the course of the 2010s: literary, analytical, witty. When Little Women was announced last summer, I thought it came from left field. After penning so much original material that feels indebted to Gerwig’s own life, why do a remake? But in seeing the movie and hearing her talk about it, any doubts evaporate. It’s more revelation than remake, the work of an artist bold enough to refashion something that never went out of fashion.  Further confirming the serendipity of this moment in Gerwig’s career, she gets to cruise the awards circuit with Baumbach, who is hawking the biggest work of his career, Marriage Story. In a post-Sofia-Coppola-and-Spike-Jonze universe, Gerwig and Baumbach are Hollywood’s primo director couple. (The pair recently gained competition in Barry Jenkins and Lulu Wang, who helmed Moonlight and The Farewell, respectively.) They swap notes while working and attend red carpets together, which they’ll do a lot of over the next few months.
When Gerwig returned home for Thanksgiving last year, she was still shooting Little Women. The next day, she went to Baumbach’s editing suite to see his first cut of Marriage Story, a divorce drama in the vein of Kramer vs. Kramer and Scenes from a Marriage. (Fun fact: Little Women and Marriage Story share a supporting actor in Laura Dern, who is fantastic in both.) What’s it like, I wondered, to watch the breakup movie your boyfriend just finished? 
Gerwig demurred, savvy enough not to take the bait. She and Baumbach had a child earlier this year, but they’ve managed to remain fairly private about their personal lives. “I just cried for two and a half hours, and I came out and I was completely dehydrated,” she said of Baumbach’s film. “I was like, ‘Jesus Christ, Noah.’ He was like, ‘Should we have more stuffing?’”
As Gerwig and I wrapped up our conversation, she went back to listening for the reel changes. Exiting the greenroom together, I started to head for the lobby when she turned and suggested we step into the auditorium to see how much better her film looks on film than in digital transfer, which is how most of the public will see it. We stood in the back, watching a touching scene in which a neighbour (Chris Cooper) grants musically inclined Beth March (Eliza Scanlen) access to the piano at his home. Whispering, Gerwig pointed out how crisp the colours looked without the silky glaze that accompanies digitalisation. The trees were greener, the roads more textured. It looked like a postcard. Or, in her words, “a snow globe.” She stood there smiling, revelling in the beauty she’d conjured.
“That’s just my taste,” she said. 
Then Gerwig bid me farewell and slid out the door — a woman in motion. 
Little Women is in cinemas now. 
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
JoJo Siwa's MAJOR "DWTS" Hair Transformation
October 23, 2021
4cF2KFqVccI
Kendall Jenner & Devin Booker's Courtside PDA
October 23, 2021
Zfp0pDcZAJU
Necessary Realness: Kravis Engaged & Scott Disick's Red Flags | E! News
October 23, 2021
qxT1EMh6s3o
Teresa's engagement, Lala's breakup and more Virtual RealiTea drama | Page Six Celebrity News
October 22, 2021
pL6thz9zRWc
Cynthia Bailey wants to protect husband Mike Hill from ‘reality TV curse’ | Page Six Celebrity News
October 22, 2021
TO1ltz90FV0
De Niro’s estranged wife won’t get half of his acting income | Page Six Celebrity News
October 22, 2021
SIQj1AuioZs
Sisqo Has Advice For Drake On Dealing With Impostors, Don't Sue Them | TMZ
October 22, 2021
VkjnwYMtkRo
Snoop Dogg's 50th Birthday Party, Fully Lit Old School Playas Ball | TMZ TV
October 22, 2021
kc62svaZeVo
Leslie Jordan Conflicted Over Dave Chappelle Special and Netflix Controversy | TMZ TV
October 22, 2021
te1ul4AYesM
Issa Rae and Yvonne Orji Dish on Season 5 of ‘Insecure’
October 22, 2021
KA7ZEjY3rvk
Kristen Stewart Opens Up on 'Eternals' LGBTQ Inclusion, Ruby Rose Battles with WarnerBros | The Take
October 21, 2021
7d3MFpaP2L8
AT&T Stock Falls Following Q3 Earnings Results
October 21, 2021
LZNkmpoVefA
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
19
Nov
ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group H
Sydney FC - Shanghai SIPG
17
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Spain - Germany
14
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Germany - Ukraine
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Liverpool
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Aston Villa
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Valencia - Real Madrid
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Verona
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Bromwich Albion - Tottenham Hotspur
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Napoli
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Roma
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Inter Milan
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Juventus
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Borussia Monchengladbach
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Wolves
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Wolfsburg - Hoffenheim
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Valladolid - Athletic Bilbao
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Levante - Alaves
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Granada CF
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Torino - Crotone
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Villarreal
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bayern Munich
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Manchester United
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Sheffield United
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Cadiz
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Real Betis
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Augsburg - Hertha Berlin
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Stuttgart - Eintracht Frankfurt
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
RB Leipzig - SC Freiburg
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Rotherham - Preston NE
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Parma - Fiorentina
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Watford - Coventry
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Swansea City
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - QPR
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Derby County - Barnsley
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Luton
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Nottingham Forest - Wycombe Wanderers
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Fulham
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Sheffield Wednesday - Millwall
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Brentford - Middlesbrough
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Bournemouth
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Sevilla - Osasuna
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Benevento - Spezia
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Crystal Palace - Leeds
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Ferencvaros - Juventus
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Barcelona - Dynamo K.
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group A
Salzburg - Bayern Munich
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group D
Atalanta - Liverpool
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.