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Gerwig’s ‘Little Women’ Debuts to Rave First Reactions and Ronan, Pugh Oscar Buzz

The film's ensemble cast, which includes Gerwig's "Lady Bird" stars Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet, is receiving universal acclaim.

"Little Women"

“Little Women”


As one of the last Oscar contenders left to screen, all eyes have been on Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” to see just how big of an impact the ensemble drama will have on this year’s awards race. Sony has finally unveiled the “Lady Bird” director’s star-studded adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s 1868 novel of the same name, with an outpouring of strong first reactions on social media suggesting the new “Little Women” might have what it takes to land several Oscar nominations.

While the novel has been adapted numerous times for the big and small screen, Gillian Armstrong’s 1994 film, considered a classic version of the story, previously landed three Oscar nominations: Best Actress, Best Costume Design, and Best Original Score. It appears Gerwig’s new movie is a strong contender in these races and more.

Following the Los Angeles screening of “Little Women,” Variety’s awards writer Jenelle Riley made a prediction that “Saoirse Ronan is going to land her fourth Academy Award nomination for ‘Little Women’ at the age of 25.” Ronan was the star of Gerwig’s “Lady Bird” and was Oscar nominated for that role. Support for Ronan was widespread, with Awards Circuit’s Clayton Davis writing, “Saoirse Ronan makes all this look easy, once again proves she is one of our most gifted actresses working.”

While the entire ensemble cast is receiving strong notices, it’s “Midsommar” darling Florence Pugh who seems to have dazzled the first “Little Women” audiences the most. The New York Times carpetbagger Kyle Buchanan calls Pugh the MVP of the movie, writing, “She’s hilarious and winning as Amy, the character best served by Gerwig’s structural gambits.” Entertainment Weekly’s David Canfield called Pugh “astonishing” in the role.

Gerwig’s “Little Women” script takes a new approach to Alcott’s novel, breaking up her linear story to start the film when the main characters are adults. The film incorporates flashbacks and tells the story of the older and younger March sisters simultaneously. The first reactions have largely praised Gerwig’s narrative gamble.

“Gerwig makes this material her own in delightful ways you’d expect and some adult-meditation-on-childhood ways I didn’t,” IndieWire’s Chris O’Falt writes. “So rewarding to see the ease with which she paints on this canvas and that she (or any director these days) was given it.”

Sony is opening “Little Women” in theaters on Christmas Day. Check out the handful of first reactions below.

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